Inside Out Carrot Cake Cookies

I haven’t been writing much lately because I’ve been busy over on my Tarot Site having a good time and I’ve been wanting to share my progress in dealing with my social and general anxiety (which is AMAZING, by the way) but I’m going to give you just a little snippet today because I need to tell you about these cookies.  These are Inside Out Carrot Cake Cookies and I’ve been making them for years.  And I love them.

I needed something to bring to a Community Kirtan that my friend David told me about.  Two years ago, I never would have considered going to a new place with new people where I knew only one person.   Never would have happened… and although I call David my friend, we really don’t know each other that well, but he’s one of a growing number of people that I hug as a greeting so…  yeah. Friends. And I went and I didn’t explode or freak out when I got lost or hide in a corner the whole time.  I actually ended up doing tarot readings for 5 people!  I had a lot of fun. I probably won’t go again because although it was lovely, it’s not really my thing.

I decided on these cookies because I’m always looking for a reason to make this deliciousness.   There are some important things left out of this recipe, in my opinion. Which is why I’m posting it here with my revisions.

You will make a better cookie if your eggs and butter are at room temperature.   Before we became refrigeration nuts, humans used to keep eggs and butter on the counter.  And to tell the truth, I still keep my butter out.  I refrigerate my eggs because commercial eggs are washed.  If they come right from the chicken, they have a protective barrier to prevent spoilage.

But yeah, take them out of the fridge a few hours ahead and thank me later.

The other thing is the original recipe tells you to beat your butter, sugar and eggs all together at once.

Don’t do that.

Cream the butter and sugar together.  This is where that room temp thing comes in handy.    King Arthur Flour has a great post on this so I’m not going to reinvent the wheel here.

After you cream the butter and sugar, then add your eggs one at a time and mix until fully incorporated

Another thing is the original recipe says it makes 13 cookies.

It lies.

It makes 6 cookies filled with cream cheese and one lonesome half cookie that has no idea what to do with itself except to be a delivery device for any leftover filling … of which there will be none. So, I double it.

So, here it is.   The Inside Out Carrot Cake Cookie Recipe for your next pot luck or emotional eating party.

 

Inside Out Carrot Cake Cookies
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 2¼ cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 sticks of room temperature unsalted butter (1 cup)
  • ⅔ cup plus ¼ cup packed brown sugar
  • ⅔ cup plus ¼ cup white sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla (get the good stuff)
  • 4 medium carrots, coarsely grated (about two cups)
  • 2 cups of walnuts, chopped
  • 1 cup of raisins
  • 16 ounces of cream cheese, room temp
  • ¼ cup of wildflower honey
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Line baking sheets with parchment paper (I used 6 sheets total. If you don't have that many, you will need to cool them off before baking a new sheet of cookies)
  3. Whisk together flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt
  4. Cream butter and both sugars together until light and fluffy
  5. Incorporate eggs, one at a time until fully combined
  6. Mix in the carrots, walnuts and raisins
  7. Add the flour mixture and stir until combined.
  8. Drop cookies by 1½ tablespoons about two inches apart and bake, turning halfway through for 16-18 minutes. They will spread.
  9. Allow to cool on the sheet for one minute and then transfer to a cooling rack.
  10. While cookies are baking, combine cream cheese and honey until smooth.
  11. When cookies are completely cool, sandwich two cookies together with a big glob of filling.

 

Morrocan Spiced Beef

Look.. I know it’s been ages since I posted something.

and this draft has been hanging out forever … so I’m just going to post it.

Because you all should make this.  I cobbled together a few Moroccan Beef recipes from the interwebs and came up with this.

So, please forgive my incredibly lame post and just make the recipe… okay?

Let me know how you like it.

Morrocan Spiced Beef

Morrocan Spiced Beef
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
 
I have always had a soft spot for cinnamon and beef together, ever since I had my first taste of kibbeh. The seasoning on this meat reminds me of that delicious Moroccan treat.
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds of ground beef
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 large carrot, grated
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground cayenne
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts
  • ¼ cup golden raisins (see note)
Instructions
  1. Heat the oilive oil in a large skillet over medium heat
  2. Add the diced onion and cook until translucent
  3. Stir in the carrot and cook for about 3 minutes
  4. Sprinkle the coriander, cumin, cinnamon, and cayenne over the top and stir to combine. Cook until fragrant, about one minute
  5. Now is a good time for a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
  6. Shove all of the stuff in the skillet to the edges and crumble the ground beef into the middle.
  7. Break up the ground beef and cook, mixing in the rest of the ingredients, until the beef is cooked through and everything is well combined
  8. Shove everything to the edges again, and dump the pine nuts in middle and toast, stirring constantly until slightly toasted. Mix the pine nuts in with everything else and turn off the heat.
  9. Stir in the raisins.
  10. Taste and adjust the seasoning
  11. Serve over brown rice with a dollop of yogurt
Notes
If you are one of those people who feel that raisins ruin everything, go ahead and substitute ¼ cup of chopped dried apricots.

