Carrot Cake Sandwich Cookies

This season makes me so nostalgic.  Is it just me?

I see the leaves and I’m reminded of all the times I would go to my neighbors house and we would rake leaves for hours just to jump in the humongous piles. 

I see the Halloween candy aisle at the store and I’m reminded of how huge it used to look and how my dad would start buying candy a month in advance only to have to buy it two or three more times because I would eat it all.

I see the pretty berries and flowers outside and I’m reminded of going berry/wild flower picking on gravel roads with my neighbor to decorate their dining room table for fall.

I see the stores changing clothes from summer shorts and dresses to jackets and sweatpants and I’m reminded of all the “fall shopping trips” my mom and I would go on.

I see commercials on TV for Halloween Disney movies and I’m reminded… that I still love Halloween Disney movies and I cannot wait to watch them!!  They’re the best, hopefully I’m not alone on this one.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t just sit around missing all of those things, I also am excited for all of the things fall has to bring!  Like I said, Halloween Disney movies!  But also things like sweaters, jackets, scarves, football, (not really, I don’t watch football… I know, I’m a freak) pumpkin carving, pumpkin ice cream at Braum’s, (hurry, please!) decorating the porch for Halloween, having a reason to dress as insanely as you like and still be considered sane, the smells, socks, the colors, CARROT CAKE SANDWICH COOKIES!!

These things just scream fall!  They’re screaming at you, too.  They’re screaming “Make me, make me!”  Or maybe that’s me.  Either way, I love these.  They remind me of oatmeal cream pies.  They’re good right out of the oven, but they’re even better after chilling in the fridge for a while.  De-licious.

Carrot Cake Sandwich Cookies
Adapted From: Picky Cook
Makes about 3 dozen cookies.  I recommend halving this recipe.  It made waaayy too many.

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter – room temp
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs – room temp
1 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats – not instant
1 1/2 cup grated carrots – about 3 large carrots
1 cup raisins – optional
1/2 cup toasted chopped walnuts

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. ***If you don’t plan on chilling dough, preheat oven to 350.

In a mixer, beat butter and sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy (about 3 – 4 minutes in a stand mixer). Add eggs and vanilla and beat on medium until well combined.

Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger; whisk to combine.

Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture; mix on low until just combined. Do not overmix!

Mix in oats, carrots, raisins (if using) and walnuts.

***Chill dough for at least 1 hour.  (I skipped this part and my cookies came out perfectly fine.  It just makes the dough easier to work with.  It also makes the cookies puffier and I prefer mine flat.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Shape tablespoons of dough into balls and place on prepared baking sheets, spacing 2 inches apart. I flattened mine a bit.

Bake until browned and crisp around the edges, 12 to 15 minutes (mine took 10 minutes so check early) rotating halfway through. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

While the cookies are cooling, make the filling…
 
Cream Cheese Frosting Filling

8 ounces cream cheese – room temp
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter – room temp
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Place cream cheese in a mixing bowl. Using a rubber spatula, beat cream cheese until smooth, Gradually addbutter and continue beating until smooth and well blended. Sift in confectioners’ sugar and cinnamon and continue beating until smooth. Add vanilla and stir to combine. (You can also do all this in a mixer)
 
Lay out 1/2 of the cookies upside down and put some of the filling on the cookies.
 

Place the tops of the cookies and push down a little.

Eat now, or chill and eat later… or eat now AND chill and eat later.

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