Carrot Cookies

Carrot cake historically has been one of my "beware" foods. I fear the nutrition facts more than the most in depth horror film, because it is notoriously high-cal. I've played around with the recipe a few times, making the BEST Carrot Cupcakes ever (I am not even kidding), then reversing directions and making a raw vegan version. It took some time, but I've built up some trust with carrot cake. After all, I'm a dessert fanatic. I can't go excluding perfectly delectable options for caloric reasons, given that the idea of healthy sweets a pretty obvious oxymoron (even my raw cake had plenty of sugar, though I'll call it a step up, health-wise).

I was looking for, as always, a fresh idea, and since these were for my carrot-cake obsessed father, my mind rolled the dice a few times before landing on the concept of cookies.

Carrots and pecans just sound like a good combination, though I can't say I'd think to toss em together in your every day carrot scenario. Not every carrot cake has 'em. I did try a carrot souffle many moons ago that reminded me of a sweet potato casserole. Whipped carrots baked into a pie-esque structure were a total delight. I can say with certainty now that pecans would have topped that perfectly.

But that's besides the point. This recipe is a way to make carrot cake into a hand-held, almost wandering-around-the-fair form. It's just not as greasy as a deep fried Oreo, and significantly tidier. Basically, you won't have as many regrets an hour later.

This is essentially a chocolate chip cookie recipe with carrots and pecans instead of chocolate chips.

I threw the carrots and pecans into my food processor and pulsed it a few times to wind up with a well blended mixture that had the consistency of sand, then set it aside while I made the batter.

I made a basic cookie batter, then stirred in the carrot-pecan mixture in at the end like they were chocolate chips. I did say this would be easy.

These were perfect little flat carrot cakes. Rather than just frost the tops, I took it a step further and made cream filled cookie sandwiches. Oh yeah, like an oatmeal cookie on overdrive.

We already know that cream cheese and carrot cake are as good as chocolate and peanut butter. But in cookie form? You don't even need a fork! I didn't even bother trying to beautify these little guys - sometimes the natural look is the way to go. This Thanksgiving, change things up with the family and bring these bad boys to dinner...or maybe I need to get on sharing a pumpkin version? Who am I kidding? It's Thanksgiving. Do both.



For the cookies:
1 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups carrots, grated
1 cup chopped pecans

For the icing:
8 ounces cream cheese
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla


Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Place carrots and nuts in food processor and pulse until the mixture is a fine, sandy consistency. Beat butter and sugars until creamy. Add vanilla extract, then gradually add eggs. Mix flour, baking soda, ground cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt together in a small bowl. Slowly stir into butter and sugar mixture until combined. Mix in carrots and nuts. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until lightly browned.

For the frosting, let cream cheese soften slightly by sitting out for 5-10 minutes. Beat on high until creamy. Gradually mix in powdered sugar and stir in nutmeg and vanilla. Frost cookies as desired.

adapted from carrot cake cookies

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