 

 

Puddles: The Reckoning

reck·on·ing  ˈrek(ə)niNG/  : archaic -a bill or account, or its settlement.

Way, way back in 2014, Marisa from Food in Jars included my picture of the Puddles that my mom made for me in her link round up.

Here, let me show them to you again:

Puddle Cookies

Puddle Cookies

No one knew what these cookies were and no one I asked had ever heard of them.. and after Marisa linked to my picture, lots of people were asking about the recipe.  So I asked my mom where SHE got the recipe and she said from someone she knew who was an excellent baker (I forgot her name and now I feel bad because I feel like she should get credit.. after all she MADE IT UP)

I have a special place in my heart for these cookies. They are from my childhood… and I love them. But I rarely make them.

Anyway, I promised to share the recipe as soon as I found it.  But.. I didn’t.

I held onto it for a while.

And then I baked them.. and they came out.. wrong.

Really wrong.. and then I realized it was because my cookie sheet was too big.  I forgot that I have switched to using a half sheet pan which is larger than your standard issue cookie sheets or “jelly roll pans” (which, incidentally, is why the last time I made pumpkin roll, it came out all wonky)

When we moved, I found my jelly roll pans in the attic. I think they were there for all 12 years we lived in that house.  Take a gander at the difference in size and I think you’ll see why I had a problem.

 

See how much smaller the cookie sheet is than the half sheet pan!

See how much smaller the cookie sheet is than the half sheet pan!

So,we moved.. and I forgot about the puddles again.. but then.. THIS WEEK Melanie asked me for the recipe.   And I was totally surprised than anyone was still waiting for it.

So, two years and a few days later,  I’m making good on my promise…

At LONG LAST! The recipe:
20150307_170701

But, don’t make them with Oleo.  Does anyone even know what Oleo is anymore?

Make them with butter and thank me later.

Also, a few tips.

  1. Bring your butter and eggs to room temperature. They cream better that way.
  2. Cream the butter, eggs and sugar until fluffy…REALLY.  There is no leavening in the recipe.
  3. The batter will be thick.  I mean…  THICK.  Kind of like frosting.

    See how thick the batter is? This is correct

    See how thick the batter is? This is correct

  4. I turned the pan halfway through baking and they were done in 25 minutes in my oven.  The middle will spring back like a cake when touched.
  5. They have sort of a crispy crust on top when they come out.  After the powdered sugar sets in and they sit for a day, they are like a dense cake and the top softens.

    I sort of.. forgot and made 12 instead of 20. Make 20. These are huge

    I sort of.. forgot and made 12 instead of 20. Make 20. These are huge

  6. You can, for fun.. or VALENTINES if you’re into that kind of thing, use cookie cutters to cut out heart shapes (or other shapes).  Plop your jam in strategic places in order to do that.  Bonus: you get to eat the scraps.

Puddles
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 20
 
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups white sugar
  • 1 cup salted butter, room temperature
  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Powdered Sugar for dusting
  • Jam (about 20 teaspoons)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Grease a jelly roll pan or rimmed baking sheet with butter
  3. Cream butter and sugar together until fluffy
  4. Add the eggs and beat well
  5. Add the vanilla and flour and mix until combined. Batter will be thick.
  6. Spread batter evenly in the cookie sheet.
  7. Mark out 20 sections and put a teaspoon of jam in the middle of each section
  8. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the center springs back when touched. Edges will be crispy.
  9. Dust with powdered sugar while still warm.
  10. Cool and cut into 20 squares.
  11. Store between sheets of waxed or parchment paper in an airtight container.

 

 

World’s Easiest Cookies

I was prepared to hate these cookies.

And yes, I’m aware that is not really a great thing to say about a recipe from someone I respect and admire.

