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Lee's Kitchen: Carrot cake cookie sandwiches worth the splurge

Well, summer is here, but it doesn’t seem as if the music is “Under the Boardwalk” or “Polka Dot Bikini.” At Eastern Point Beach, where I live in the City of Groton, weekends will be open only to city residents.

There will be no day passes to the glorious beach, and Town of Groton, Noank, half of Mystic and Groton Long Point will have to sun bathe and play with their children in the gentle waves Monday through Thursday.

I noticed on Facebook that at noon on Sunday, just a few chairs or blankets dotted the large sandy beach and there were few cars on the expansive parking lot. Neither will there be a snack shop, since, in past years, crowds would be four deep to get hot dogs, hamburgers, salads and ice cream.

But many restaurants that offered only takeout are beginning to open inside their businesses, although at way fewer than 50 percent occupancy. It will be a long slog for owners, some of whom I have known for decades. Recently I had breakfast at The Shack in Groton. The long counter was closed and tables were put away; booths and tables were at least 6 feet away, or maybe 8 or 10.

I am still cooking mostly at home. I have Zoom meetings and tele-physician appointments. I have had my hair cut and colored, which makes me feel better, but I do realize I am a very lucky woman (mostly for those who have to see me).

Then again, restaurant meals, hair appointments and plenty of food to cook at home is very much a first-world problem.

I spent some hours at Fitch High School’s graduation, among about 300 cars filled with family and students in the parking lot. There was a giant television with terrific audio. There is no doubt that none of us will ever forget the graduation of 2020.

Recently I also made a recipe given to me by Beth Horler, a friend who is a teacher in our school system. It is beyond delicious, easy to make and one bite will make us feel like a kid again. It uses a carrot cake boxed mix and each double cookie is filled with cream cheese frosting. I have a carrot cake I love that is from scratch and uses two jars of baby carrots.

 

Writer’s Stop Original Carrot Cake Cookie Sandwiches

Adapted from Beth Horler’s recipe

Makes 6 or 12 cookies, depending on how big the cookies are

1 box carrot cake mix

¾ cup water (per box instructions)

1/3 cup vegetable oil (per box instructions)

3 large eggs (per box instructions)

8 ounces cream cheese, softened (low-fat is fine)

8 tablespoons butter, softened

1 cup of confectioners’ sugar

½ cup crushed pineapple, drained

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

 

Make the carrot cake recipe listed on the back of the standard box. Before you do, preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a cooking sheet (or use parchment or Silpat).

Drop round tablespoons onto cookie sheets. Place them in the preheated oven for about 10 minutes. Set them aside to cool.

In another large bowl, add confectioners’ sugar. Place butter and cream cheese inside the bowl. I also crushed the pineapple by hand a little more. Add vanilla extract to the rest of the bowl. Blend the ingredients together until frosting is creamy.

Place a tablespoon or more of the frosting on every cookie and sandwich them together. Forget the calories. Eat salad for the next two days.

 

On the Side

I had a 10 a.m. appointment in Old Saybrook, and I wasn't ready for breakfast before I left the house. When my appointment was done, it was too late for breakfast and too early for lunch, so I drove around town for about 20 minutes, thinking about lunch.

I parked at Jack Rabbits, wanting their incredible sliders. The menu mostly consists of wings and apps, salads and hot dogs, but my favorites are the sliders, of which there are 14, each more incredible than the next. Three are about equal to one burger.

I ordered two Pepe La Pew (grilled apples, applewood-smoked bacon and brie) sliders and one Boston Burger (caramelized onions, bacon, American cheese and Magic sauce) sliders. Eating these sliders, about 1½ inches in diameter on perfectly sized buns, made my week amazingly happy. And I also took a Cobb salad to go, for my dinner at home.

Jack Rabbits and The Rabbit Hole (the latter serves alcohol)
254 Main St., Old Saybrook
(860) 510-0048
jackrabbitsct.com

 

Lee White lives in Groton. She can be reached at leeawhite@aol.com.

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