carrot + oatmeal sandwich cookies

hello everyone, happy monday!

whether you spent the weekend celebrating easter, passover, or just how much ham you can eat, i hope your time passed happily and in good company! chris and i went down to rochester for the day where we drank mimosas, munched on the sweetest ham, and ate this yummy green bean salad. we then laid on the couch and watched five jelly bean-powered kids run around with endless energy. it was wonderful and exhausting and probably the way every sunday should be, so long as i can just show up with the green beans. 

here are a few pics i snapped yesterday. mind you, they are from my high-end iphone 4 (i know, guys). 

you know, growing up easter was not important to me and perhaps even an inconvenience. it was a big enough holiday that you couldn't hang out with your friends, and a small enough one that our family of three wouldn't make the effort to travel out of town to hang with family. easter sometimes signified the end of spring break, which was an amplified case of the sunday blues. 

but as an april birthday, easter really rained on my parade a few times. horrible were the years where my roller rink or swimming pool birthday party couldn't happen because easter fell on my birthday. and everyone knows that when you're a kid and your birthday party doesn't happen on your actual birthday, you feel kind of lame. or as kid me would say... "phony". oh, the perils of youth.

luckily i made it through these difficult times (lol) and am actually very much enjoying easter as of now. last year, i got to spend it in rome, italy - holy to say the least! and this year i got to spend it with a bunch of kids who took hunting for eggs more seriously than i've taken most things in my life, but then graciously shared the spoils of their victory. or at least the candy they didn't like. 

of course, how can i not love easter - it's another food-related holiday! with giant hams and buckets of jelly beans!

and for me, easter requires carrot cake like thanksgiving requires pumpkin pie. i had a lot of leftover cream cheese frosting from last week's cardamom cake (more on that later, promise!) and being my father's daughter (and a broke college student) i cannot just toss perfectly good frosting. 

here is born the perfect opportunity for a sandwich cookie! soft and chewy with a creamy center, it's like a carrot cake got dressed up as an oreo and went out on the town on a friday night, except i made these on a saturday afternoon at home in my pajamas. 

this recipe is adapted from two peas in a pod, and can be adapted a million ways because it's so flexible. just make sure you refrigerate first to get the dough to a good and firm consistency. 

carrot + oatmeal sandwich cookies

3/4 c white flour

1/4 c bran

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

1/8 tsp ground ginger

1/4 c butter, softened

1/4 c dark brown sugar

1/4 c granulated sugar

1 large egg

3 tsp vanilla extract

1 c shredded carrots

1 c old fashioned oats

 

4 oz cream cheese

1/2 c butter

2 1/2 c powdered sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

pinch of salt

preheat the oven to 350 degrees f and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone.

in a medium bowl, whisk flour, bran, baking soda, salt, and spices.

in a large bowl, use a stand mixer, hand mixer or arm muscle to combine butter and sugars mix until smooth and fluffy. add egg and vanilla extract and mix until combined.

next, mix in the shredded carrots.

slowly add the flour mixture until mostly combined. then stir in oats until completely combined.

refrigerate, covered, at least 1 hour. 

using a small cookie scoop or eyeballin' it, drop cookie dough in balls no larger than a quarter, 2 inches apart, onto baking sheet. you can flatten the tops a little if that interests you. bake for 8-10 minutes or until middles set and edges slightly colored. cool completely on wire racks.

while cooling, mix all frosting ingredients at room temperature together with a hand or stand mixer until completely combined. if the frosting isn't firm (aka standing in peaks) add a bit more powdered sugar. fill piping bag with a medium size round tip (think a pencil eraser size).

once the cookies are cool, pipe as much frosting as you can possibly handle on the flat side of half of your cookies, then sandwich it off! 

these keep wonderfully refrigerated for several days, but i guarantee you won't have them that long!