Whoopie pies. They seem to be quite trendy right now and rightfully so. Who wouldn't want to eat not one but TWO cookies sandwiched around a delicious, sweet filling? It's like two desserts in one, and if you don't think too much about the fact that you're eating two cookies, you won't feel too guilty, I promise. ;-)
I made these carrot cake whoopie pies in my mom's kitchen last weekend when I was home in upstate NY. On Saturday night, my boyfriend and I were attending a potluck get-together, hosted by one of my good college friends and her fiancé, and I obviously signed up to bring a dessert! I decided to make something simple that wouldn't require me to transport too many ingredients from Boston to NY. I immediately thought of making a cake mix cookie of some sort, and thanks to inspiration from a delicious, recent post over at Eats Well With Others for carrot cake cookies with a cream cheese filling, I had the idea to make carrot cake cookies (with cake mix to keep it simple) into whoopie pies by adding a delicious cream cheese filling. You could easily just conceptualize these as the cookie form of a classic carrot cake with cream cheese frosting (kind of like my Easter cupcakes this year!). :)
-1 box (18.25 oz.) carrot cake cake mix
-1/4 to 1/3 cup vegetable oil
Cream Cheese Filling (from Eats Well With Others)
-8 oz. cream cheese
-5 Tbsp. butter (I used unsalted)
-2 tsp. vanilla extract
-2 and 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
-1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
Start out by making the filling since it should sit in the fridge for 30 minutes or so before using it. Combine the cream cheese and butter (both of mine were softened before I used them) in a large bowl and beat well with an electric mixer, about 2 - 3 minutes. Mix in the vanilla, and then gradually add in the confectioners' sugar until it's well incorporated and smooth. Lastly, add in the lemon juice and beat well. Let refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease cookie sheets. For the cookies, combine the cake mix, eggs, and oil in a large bowl, and mix well with a spoon or spatula. Drop by spoonfuls of desired size onto cookie sheets and bake for 9 - 11 minutes.
To make the whoopie pies, try to choose two cookies of similar size for each "pie," and spread about one heaping tablespoonful of cream cheese filling on one cookie and then top with its matched cookie. Voilà! You've got yourself a carrot cake whoopie pie.
This particular recipe made 24 cookies overall, which resulted in 12 whoopie pies (aren't my math skills awesome??). My ratio of cookies to filling was slightly off, so I had some leftover filling (there are worse things of which to have left over though ;-)). And by the way, I checked; there are no laws against eating cream cheese filling by itself with a spoon. Just sayin'...
If I had more time while making these cookies, perhaps I would have also added some shredded carrot to enhance the carrot flavor and change the texture of the cookie a bit. You could probably also add raisins or walnuts or whatever else you might typically add to carrot cake when you make it. As is though, these cookies were still great! The tasty cream cheese filling is really what made them awesome though, let's be serious.