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Friday, May 27, 2011

OATMEAL CARROT CAKE COOKIES

Reading another of those Joanne Fluke mysteries with recipes and they were eating Carrot Cake Cookies.  I thought that sounded pretty darn delicious...but the recipe made 10 DOZEN COOKIES.  Holy smokes... can't have that.

I decided, after reading all the notes about the recipe, that I would be brave and adapt it to a smaller size and mix up the ingredients a bit.  I'm using my food processor a lot, thinking that I don't want chunks of fruit and vegetables in my cookies (I had bad luck with that in a previous cookie recipe).  So, I'm processing and draining off juice and busy prepping everything.

Here's how I did it.



OATMEAL CARROT CAKE COOKIES
Adapted from Terry's Carrot Cake Cookies
in the book "Cream Puff Murder" by J. Fluke

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick) at room temperature
  • 1 cup white granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce (I used a Mott's single serve and it was 3.9 ounces) - allow juice to drain through fine sieve for a few minutes)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder (aluminum free if you can find it)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine grind sea salt
  • 10 ounces by weight of fresh pineapple - cubed and then processed until nearly pureed - pressed and drained through a fine strainer (be sure to save the juice for a smoothie or something else - good stuff)
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts - I used the small bowl of processor and pulsed 5-7 seconds until small chunks (I used pecans)
  • 2 cups white unbleached flour (not lightened - pressed into cup)
  • 1./2 cup shredded coconut - chopped by running my chef's knife through the pile to get it a bit finer
  • 1 1/2 cups finely grated carrots - pulsed to finer chop in food processor after initially grating on grating disk in food processor.
  • 1 cup rolled oats (not instant)

METHOD:

1.  Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy in the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment.  2.  Add eggs one at a time until thoroughly incorporated and smooth.
3.  After applesauce is drained, add applesauce and vanilla extract to bowl and mix in thoroughly.
4.  In separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.  Set aside.
5.  Add well-drained pineapple
10 ounces of fresh pineapple cubed and into food processor bowl
Pineapple processed - still has texture
Pressing pineapple in sieve over a bowl to capture juice
quite a bit of juice - save it for a smoothie!

and chopped nuts (pecans or walnuts) to sugar mixture and mix.

I chopped pecan halves in the small bowl of the food processor

6.  Add the flour mixture 1/3 at a time, mixing on low speed after each addition.
7.  If using a stand mixer, add the coconut and mix, add the carrots and mix,
grated carrots - measure at this point
pulsed grated carrots in food processor to get a fine grated carrot

and add the oatmeal and mix.  If using a hand mixer, manually add the coconut, shredded carrots, and oatmeal by hand.  Mixing until incorporated.

Dough before chilling in refrigerator

8.  After dough is thoroughly blended, it will be sticky and like a very thick cake batter.  You now need to cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours, up to overnight.  I let them sit exactly two hours.  I thought it would be firmer but the original recipe said this will bring the dough to a consistency you can scoop out for cookies.  It was correct!  I did pop the scooped cookies on the baking tray in the freezer for 5 minutes to ensure they were thoroughly chilled.  I pulled the dough right when I started pre-heating the oven...and that always takes longer than anticipated.  Seemed like the dough was getting soft, so I used the quick chill to get them to the right consistency.

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit with the oven rack in the middle position.  Avoid my issue by waiting to pull the dough until your oven is pre-heated.  The scooping doesn't take long!

Prepare baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat (I use Silpats).

Using a medium sized cookie dough scoop (about 2 tbsp) scoop level scoopfuls of dough onto baking sheet - 12 per baking sheet.
They scooped up very nicely after dough was chilled

If needed, dampen fingers and smooth cookies.  I didn't do that.  I did smooth a few edges though.  My yield was 46 cookies.

Bake at 350 for 13-15 minutes.  I liked the 15 minute cookies best.  Leave cookies on baking sheet on cooling rack for about 10 minutes then remove them to wire rack to cool completely.  They don't look terribly brown but they are firm to the touch so don't over bake.  They are kind of like eating a muffin top :-)  Not crispy on the bottom...almost like you cut them off a muffin, literally!  Therefore, use a metal spatula to remove them from the Silpat or parchment paper...and wipe your spatula in between each cookie with a paper towel or clean cloth.  Just makes things slide more easily.  I may experiment with these again and use whole wheat flour.  I think they could handle it.

out of the oven and cooling on baking sheet on top of cooling rack
moved to the cooling rack


Also, a note... put your cooling racks inside baking sheets...the bottoms made a lot of crumbs on my table where I had them cooling.

When they've cooled completely, frost them with Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Frosting.

Ready to frost in the morning - I'm tired and heading to bed!

VANILLA BEAN CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

8 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
1stick butter at room temperature (1/2 cup)
1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
3 1/2 to 4 cups sifted confectioner's sugar

I did this frosting in the food processor.  It is fast and makes it very smooth and creamy.
Mix the cream cheese and butter together until they are smooth and blended to a uniform color.  Mix in the vanilla paste.
Blend in confectioner's sugar one cup at a time until frosting is smooth and creamy.  If frosting is too thick to spread, mix in a few drops of milk or cream to thin it.  If too thin, add more confectioner's sugar.  I used 3 1/2 cups and it was "just right"

These are deliciously moist cookies and I will definitely bake them again.  The original recipe had golden raisins in it.  If you like raisins, I think that would be a lovely addition to this recipe too.  I, nor the teen, care for cooked raisins...although we'll eat them by the handful straight from the package!  Go figure...it's a texture thing.

UPDATING THE MORNING AFTER...
I fleshed out this posting before going to bed...and I'm glad I waited to post.  Ya know that bad luck I talked about above? It happened again. The cookies feel almost wet on top this morning (I didn't get them frosted before bedtime). I put them in a plastic sealable container (it is actually real Tupperware) separated by wax paper. They were completely cool at bedtime when I sealed them. This morning I touch them and they feel "overly moist and sticky" on top. It is extraordinarily humid here this week...but really???? I ate one (okay, three) this morning with coffee and it was they were superlative in flavor and still have an excellent mouth feel...  I just wonder why I can't seem to bake any cookies with fruit that don't get sticky after they cool.  I'm bummed.  A friend suggested squeezing all of the fruits in a clean cotton cloth to get them as dry as possible.  That's a good idea.  I sort of did that with the squash sugar cookies I made last year.  I don't really want to mix up the frosting now because I fear it will be wasteful.  If the top of the cookie stuck to my finger, I don't see how I'll ever get them frosted. 

UPDATE THE AFTERNOON AFTER!
If you noted the photo at the top, I gave into the desire for the frosting later this afternoon...and it went on smoothly and I guess frosting is no more sticky than the tops of those cookies!  NOW, they are awesome :-)  It totally made a huge difference!
Tasty but sticky the next morning
Oh no...a sticky mess - not at all "Cookie-like"...DANG!
The only good thing is that they still taste awesome...
Cookies turned out after all...woo hoo!!!

Oh well, if you live in a dry area of the country/world...these would be a cookie worth baking over and over again...wonderful flavor...I think this batter would have made a wonderful carrot loaf as an alternative to a cookie.  Something to eat with a fork!  I guess I'll just continue seeking a good veg/fruit cookie that will stand up to humidity.  Any suggestions?

Bon Appeit, Y'all!!!

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1 comment:

  1. I'd eat carrots any day if they were made into cookies like yours. Thanks for linking this up to Sweets for a Saturday.

    ReplyDelete

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