1. CARROT CAKE COOKIES
Carrot Cake Cookies
3 medium (1 cup lightly packed) finely grated carrots
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1/4 cup white sugar
1 large egg
1 and 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
Cream Cheese Frosting
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 ounces full-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch sea salt
2 cups powdered sugar
Peel and then finely grate the carrots. Measure lightly packed into 1 cup measuring cup and then give the finely grated carrots a quick coarse chop and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the room temperature (NOT melted) butter, brown sugar and white sugar. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until smooth and creamy (should look like peanut butter). Add in the egg and vanilla and beat until combined.
In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and salt. Add to the wet ingredients and beat together until JUST combined. Stir in the finely grated carrots. Cover the dough and refrigerated for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Roll out balls (the dough is still quite sticky and not as firm as regular cookie dough so it gets messy) that are a tablespoon and a half of dough. Bake 13-19 minutes or until lightly browned around edges (be careful to not overbake them. Slightly underbaked cookies will remain soft and cake-like. Cool completely.
Meanwhile prepare the frosting. In a large bowl, beat together the room temperature butter and cream cheese until completely smooth. Add in the vanilla, cinnamon, and salt. Beat to combine. Add in the powdered sugar and then beat until the frosting is smooth (it will seem like you need more liquid, but just keep beating, it will come together!)
Frost each cooled cookie with frosting and enjoy! Store any leftover cookies in an airtight container in the fridge.
2. PEEPS EASTER BUNNY DIRT CAKE RECIPE
1 box chocolate pudding
3-3/4 cup of milk
1 whole package of Spring OREOS or regular OREOS
3 cups shredded coconut (sweetened)
food coloring (green)
M&M candy eggs
Whisk the pudding mix and milk until smooth
Add all of the pudding in an even layer in a glass serving dish
Blend the OREOS into chunky crumbles and sprinkle over the pudding
Add coconut and a little green food coloring into a large plastic bag. Shake it well until the food coloring is distributed evenly and the coconut turns green
Spread coconuts over the layer of OREO
With PEEPS bunnies and candy eggs decorate
3. COCONUT MACAROON NESTS
4 egg whites
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 package (14 ounces) sweetened flaked coconut
1/2 cup white chocolate chips, melted
70-90 mini candy eggs or jelly eggs
Begin by preheating your oven to 300 degrees F. Coat the cups in a mini muffin pan with cooking spray and set the pan aside.
In a large bowl, lightly whisk together the eggs whites, salt, and sugar to combine. Then, with a fork, mix in the coconut.
Drop 2 tablespoons of the coconut mixture into each prepared mini muffin cup.
Lightly press the mixture into the bottom and up the sides of each cup. (Use your thumb or a wine cork.) Bake for 28 to 30 minutes, until lightly golden on top. (Loosely place a piece of aluminum foil over the top of the pan if the coconut starts to brown too quickly.)
Let the nests cool in the tins on a wire rack for about 10 minutes. Then run a spatula around the edges of the muffin cups to loosen the nests. Carefully lift out the nests and allow them to cool completely.
With the melted chocolate in a piping bag (or plastic baggie with a corner cut off), pipe a small amount of chocolate into each nest. Add 2 or 3 candy eggs and press them gently to secure.
Pack and store in an air-tight container.
4. MINI LEMON FLOWER TARTS
1 box Ready-to-Bake roll-out pie crusts
1 can lemon creme
powdered sugar, optional
Flower cookie cutter
mini cupcake pan
Set your pie crust out to become room temperature. Preheat your oven to 450F.
Once your dough is room temp, roll it out and cut flower shapes out of it with this flower cookie cutter. 1 pie crust makes about 7 flowers, plan accordingly.
Tuck each pie flower down into the mini cupcake pan, being sure to press them down into the bottom well and gently fold the petals back around the top of the cupcake pan.
Give the bottom and sides a few pokes with a fork.
Bake for 5-6 minutes. 5 minutes was the sweet spot for me but your oven might be slightly different.
Gently remove the flowers and let cool for a few minutes on a wire rack.
Spoon the lemon creme into a plastic baggie and cut the tip off. Pipe the lemon creme into the centers of the mini flowers.
Refrigerate for a few hours or until ready to serve.
Sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired before serving. I tilted my flowers so that the powdered sugar on got on the petals and not the pretty yellow filling.