Twinkie™ Carrot Cake Cookies

Makes: about 4 dozen

Description

These cookies are great for everyday snacks or for a kids’ event. Twinkies serve as a ter¬rific canvas. Even when you add the cinnamon, carrots, and other ingredients, you can still enjoy the distinctive Twinkie flavor.

—Lisa Hansen, Kansas City, Missouri

Ingredients

10 Twinkies, halved lengthwise
1⁄2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1⁄4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 1⁄3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1⁄4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup shredded carrots (about 2 medium carrots)

Icing
2 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1⁄2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup confectioners’ sugar

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

Use the tip of a table knife to scrape out the cream filling from each Twinkie and place the filling in a bowl. Set aside.

In a food processor, process the butter and brown sugar until mixture is creamy. Add the Twinkie cake pieces and process until the cake is fully incorporated. Add the eggs and process until blended. Scrape down the sides of the work bowl as needed.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add the flour mixture to the food processor and process just until the dry ingredients are blended into the batter. Add the carrots and pulse just to combine.

Drop the cookies by tablespoonfuls about 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Flatten slightly using lightly floured fingertips or a lightly floured flat-bottomed glass. Bake for 11 to 12 minutes, until set. Transfer the cookies to a rack to cool completely.

To make the icing, add the cream cheese, lemon juice, and vanilla to the reserved Twinkie filling. Using an electric mixer at medium-high speed, beat until blended and creamy. Beat in the confectioners’ sugar, blending well. Spread icing over each cookie.

Tip
Store the cookies in an airtight container for up to 3 days.