I have made Elizabeth Barbone’s Five Ingredient Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookies more than once and they were delicious.  They are basically peanut butter and sugar and they are amazing… and I eat them because I like them.. not because they are gluten free.

But… But.. these cookies are.. PALEO.

I was on the Paleo bandwagon for a while and I totally did it wrong.  I did in the same way I did the Atkins Diet which was EAT ALL THE BACON.  Instead of the “Paleo is really just a plant based diet with some meat thrown in” way… which is really the right way to do Paleo.

I really struggled with Paleo.  And I made more than my fair share of “Paleo treats” which tasted like cardboard but obviously tasted good to someone…but mostly I found the recipes I tried disappointing.

Oh, and I gained like.. 30 lbs (which might actually have more to do with the depression I was dealing with at the time and maybe all of the pig fat I was shoving in my facehole.. but it was PASTURED pig fat so it was ok.)

ANYWAY

Hey! That cake looks GOOD

Hey! That cake looks GOOD

Now I try to eat the veggies and the beans (which are verboten on Paleo) and less meat and fewer treats, but dammit when I want something it’s going to be WORTH the calories.  (Which I’m also counting because dammit that seems to be actually working)

When Elizabeth said she was working on a Paleo Baking book I was optimistic because, she knows her stuff you guys.. for realz.

I can totally get behind the no-refined sugars thing. I’ve taken the white sugar out of recipes and stuck in honey or molasses or maple syrup but it’s not like you can just switch them out.

Baking is SCIENCE and some are sweeter than others and they all have different consistencies.

Also, I enjoy the flavor of honey or maple syrup where white sugar just tastes… white?

LooksBlueTastesRed

 

But…  PALEO.

I gave it a shot anyway.. I had everything in the pantry and the recipe is stupid easy AND it has my second favorite sweetener, maple syrup.  (Honey is my favorite; we go way back.)

Worlds Easiest Paleo cookies

This is really all that goes into these cookies

I’m also not at all embarrassed to say I buy maple syrup by the half gallon.

And although this recipe is the “World’s Easiest Cookies”, I never miss a chance to bust out my digital scale when weights are provided.  Because SCIENCE.

Almond Flour After you measure out (or… WEIGH out) your ingredients, they get mixed together, portioned out and then plopped on sheet pans and baked… DONE.

baked cookie Doesn’t that look pretty?

I let the cookies sit on the pan for the three minutes per the recipe. Then slid them onto a cooling rack to .. cool.

Meanwhile, I got the second batch ready on a cold sheet pan and made this round a little flatter.  The recipe says that if you want them a bit crisper, you flatten them

So I squished them, baked them off and waited.

And waited.

I really, really wanted to try one but the recipe says to wait until they are totally cool before eating.

I’m not good with waiting.

But I did it because I know cookies without wheat flour don’t behave like cookies with wheat flour.

An hour later, when they had to be cool enough, I dove into one of those bad boys like a Fred Flinstone with a Bronto Burger.

Oh, man… I ….  I hated it.

Well, the flavor was good, but the texture.. I… no. I just didn’t like it.  It was …  too different for my mouth.  There was a big fat NOPE response.

And now you are wondering why I dedicated this much blog time and space to tear down a recipe from someone I respect and admire?

Because, the next day?  OMG the next day?

THEY WERE DELICIOUS!

Something about sitting overnight redistributed the moisture and these are like almondy, mapley chewy macaroon like cookies and I cannot stop eating them.

Look at them!  Look at these adorable little yummy cookies next to my adorable little demitasse cup of Turkish Coffee!  Perfect size when I want a tiny treat that is yummy and worth the calories!

World's Easiest Paleo Cookies

I SAID LOOK AT THEM!

You want some? YOU WANT SOME. YOU DO.

You should probably, you know.. get the book. I’ve got one coming and I can’t wait to see what else is in there even though I don’t eat Paleo.

Or! you could enter this to win one!   Rafflecopter giveaway

In the meantime, though, I got your back because I know you want these cookies now. Or maybe, you want to make them now for tomorrow.  While you are waiting for them to cool, head over here to read what other people thought of this recipe over at GlutenFreeBaking.

