A stay-at-home mom, she lives in Southampton with her husband and three sons.
Are you primarily a baker or a cook?
I do everything. My mother is Italian. I grew up around food. I enjoy cooking, but baking is more artistic, and I enjoy that aspect. I'm a big cookie baker. At Christmastime I do biscotti and give them to all my friends.
Is there a story behind this recipe?
My mother used to always make me carrot cake for my birthday. It was my favorite. When my youngest son was in preschool, they asked mothers to make healthy snacks. I saw a recipe for inside-out carrot cookies in Gourmet Magazine and started there. The original recipe made cookies too big for little kids, so I made them smaller. I changed the filling a little bit. They were a hit with the kids, and my son and I made them often for bake sales, where he would package them under the name he gave me, "The Cooker Mom."
Any tips for success?
All of the cookies must be the same size, so they make even sandwiches. I use a teaspoon or a very small ice cream scooper to measure evenly every time. Make sure the cookies are completely cooled before you sandwich them, or they'll slip and slide on the frosting instead of sticking together. It's really a very versatile recipe. You could flavor the filling with lemon or almond extract in the icing. I plan on trying zucchini instead of carrots someday.
Your friends have urged you to take your baking to the next level. Any plans?
I would love to open up a shop .?.?. or sell at farm stands.
Inside-Out Carrot Cake Cookies
1 1/8 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup grated carrots (2 medium)
6 ounces chopped walnuts
1/2 cup raisins
For frosting: 2 cups powdered sugar
4 ounces cream cheese
4 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1. Make cookies: Preheat oven to 375F. Butter two baking sheets. Whisk together flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt in a bowl.
2. Beat together butter, sugar, light brown sugar, egg and vanilla in a bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until pale and fluffy. Mix in carrots, nuts and raisins at low speed. Add flour mixture and beat until just combined.
3. Drop teaspoonfuls of batter 2 inches apart on baking sheets and bake 12 minutes until cookies are light brown and springy to the touch. Cool cookies on rack completely.
4. Make frosting: While cookies are baking, blend cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar and vanilla and stir until smooth. Sandwich flat sides of cookies together with a generous tablespoon of cream cheese filling in between.
Makes 18 to 20 cookies