Monday, April 5, 2010

My Easter Table

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend! We celebrated Easter Sunday with brunch at my house this year. It was nice but it's so much work entertaining people, even if it is your own family. It's important to me to have a very clean house and to have the clutter put away and the plants watered (ha!) and the table set and flowers arranged in vases. It's not all necessary, but it's part of my gift to those who visit. I want to give them the best of what we have. Does that make sense?

Anyway, it's exhausting and that's why we only have people over a couple times a year :-) This year we had my in-laws, my mom and stepdad, and my siblings over. For brunch I made mini frittatas with sausage and potatoes and brown sugar pancakes. My mother-in-law made a wonderful punch and my mother brought over fruit salad. We had orange juice and coffee and for dessert I made these yummy carrot cake sandwich cookies that I saw on Every Last Cookie, which I served on my new cake stand. For thank you favors I sent our guests home with ducky and egg iced sugar cookies!

These cookies were like having your own personal carrot cake. The cookies were loaded with spices, oatmeal and carrots. The recipe called for raisins but I forgot to add them because I was chatting with Ingrid while making these and I got distracted. Truthfully, I think she was sending me subliminal messages NOT to add them because she doesn't like them but I think the chewy contrast of the raisins would be nice. ha ha! They're a soft cakey cookie then you fill them a simple cream cheese frosting. I made them a day in advance and refrigerated them so the flavors could meld together and the cookies softened. I would say these were a hit and if you like carrot cake these are for you! They make a ton so there's plenty to share. The only thing that could make these better would be this mascarpone cream cheese filling!

Carrot Cake Cookies from Martha's Cookies

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 1⁄2 cups finely grated carrots (about 2 large carrots)
  • 1 cup raisins (optional)

Cream Cheese Filling:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1⁄2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and both sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla, and beat on medium speed until well combined.

Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger; stir to combine. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture; mix on low speed until just blended. Mix in oats, carrots, and raisins. Chill until firm, at least 1 hour. (I did not chill the dough and they were fine).

Preheat oven to 350°F. Shape tablespoons of dough into balls, and place on prepared baking sheets, spacing 2 inches apart. Bake until browned and crisp, 12 to 15 minutes, rotating halfway through. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Meanwhile, make the cream cheese frosting: Place cream cheese in a mixing bowl. Using a rubber spatula, beat cream cheese until smooth. Gradually add butter and continue beating until smooth and well blended. Sift in powdered sugar and continue beating until smooth. Add vanilla and stir to combine.

Once cookies are completely cooled, using an offset spatula, spread about 2 teaspoons of frosting onto flat sides of half the cookies. Sandwich together with remaining cookies. Cookies can be refrigerated in airtight containers up to 3 days.

Makes about 40 sandwich cookies.

I have this little guy in display all year round. Isn't he the cutest?!

How did you guys celebrate this weekend? What did y'all eat?!


Memória said...

I already ate the two sugar cookies you made! They were good!! YUM! I will eat the carrot cake cookies tomorrow. I'm so glad there aren't any nuts in them, but I wish you wouldn't have gotten distracted by Ingrid. I love raisins haha.

The little bird looks so cute!! Your photos look lovely as usual. You weren't joking about the size of your table! It really is big.

I'm glad you had such a great Easter. I didn't do anything special yesterday, but I had a great time with you and your hubby today!

kelly said...

your table is beautiful and love the chicky! holidays are a labor of love when you are hosting, i cooked for 2 days! ham, potato salad,deviled eggs,fresh green beans, spinach salad and strawberry shortcake! love it but it's work!

Tia said...

your easter looks yummy!
Love the idea of carrot cake cookies.

oneordinaryday said...

Beautiful table, Monica! I love that little chicky too.
We actually had a bunch of chicks and a baby turkey at my parents'. My sister bought them for her hubby's bday and the kids played with them all wknd. So darn cute!

cookies and cups said...

These look so yummy!
also, those sugar cookies are gorgeous ~ great job!
We ate and ate and ate...nonstop.
ham ham and more ham...I have had enough ham in the past few days that I am going to be swollen for 2 weeks!

Julie @ Willow Bird Baking said...

This is SO GREAT, Monica!! Mike's mom just bought us Carrot Cake Cookies from a bakery in California and they were amazing. I ate one after another thinking, "I have got to fiddle around and figure out how to make these."

Now look, you've found one for me! :D Happy Easter!

Cassie said...

What a beautiful table! I've been wanting to try those carrot cake cookies forever...Thank you for reminding me of them!

vanillasugarblog said...

i NEED that little bird!

Misc Momma said...

I am not having luck with your comments lately!!

I love the flowers on your iced cookies. I am totally stealing the idea!

p.s. I made your banana pudding pie as an Easter dessert and it was a hit. I LOVE it. Will definitely make it again.

Foodiewife said...