Here you go… a recipe for World’s Easiest Cookies courtesy of Elizabeth Barbone, Author of World’s Easiest Paleo Baking.. so easy a Caveman could do it! (if he had an oven .. and a sheet pan… and um… well.. you know what I mean)

World's Easiest Cookies
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 16 cookies
 
Ingredients
  • 170 grams (1½ cups) finely ground almond flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder, homemade (see recipe below) or grain-free store-bought
  • 100 grams (1/3 cup) dark maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk the almond flour and baking powder together in a medium mixing bowl. Switch to a wooden spoon and stir in the maple syrup and vanilla extract. Stir until a sticky dough holds together.
  3. Drop dough by the tablespoonful onto the prepared baking sheet, spaced about 2 inches apart. or crisp cookies, press down theF dough lightly with the at bottom of a drinking glass or measuring cup. (If the glass sticks to the dough, lightly wet bottom of the glass.) For softer cookies, don’t press down the dough.
  4. Bake until the edges are golden brown, about 12 minutes.
  5. Allow the cookies to cool on the pan for about 3 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
  6. Allow the baking sheet to cool, and repeat with the remaining dough.
Notes
Grain-Free Baking Powder
Most commercial baking powders contain a grain-based starch.Thankfully it’s easy to make your own!

Active Time: 2 minutes
Yield: about 6 tablespoons

1/4 cup cream of tartar

2 tablespoons baking soda

1 teaspoon tapioca starch

Whisk the cream of tartar, baking soda, and tapioca starch together in
a small bowl.

Store in the pantry in an airtight container for up to 4 weeks.

Pressure Cooker Short Ribs

I have long been a fan of Mel Joulwan‘s recipes. So much so that I bought Well Fed and Well Fed 2, even though I don’t eat Paleo.

Mel uses a lot of “tougher” cuts of meat which I really appreciate as I enjoy a good long braise.
But here is my problem.

I’m impatient. Like super impatient. Also, I bought an Instant Pot about 6 months ago and when people said it was life changing they WERE NOT KIDDING.

So, now I want to use it for everything. I adore Mel’s recipe for Thyme Braised Short Ribs which calls for cooking them on the stove top for four hours.

But I didn’t start cooking dinner until 6PM because I was super busy brewing beer.

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I always feel a wee bit witchy on brew day

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This is what I did.

I took Mel’s original recipe and made the following changes:

  • I turned the Instant Pot on to saute and seared the short ribs
  • After removing the short ribs from the pot, I added the veggies.
  • I mixed 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar and the tablespoon of tomato paste and the tablespoon of dry thyme together and then poured that over the veggies. I skipped the water all together. I mixed it up together and cooked the veggies for a bit. Maybe 5 minutes
  • I put the short ribs back in the pot, poured two cups of chicken stock over the top
  • Then I closed the Instant Pot, set it for 35 minutes on high pressure and walked away
  • After the timer beeped, I waited 15 minutes and did the quick release of pressure because I wanted to eat.. because.. impatient
  • I used my fancy schmancy Oxo Fat Separator and then poured about a cup of the liquid into a small saucepan and reduced the drippings
  • While the liquid was reducing, I pulled the bones out of the meat and pulled off the fat bits

Tadah!

Short ribs in half the time.

Pumpkin Bread Bites

A few weeks ago, I made a batch of pumpkin chocolate chip cookies from a cookbook I have.
I was less than impressed. (I still ate about half of them.. you know.. just to be sure)

So I screwed around with the recipe.. a lot. So much so that you wouldn’t recognize it so I’m going to go ahead and call it my own. It’s what I once heard  Paul McCartney say he  used to do with songwriting.. and if it’s good enough for Sir Paul, it’s good enough for me.

5 from 1 reviews
Pumpkin Bread Bites
Serves: About 3 dozen
 
These Pumpkin Bread Bites are not too sweet and will remind you of pumpkin bread. For when you just want a bite and not a whole slice. They also freeze well, so go ahead and make a batch and pop them in the freezer.
Ingredients
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ⅛ tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ½ cup butter, room temperature
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 1½ Tbsp milk
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the whole wheat pastry flour, the all purpose flour, baking powder, salt and spices.
  3. Cream together the butter and sugar
  4. Add the eggs one at a time and beat until well incorporated
  5. Stir in the vanilla and pumpkin
  6. Mix in the flour mixture until just combined
  7. Stir in the nuts and cranberries.
  8. Drop by tablespoon full on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for about 14 minutes.
  9. While the bread bites cool, whisk together the powdered sugar and the milk to form a glaze.
  10. Dip the tops of the bread bites in the glaze and let them air dry