Carrot Cake Cookies


This effort all began with a need to take a break from making everything with chocolate—even my therapist noticed my fondness for the stuff. A co-worker mentioned she saw a recipe for carrot cake thumbprint cookies by Martha Stewart in some magazine, I googled, and here we are.

I immediately omitted the raisins (because raisins are gross), apricot jam (because I’m not 70), and substituted a cream cheese frosting (because it’s better). What the recipe didn’t call for was someone who can’t tell the difference between 1.5″ and 2″. Fortunately, all the omissions, substitutions, and lack of spatial awareness resulted in one of my favorite cookies to date. It’s right up there with the Dutch Cocoa Sugar Cookies that have been my #1 for quite some time.  These things are downright fantastic.

For the cookie (Thanks for nothing, Martha!)

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup packed finely grated carrots
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins, chopped NEVER!
  • 3/4 cup pecans, finely chopped

For the cream cheese frosting

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick), room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar

DIRECTIONS (makes 12)

For the cookies

  1. In medium bowl, whisk together flour, ginger, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.
  2. Use a hand mixer set on medium to mix together butter, sugars, and egg yolk until smooth.
  3. Add flour mixture and mix until just combined.
  4. Add oats and carrots and mix until combined.
  5. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes – 1 hour.
  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  7. Roll 2″ balls of dough in the pecans and place on baking sheet about 3 inches apart.
  8. Bake for 12 minutes, remove from oven, and, using the back of spoon, press an indentation in the middle of each cookie.
  9. Return to oven and bake for another 12 – 15 minutes.
  10. Remove from oven and transfer to a wire to completely cool.

For the frosting

  1. Using a hand mixer, beat together cream cheese, butter, and vanilla until completely smooth.
  2. Add half the confectioners’ sugar, mix until smooth, add the second half, and (no surprises here) mix until smooth.

Cookie construction

  1. Pipe (you can use a spoon too) roughly 1.5 tablespoons of the frosting into the center of each cookie.
  2. Eat cookies.
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