Friday, December 5, 2008

A Cake Turned Cookie Journey

My inspiration for this recipe came from a funny restaurant story that took place about 2 years ago. I was at a restaurant in town and my mom and I were out for dinner. She loves carrot cake and suggested we split a piece after seeing the gigantic portion sizes. I finally agreed after much convincing on my mom's side. The conversation went like this, "Oh c'mon Cass, it's healthy. It has carrots, pineapple, and your just having half a piece." "Alright, I guess I will." I was so easily persuaded. So then the waitress brought out the 2 slices topped with a rich cream cheese frosting. She smiled and said, "Wow, I just got done throwing the box for this cake in the garbage and I glanced at the nutritional info; over 1,000 calories for one piece!" Needless to say, I about lost my appetite, but still ate it anyway, and it was good. (Yes mom, I know you are reading this and laughing that I was so easily swayed by you back in the day.) But not only did I know it wasn't healthy to have a piece of that decadent cake very often, it would be very time consuming to recreate with its' seven layers and all. So I set out to find something easier to make. Once again it started with Betty Crocker Carrot Cake mix. Why not make cookies topped with a little light cream cheese? Such a small package with a big delight.(And A LOT healthier might I add) So therefore my Carrot Cake Cookies from a box were born. But wait! There's more; I have a scrumptious recipe for from-scratch carrot cake cookies w/out the cream cheese that I made up by experiment one day. Turns out these are now a family favorite. I also bake them as much as I can for one of my mom's friends dad's who claims, "I eat the whole bag in one sitting!" Make sure you try both recipes, each have a different style/taste to them, it just depends whether you have a lot of time or not.

Betty Crocker Carrot Cake Cookies w/Cream Cheese Frosting

1 box Betty Crocker Carrot Cake Mix

1/3 C vegetable oil
2 eggs

1 tub of Betty Crocker Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting

Decorative Sprinkles(optional)

1.HEAT oven to 375°F. In large bowl, combine cake mix, oil and eggs; stir with spoon until thoroughly moistened. Shape dough into 1-inch balls; place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. With bottom of glass dipped in flour, flatten to 1/4-inch thickness.
2.BAKE at 375°F. for 6 to 8 minutes or until edges are light golden brown. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheets.
3.SPREAD frosting over warm cookies. If you are adding sprinkles like I did, now would be the time to do so. Let frosting set before storing. Store in tightly covered container.

Makes 3 dozen cookies

Carrot Cake Cookies from Scratch

2 sticks unsalted butter, room temp
1 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
½ tsp pure vanilla extract
½ tsp baking soda
1 ½ cup flour
2 cups coarsely shredded carrots
1 cup nuts
1 cup quick oats
1 cup corn flakes (I usually use Curves cereal in Honey Oat)
1/4 C raisins(optional)
2 tbsp granulated sugar

1.POSITION 2 racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 375 F. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
2.USING an electric mixer, beat the butter and brown sugar until creamy, about 3 minutes. Mix in the eggs, vanilla and baking soda on medium speed until fluffy, scraping down the bowl as necessary. Mix in flour on low speed. Stir in carrots, nuts, oats, and corn flakes.
3.DROP heaping tbsp of dough about 2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheets. Sprinkle with granulated sugar and bake until golden. 15-20 min. Transfer to rack to cool.
Makes 2 1/2 dozen

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