When your Winter CSA gives you more carrots than you know what to do with, you make carrot cake. In this case, you adapt your carrot cake recipe to make whoopie pies, because well, that's what you do. I love carrots, so do the pugs and the husband, but at some point I found my produce bin overwhelmed with them. Luckily, this lovely recipe calls for two cups of the orange wonder, shredded.
After the bacon-loving husband, comes my co-workers in terms of my test subjects. I know exactly who will ask if I have treats today (ahem, weather guy, sports guy and photojournalist who I will not name). My friend, Mr. Weatherman, gently reminded me that he loved carrot cake. I hadn't made it in a while, but I had an idea. Cut the tethers on that sheet cake (too messy for work), spin some cinnamon into my favorite frosting and let it roll. I had happy co-workers last night.
You know me, I'm not one to chat about calories and fat. I believe in everything in moderation (although my current level of "in-shapeness" would say I've been overindulging). This recipe is NOT good for you, please don't mistake any of the following statements for that. However, it is better for you. It's base is a Cooking Light recipe (linked below) that I've modified here and there. You can make this one with all low-fat ingredients (except for the butter, for the love of all that's holy, use real butter when baking if you can), and it will still turn out beautifully.
Carrot Cake Whoopie Pies with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
Base recipes adapted from Cooking Light
Makes 18 whoopie pies
9 tablespoons butter, softened
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 large egg whites
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour (250 grams)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1.5 teaspoons ground cinnamon
dash of ground cloves and nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup low-fat buttermilk (remember you can always "make" buttermilk, Google how to make it at home, you'll never buy it again)
2 cups finely shredded carrot
1/2 cup (4 ounces) block-style fat-free cream cheese
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cups powdered sugar.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Now you've got two options with this - butter up muffin tins and make carrot cake muffins, which you'll cut in half and sandwich frosting in the middle. The other option is to line two baking sheets with parchment paper and scoop the batter in individual little spots to make "pies" for a thinner-type whoopie pie.
Take your butter, your brown sugar, and your regular sugar and throw it in a large bowl. Beat on medium speed until it's all combined. Add your eggs and egg white. Do it one at a time until the mixture gets all fluffy. Finally, get your 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract in there, beat it up.
Weigh or measure out your flour (I can't recommend starting to weigh your flour enough, less dishes, more accurate). Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg and 1/4 teaspoon salt, stirring with a whisk. Switch off adding flour mixture and buttermilk to sugar mixture, start and end with flour mixture.. Stir in carrot.
Spoon batter into prepared muffin tins OR using a tablespoon make little drops of the batter onto your parchment-lined baking sheets. If you're using muffin tins, pop those in the oven for about 12-14 minutes, until a toothpick stuck into the center comes out clean. If you're using the baking sheets, baked for about 10 minutes until they spring back when you press your finger lightly into the center.
Now for the frosting - place the cream cheese, 1/4 cup butter, 2 teaspoons of vanilla, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/8 teaspoon salt in a large bowl, beat with a mixer on medium speed. Start adding your 2 cups powdered sugar slowly. Do this on a low speed.
Once your frosting is whipped up, either cut your carrot cake "muffins" in half and spread frosting onto each half and sandwich together, or do the same for your "pies". Store in the fridge, since you are dealing with cream cheese here.