Happy Mother's Day to all the Mothers, Grandmothers, Caretakers out there. I thought today was the perfect day to leave you with a recipe for lactation sandwich cookies, or as my friend likes to call them: Mama's Milk Moon pies. Being a Mom is hard work, especially for a new Mom. (My kids can at least say thank you or I love you with a sloppy hug. That's them in all their face painted glory.) These cookies are for the new Mom, although you definitely don't have to be lactating to enjoy them.
I know when I was freshly minted as a Mom, it would have been so nice to have a portable snack – something that was yummy but full of really good food; something that helped with milk production, but also packed a caloric punch for those times when you were so hungry from nursing that the thought of gnawing your arm off while you sat, trapped, didn't seem that crazy. Just me? Ok, maybe that is a bit of an exaggeration (just a bit). Still, I would have loved if someone had made these for me, especially in the beginning. I mean, with all the yogurt and fruits and veggies in these – an argument could be made that these are good for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or dessert. ;) They are really a Mom's catch all food treat.
Mama's Moon Pies (shortening all ready, what can I say… lazy) – are soft, packed with spice, filled with a cream cheese filling and full of fantastically good food. They are based on the Groaning cake that I posted a while back but in more portable, individual sized, portions. When you are walking around half asleep, I figure the less you need to do to eat these is a bonus.
These cookies aren't difficult to make, but they are a bit of a labor of love. Veggies need to be grated and drained. The actual ingredient list is long and a couple of the spices you may need to take a special trip to a natural foods store or order online. Fenugreek, in particular, isn't a huge part of an American diet unless you are a lactating Mom! The other tricky - Spelt flour - adds a great flavor, but if you only have whole wheat flour, I'm sure they would be just fine without it.
The apples and zucchini can be really juicy. I found it took a whole medium apple and about half a carrot and half a zucchini to get the amount that I needed. They certainly needed a good squeeze or two. You want them to be pretty dry before adding them to the mix.
I'm not gonna lie, much like other parts of motherhood, it looks pretty gross coming all together. Luckily the flour tames it a bit and it all turns out ok.
See, all good once baked. Don't they look healthy too? And apparently tasty seeing as one of them has a bite taken out of it in the back. Oops. You'll see, these are a bit addictive. You've been warned.
I found piping the filling to be the fastest way to go, but a dollop with a spoon would work too. The cookies have a bit of a handmade, homemade quality to them so don't stress overly much. After they are all done, I like to wrap them individually. They keep fresher that way and the cookies may stick a bit if you lean them next to each other.
I hope you guys enjoy these as much as I have. Make them for the new Mom in your life. She deserves it. ;) Happy Mother's Day!!!
Mama's Moon Pies
These lactation sandwich cookies are my version of the new mom lactation cake gone portable. They are soft, delicious and addictive. Full of lots of healthy food, they are good for you too. You don't have to be a new mom to enjoy them, although it helps!'
- 1/2 cup (approx 4oz) grated green apple
- 1/2 cup (approx 2oz) grated carrot
- 1/2 cup (approx 3oz) grated zucchini
- 1 1/2 cups (180g) whole wheat flour
- 1 1/2 cups (180g) spelt flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon ground fennel seeds
- 1 teaspoon ground fenugreek
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter (softened)
- 3/4 cup (252g) honey
- 2 tablespoons (47g) molasses
- 4 large eggs
- 1/3 cup (76g) whole milk greek yogurt
- 1/3 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup (1.5oz) unsweetened grated coconut
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
- 2 8oz packages cream cheese (softened)
- 6 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
2. Line cookie sheets with parchment or sil pads.
3. Finely grate the apple, zucchini and carrot and allow them to drain in a strainer over a bowl. Give them a squeeze or two to get the excess liquid out. Set aside to drain.
4. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices. Set aside.
5. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter until light and fluffy. Add the honey and molasses and beat until fully incorporated. It will look almost like caramel.
6. Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping between additions. Add yogurt, milk, and grated coconut. Make sure as much as the liquid is out of the carrot mixture, then add them to the egg mixture and mix well.
7. Add the flour/spice mixture to the wet mixture in two additions, fold gently until the flour is just incorporated, being careful not to overmix. If using the walnuts, fold them in here.
8. Using a #40 cookie scoop (about 1.5 tablespoons) scoop cookies onto prepared cookie sheets about 2 in apart (cookies will spread to about 2.75" in size). You should have just enough dough for about 48 cookies. Bake the cookies for 10 minutes or until they are golden brown and the top springs back when lightly pressed. Allow the cookies to cool in the pans for 5 minutes and then transfer to racks to cool completely.
9. While the cookies cool, make the filing. Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the room temperature cream cheese until smooth. Add the maple syrup and the vanilla and mix until incorporated.
10. Once the cookies are completely cool, match up the cookies in pairs that fit well together. Using a pastry bag or a large spoon, spread some of the filling onto one of the cookies in each pair and then place the other cookie on top to make a sandwich. These cookies keep best if individually wrapped.Once filled, cookies will keep in the fridge for about a week or two.