When I was a little kid, I was OBSESSED with Rudolph. I saw the movie with Rudolph and Clarice and fell in love with him. When Christmas Eve came around, I always cared more about leaving treats for Rudolph than I did for Santa even though Santa left the presents and Rudolph didn't.
My parents were always really creative and came up with great answers to my Santa questions when I was a kid, so when I asked questions about Rudolph, they always had answers. How does Rudolph fly? - Much like Peter Pan, he thought happy thoughts and away he went. How did Rudolph always have enough energy to fly all over the world hauling a giant red Santa and all the presents?- Kids left him carrots which improved his eye sight and were healthy, so he always had energy.
In honor of Rudolph, I decided to make this wonderful Christmas treat.
Carrot Cake Whoopie Pies with Cream Cheese Frosting
slightly adapted from Quick Feet, Good Eats
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter – room temp
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs – room temp
1 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 1/2 cup grated carrots – about 3 large carrots
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup toasted chopped walnuts
1) Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, silpats, or simply spray with cooking spray.
2) In a mixer, beat butter and sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy (about 3 – 4 minutes in a stand mixer).
3) Add eggs and vanilla and beat on medium until well combined.
4) Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger; whisk to combine. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture; mix on low until just combined. Do not overmix.
5) Mix in carrots, raisins and walnuts. Chill dough for at least 1 hour. (Mine stayed in the fridge almost an entire day covered with plastic wrap)
6) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
7) Shape tablespoons of dough into balls and place on prepared baking sheets, spacing 2 inches apart. Or press into a whoopie pie pan.
8) Bake until browned and crisp around the edges, 15 to 20. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Cream Cheese Frosting
1 cup of butter, at room temp
8 oz cream cheese, at room temp
3 cups confectioners sugar
1 splash vanilla extract
1) Combine butter and cream cheese in mixing bowl and mix on medium speed for 5 minutes.
2) While mixing at a low speed, add sugar. Once combined, add a splash of vanilla extract and mix on a medium to high speed for 3 minutes, or until smooth and fully combined. Frost whoopie pies and enjoy!
Even though these aren't healthy, and wouldn't help me fly around the world carrying Santa and presents, they were amazingly delicious. I forgot the oats in the original recipe, but in all honesty, they were delicious without them. They had a lot of holiday flavors with the cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger, so I think these would be perfect on a holiday table. My husband took a bite and declared "These are a keeper!"
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