Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Bountiful Baskets & Carrot Cake Cookies (Whoopie pies)

  Since my mom works at a plant nursery, she is always finding out new things from her fellow co-workers, especially about food. The latest thing she was told about is an organisation called Bountiful Baskets, which is made up of volunteers that buy the best crops from small farms. How it works is, you go online the find out if they have a location near you, you place an order, on Saturday you go, & pick up your food. They meet every week & every two weeks they change their add-ons.

  The first time you participate, you pay a few extra for your main basket of fruits and vegetables (which is about $18 for the first time), then you have  choices to have "add-ons" which you can only get if you purchase a main basket. This past weekend the "add-ons" were 25lb box of tomatoes, 25lb of HUGE carrots,a bag of onions,a bag of oranges & they will usually have a themed add-on like an Italian add-on with things like eggplants, onion, garlic.. Italian themed foods. The add-ons can be anything from $5-20 each, depending on what it is. They also have granola & fresh breads. 
                                                           We spent less than $60 for...

1- 25lb box of tomatoes

1- 25lb bag of HUGE carrots
Our main bag: celery, tomatoes, kiwi, onions, corn on the cob, bananas, a bag of apples, baby spinach, lemons, yellow squash, strawberries.
1 Chinese themed add-on: Bok Choy, ginger, garlic, chestnuts, & some other thing
1 bag of granola with dried fruit.
You can't get these kind of deals or freshness at most stores, at least not for the price we paid.
We ended up using about half of the tomatoes to make spaghetti sauce & we will juice most of the carrots besides giving the horses some. 

  The family came out this past Sunday for our family dinner & we had 14 people. We ordered BBQ & I decided to make the dessert. I though since we have so many carrots I would make a dessert with them. I looked online and found a great dessert recipe from Craving Chronicles for carrot cake cookies that you could turn into whoopie pies. This recipe was easy to make & was a big hit with the family. My cookies didn't rise as much as hers, but I think its because the butter got too soft, so I chilled it for 1 hour. I got about 26 cookies (used a cookie scoop) & some of them I just frosted the tops while I made whoopie pies from the others. 

Carrot Cake Cookies (Whoopie pies)
yields: 24-26 cookies (12 or so whoopie pies)

3/4 cup golden raisins
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch of ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup + 3 tbsp sugar
1 large egg, room temp.
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup finely grated carrots (fresh)
1 cup nuts,chopped (optional)

8 ounces (1 block) cream cheese, softened
4 tbsp butter, softened
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
dash of cinnamon (optional)

1. Place raisins in a bowl and add enough hot water to cover. Set aside for 8- 10 minutes, then drain thoroughly and pat dry.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together spices, flour, baking soda and salt. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter, sugars, egg until smooth and fluffy. Mix in carrots,vanilla, nuts and drained raisins on low speed. Add flour mixture in increments and beat just until combined. 
3.Set batter in the refrigerator to chill for 15-30 minutes. (I chilled mine for 1 hour)
4. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet parchment paper. Drop 1 1/2 Tablespoons of dough per cookie (or use a cookie scoop) onto baking sheet about 2 inches apart.
5.  Bake for 13-15 minutes or until centers spring back to the touch. Cool on pan for 2 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
6. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and cream cheese until fluffy. Slowly add in the sugar, scraping down the sides as needed, and add the vanilla and cinnamon. Store in the fridge until ready to frost the cookies and serve.

-Since the carrots we had were so big I only used 1 where you may need a few more. 
-I also added a dash of cinnamon to the frosting.
- I got 26 cookies. From her pictures, I think my cookies a bigger & flatter.
- If you only a few people, you can make the whoopie pies, but since I wanted everyone to have at least 1 cookie, I made some into whoopie pies & others, I just frosted the tops.
- I didn't add the nuts.

1 comment:

  1. Your carrot whoopie pies look great! and what a neat organization.. I've never really looked into them here in Montreal, but it seems like such a great concept to get fresh produce. Nothing is better than fresh fruits and veggies!