Cashew Butter Cookies and Carrot Cake Cookies

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My new office is having a cookie exchange tomorrow and I decided to try two new recipes for the occasion.  Nick and I went to stay with my parents this weekend and he helped me bake them in between decorating the Christmas tree and drinking hot spiced wine.

The first recipe is from Martha Stewart and can be found on her website.  The cookies call for two and a half cups of cashews which are used to make a delicious cashew butter for the batter.  A portion is also added coarsely chopped to the batter which created a lovely texture.  The only change I made to these cookies was to omit the caramel sauce.  Oddly, the grocery stores near my parent's house happened to be completely out of caramel candies. 

These cookies were fantastic.  I will definitely be making them again.  I think the caramel sauce would be an excellent complement to these cookies and I hope to try it next time around.

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The second recipe, Carrot Cake Sandwich Cookies, is also from Martha Stewart and can also be found on her website.  I was less thrilled with the results of this recipe.  The cookies were soft and cakey, I believe too cakey to be called a cookie.  They fell apart at the slightest touch.  However, the flavor was nice and they filled the house with a wonderful aroma while baking. 

I would do two things differently if I were to bake these again.  First, I would make the cookies much smaller.  They expand quite a bit while baking which makes for an even more unruly sandwich.  Secondly, I would recommend you ignore the recipe that is provided for the Cream Cheese Frosting filling. The cookies themselves already call for two sticks of butter.  Adding a third to the filling is not only a bit excessive, but makes for both a poor texture and taste.  Simply combining cream cheese, confectioner's sugar, and vanilla would created the perfect filling.  The zing from the cream cheese that we all love in cream cheese frosting would not be muted by the butter and the resulting texture would create a more secure sandwich.

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