Carrot Cranberry Whoopie Pies

I love the idea of an inside-out cupcake where the frosting is tucked in the middle instead of on top. It's less messy to eat and you're sure to get frosting in every bite.

A Whoopie Pie is kind of like this. The original version (from New England) is two pieces of chocolate cake with marshmallow frosting in the middle. It got its name from farmers who would find them in their lunch pail and yell "whoopie!". Cute. But it makes them sound like third graders. Maybe it was a silent "whoopie!" only in their heads, or maybe men were less inhibited and more moved by simple pleasures back then. Or possibly Wikipidea has it all wrong. Anyhoo...

Today I'm making a Carrot/Oatmeal/Cranberry Whoopie Pie. The cake part is more of a soft cookie with crispy edges and the cream cheese frosting has a splash of cranberry juice. They're yummy, hearty and easy.

Carrot Cranberry Whoopie Pies

Makes approx. 10 pies

½ cup butter, room temperature
½ cup brown sugar
¼ cup white sugar
1 egg, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup grated carrots
½ cup dried cranberries
½ cup oatmeal (not quick-cooking or steel cut)

1. Cream the butter and sugars in mixer until fluffy. Add egg and vanilla and beat until incorporated.

2. Combine dry ingredients in a bowl and sift into batter. Mix just until blended. Fold in oatmeal, carrots and cranberries. Refrigerate for 20-30 minutes to firm up.

3. Preheat oven to 350ยบ. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Remove dough from fridge and scoop into balls the size you want your pies to be, i.e., a ping-pong ball size scoop will give you a large 3-4 inch cookie. I experimented with patting my dough out on a flour dusted counter and cutting them into uniform sizes. Messy, but it worked pretty well.

4. Bake for 10-15 minutes (depending on cookie size). Cool completely then apply a scoop of frosting on the flat side and press down with a second cookie (flat side to flat side). Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Cream Cheese Frosting

8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon cranberry juice (or orange juice or whatever you have on hand)

1. Put all ingredients in a bowl and beat until well blended.


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