Food expert Amy Tobin, author of Amy's Table came up wtih four fun Easter Recipes using carrots!
CARROT CAKE WITH CREAMED CHEESE FROSTING
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 35-45 minutes
Total Time: several hours
Is there anyone that doesn't just love carrot cake? I think not! This one is rich and moist and spicy. I make it into 24 cupcakes (with a little batter left over) and reduce the bake time to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Carrot cake gets better a day or two after it's baked, so make this at least one day ahead. You can make the frosting ahead, too, and if you don't choose to frost the cake or cupcakes right away, just re-beat the icing before using.
I decorated these with little carrots made from orange and green gum drops for Easter. Sprinkle the cupcake with some chocolate cookie crumb "dirt" before placing the carrot on top.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray two 9-inch cake pans with Pillsbury Cooking Spray with Flour; set aside.
In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Stir in the sugar, oil, vanilla extract, eggs, pineapple, coconut, walnuts and raisins.
Divide batter equally between prepared pans. Bake 35-45 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean and cakes begin to pull away from sides of pans. Cool in pans on racks 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edge and then turn out cakes onto racks and cool completely. Frost with Cream Cheese Frosting.
Place butter in bowl of electric mixer fitted with a paddle, and beat on medium-high until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add cream cheese and beat until fluffy, about 2 minutes more. Add the remaining ingredients and beat until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes more.
3/4 pound carrots, or enough to create 2 cups of very finely shredded carrot
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 cups sugar
1 ½ cups vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 large eggs
1 8-ounce can crushed pineapple, drained
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup raisins
Cream Cheese Frosting
1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter, softened
2 8- ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
HERE'S LOOKING AT YOU CARROT COCKTAIL
Combine carrot juice, gin, and ginger liqueur in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake thoroughly. Strain into a martini glass. Finish with a splash of ginger ale.
Garnish with a slice of carrot, candied ginger and a dash of cinnamon.
3 ounces carrot juice (available at health food stores and in the produce department of most grocery stores)
1 ounce Hendrick's Small Batch Gin
2ounce Domaine de Canton (French ginger liqueur)
Carrot and candied ginger slices and dash of cinnamon to garnish
In the bowl of a food processor or electric mixer, combine the shredded cheddar, mayo, horseradish and cayenne pepper. Process until well combined and smooth. Add tabasco to taste. Scoop into 24 portions, using a generous teaspoon, and place on a cookie sheet to chill for 15 minutes.
Roll each portion between your hands to create a carrot shape. (Don't try to make them perfect) Use a toothpick to create a small hole at the wide end of the "carrot". Insert a dill sprig. Use a table knife to make little carrot-like ridges in the shape. Repeat with remaining cheese and dill. Chill until ready to serve. Serve with crackers.