Surj’s Birthday Dinner Treats: Part 2
If you make these, be sure to set one aside for yourself because they will be gone before you know it. I took two pink pastry boxes o’ whoopie pies to dinner last Sunday and they were gone before appetizers were served.
Oh sure, they might look relatively mild and unassuming, but they knock it out of the ballpark on flavor and word traveled fast around the dinner table.
I love the smell of baking spices, so these little desserts (or pre-appetiezers if you’re in my family) get off to a great start. Behold the cinnamon and nutmeg and ginger…
And an essential to carrot cake: CARROTS. Only two cups are needed, so the carrots are easy and quick enough to shred by hand with a grater.
I can take or leave raisins in carrot cake and not everyone likes them, so you won’t find them here. What you will find is sweetened flaked coconut, and even just the 1/2 cup really kicks up the awesomeness factor of the cake.
With tablespoon sized scoops I got about 36 little cakes out of the batter. If you were to add in raisins or nuts into the batter, I’m sure you’d get more.
If you scoop equal sized batter rounds onto the parchment, you’ll end up with cakes that are about the same size. Some will be slightly larger/smaller or more oval than others, so you can pair them up by size and shape like I did. They may not be totally perfectly matched up and that’s okay. Like I said, they’ll be gone before you know it anyway!
Whoever thought of pairing cream cheese frosting with carrot cake is a GENIUS. After whipping up a bit of frosting, you can spoon or pipe it onto a little cake to make your cake sandwich.
I didn’t put any nuts into the batter, but I did roll them in some chopped walnuts. These babies were taking the show on the road and coating the edges of the filling, in either sprinkles or walnuts like here, helps them travel much better by keep the filling contained.
Eat your vegetables!
Adapted from Whoopie Pies by Sarah Billingsley and Amy Treadwell
2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups grated carrots (2-3 medium carrots)
1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut
chopped walnuts (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line two cookie sheets with parchment.
Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt together and set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and both sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy, 5 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl then add the eggs and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients and beat just until combined. Finally, stir in the grated carrots and coconut.
Chill the batter in the refrigerator for at least one hour.
Using a small cookie scoop (the one I used is about 1 1/2 inches across), drop the batter onto one of the prepped baking sheets, spacing the cookies about 2 inches apart. Bake (one sheet at a time) for 12-15 minutes, or until the cakes spring back when gently pressed. Let the cake cool for 5 minutes then move to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with all of the dough, alternating baking sheets. Makes 30-36 cakes (15-18 sammiches).
Cream Cheese Frosting
8 oz cream cheese, softened
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
16 oz powdered sugar
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and cream cheese on medium speed. Add the sugar and beat on low speed until combined. Add the vanilla and increase the speed to medium; beat until creamy and smooth, about 4-5 minutes.