Makes 20 to 22 cutie pies
Recipe from Ellen Haertle, whose blog, Bake It With Booze (bakeitwithbooze.com), is a Sacramento Connect partner with sacbee.com. Inspired by a recipe from Sarah Billingsley and Amy Treadwell.
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar (optional)
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum (or any rum)
2 cups grated carrots (about 2 medium carrots), squeezed dry
3/4 cup pecans, finely chopped
1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut
Optional: One 8-ounce can of crushed pineapple, well drained
Orange mascarpone filling:
4 ounces mascarpone cheese, room temperature
4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 tablespoon Spiced Rum (or any rum)
1 tablespoon Grand Marnier
2 teaspoons pure vanilla bean paste (or pure vanilla extract)
3 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
Zest of one orange
To make the cutie pies: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line sheet pans with parchment paper, set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices, cream of tartar (if using) and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment, beat butter and brown sugars until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time and beat well. Add the vanilla.
With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture in 3 parts alternating with the spiced rum. Start and end with the flour mixture. Mix just to combine and scrape sides.
Add the carrots, pecans and coconut and mix to just combine. (Add drained pineapple, if using.) Finish by hand.
Using a 1 1/2-tablespoon scoop (or two spoons), drop the batter in rounded mounds onto the prepared pans, leaving about 2 inches between each mound.
Bake for 10-12 minutes or until springy to the touch. Rotate pans halfway through.
Remove from oven and let sit on the pan for 5 minutes. Remove the pies, still on the parchment, to the counter to cool completely.
To make the orange mascarpone filling: In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the mascarpone and cream cheese on medium for about 1 minute until smooth.
Add the rum, Grand Marnier and vanilla bean paste. Beat on medium for one minute, scrape bowl. Gradually add in the confectioners' sugar. Scrape bowl and beat on medium for 1 minute. Add the orange zest and beat on medium for one minute.
Note: If the filling is too runny, place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes until spreadable.
To assemble the cutie pies: Remove one pie from the parchment paper and spread 1 heaping tablespoon orange filling on the bottom. Place another pie on the filling to form a sandwich.