You did not!!! I saw those cookies on that same blog, and I gave away my ricotta pie so I could make these! I was drooling over them. You did a great how can I blog about these, after your masterpieces?
I'm sending you a private email, because I so understand about perfectionism and entertaining.
I can't believe you made those iced sugar cookies. Wait. I can. Of course you made them-- you're an artist! That's what I love about you, and so many other things. I wish California and Texas weren't so far apart.

Unknown said...

MMMMM. I love carrot cake! My hubby doesn't though so I never really get to have it. But these are the perfect size!

I too like my house to look nice when people come over. It's only fair to want to treat them like "royalty" and like they are worth the effort right??

Thanks for posting!

Teresa said...

Oh Monica!
I know those carrot cookies with the cream cheese filling are SOME kind of good!
Gotta copy this recipe!
And WHY do I ALWAYS drool when I see that corndog muffin on your sidebar???? ;o)
Happy Day!
All of your FOOD looks sooooo good!
And I know it is!

Jessica said...

Those cookies look so good! Have you heard of i heart faces @ blogspot? They are doing a "my story in photos dessert edition" and I think any of your entries would make an awesome entry. Just a thought if you'd like to head over and take a look. No prizes really, just a great way to show off your talent! :)

Pam said...

Your Easter table is beautiful! Love those cookies! They look so delicious and a must to try! Thanks!

Leslie Harris (de Limon) said...

I'm jealous! We spent our Easter at the ranch, which was a lot fun, but you're table is BEAUTIFUL!

I've never heard of carrot cake cookies. I am going to have to try this recipe.

And your duckies are just too, too cute! :)

Kate H.( said...

Your Easter cookies turned out great! I'll have to try the carrot cookies, but i like them without raisins :)

For Easter, my mom and I baked a bunch of cookies for our Churchs' Annual Easter Egg Hunt. Then for Sunday lunch after church i made your banana cream pie, it was delish and a big hit :)

when i figure out how to link to my post i'll write a post about it and link you to it!

Natasha said...

Thanks for the recipe! I love carrrot cake so I am making these right now and my kids are circling the kitchen like hawks! I did add golden raisins...I am not much of a raisin person either but for oatmeal cookies or muffins the golden raisins add such good sweet and juicy taste. BTW- The dough is amazing! And I used steel-cut oats...yum.

Lucie said...

Your table looks so welcoming and your menu sounds divine, your family are very lucky to be looked after so well. I know from experience how much work goes into it, and often people don't realise that it is hard work. Your carrot cookies look delicious, I have to make this. Thanks for sharing your Easter - lovely post.

Michelle said...

Love the table and I know what you mean about making it all "perfect". I'm the same way. I made Carrot Cake cupcakes to giveaway (from Smitten Kitchen). The cookies sound like a great idea.

Keeley said...

That little bird is too cute! My husband looked over my shoulder and thought your cookies were oatmeal cream pies (which he loves). Then, when we saw they were carrot cake cookies he was even happier. I'll have to make them for him someday.

I celebrated my 30th birthday on Good Friday, so I had a long weekend full of celebration. The weather was unseasonably warm in Delaware and we spent a lot of time outdoors. Good times!

Rachel said...

I want to come to brunch at your house! You do all the stuff I want to do, but don't.

tamilyn said...

Your table was gorgeous and so are the cookies :)

Kathleen said...

That little chick is the cutest thing ever! I can see why all the cookies were gone. They sound incredible!

Julie said...

You're just so talented at creating beautiful food! I love the little birdy, I'd keep him out all year too.

Unknown said...

Hello Fellow Texas Blogger! EVERYTHING on your blog looks delicious! I'm "jonesing" for some cookies RIGHT NOW!

Happy Spring from Houston, TX!

Ingrid_3Bs said...

Seriously does Memoria have to rub it in that she gets to hang with you & Sam! Also, what's up with her getting some of my raisin free carrot cookies when I didn't? Next she'll be replacing me as a bola!

LOL, you cookies look just as good as I thought they would. I'm glad you listened to me. Did you know raisins are a choking hazard? See I saved you. :). Who loves you? :)

Janet said...

Your cookies were delicious! I ate both of them MYSELF! And, I must say that I love the flower design done on the Easter egg cookies you created! Your table is beautiful and that cake stand... Oh, my!

Treehouse Chef said...

Wow! What a beautiful table! Love the bird salt & pepper shakers and the cake stand! This recipe really looks delicious! I plan on making it very soon for my dad who loves carrots and anything sweet.

Sophie said...

Monica, you're such a talented entertainer! Seriously, much better than Ms. Stewart herself. That little chicky is adorable too. I think I heard him peep :P! I'd keep him out year round as well!

Shortcake said...

I made these cookies over the weekend. My husband loved them and gave them 5 stars and asked why I hadn't been making these for years. :0) Thanks for the winning recipe!

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