I might be part rabbit. I love all things fresh veggies, especially carrots. And, well, of course carrot cake is included in that. But sometimes a carrot cake is just too… fussy for me around the Easter season. With all of the other cooking to do for Easter dinner, I just can’t imagine adding a full from-scratch cake to the list. Plus, between getting crazy full during dinner, and the Easter egg hunting going on, it’s just no fun to have to sit down at the table again for dessert.
Cue these cookies. No muss, no fuss, and no need for a plate and a fork… just simple, delicious, and packed with all of the flavor of a carrot cake.
But is it difficult you ask? Tons of crazy ingredients just like a real carrot cake? No, and no. Let me show you…
This is all you need. Yup, really. Well, I mean, you’ll need a little water, but that hardly counts, right? Other than the mix, you’ll need 1 egg, 3 egg yolks (save the whites for an omelette!), a tablespoon of butter, the Whipped cream cheese frosting, and of course, the water.
For this recipe, you’ll want to be sure you’re buying the Duncan Hines Classic Carrot cake from their Decadent line. It’s important because you want the raisins and carrots to be separate, like they come here, in a pouch of their own. If you were making the cake, you’d stir them into the batter, but we’re not making cake, are we? Start by setting the cake mix aside.
The carrots and raisins come dehydrated, so the first thing you’ll want to do is re-hydrate them. You’ll do this by pouring the pouch and 1 1/4 cup of HOT water into a bowl. Just let it sit while you prepare the rest of the cookies, and they’ll do their thing.
For the cookie part, pour your cake mix, your egg, 3 egg yolks, and the tablespoon of butter into a bowl, combining them. I’ll tell you a little secret here… these cookies are actually modified from a cake mix pie crust recipe that Chef Joe from Duncan Hines gave me! So, if you want, you can always stop here and use this as a crust for a pie… but let’s keep going. If you find that it’s a little too dry to work with, add no more than 2 Tablespoons of water to the mixture, a teaspoon at a time, until it’s moist enough to work with, but not too sticky.
Roll your dough out to pie crust thickness and cut into circles using a round cutter or a class or another round object about the right size. I used my trusty round cutter that I use for just about any round cutting I have to do in the kitchen. You’ll bake these for 7-10 minutes at 350.
When they’re removed from the oven, immediately transfer them to a wire rack to cool. You’ll want them cooled completely before you add the frosting between them.
Whoa! Check out what happened to those carrots and raisins when we weren’t looking! They’ve tripled in size, at least! But there still might be a little more water in them, and we do NOT want that water thinning out our icing!
Strain the carrots and raisins completely…
Then use a towel to pat off all of the remaining excess water.
Take your Duncan Hines cream cheese frosting and the carrots and raisins, and mix them together until well blended.
Then, pipe it onto half of your cookies. Don’t make the mistake of piping too many cookies like I did… and then having to scrape it off. Ha! You can spread it with a spoon, but I’ve found I cover it more evenly if I pipe it. Your choice.
Finish by sandwiching the frosting with another delicious cookie, then chilling for awhile in the fridge. Or, enjoy them the way my family prefers, frozen like an ice cream sandwich!
Send some home with your Easter guests as a treat, put them in pretty bags to leave on a neighbor’s porch with a sweet note telling them to have a wonderful Easter, or enjoy them all yourself. There is no wrong way to handle these cookies.
I love that they’re very rustic, like something you’d find in your grandmother’s kitchen (provided your grandmother doesn’t severely dislike raisins, like mine does!), but at the same time, they’re incredibly simple. No one will ever believe that you made them from a mix.
What’s your favorite Spring dessert? Tell me in the comments below!