So with summer finally upon us, we all have our beach bodies ready right?
Yeah, me too. Hard to even write that with a straight face let alone. With so many recipes out there to try and to taste, who needs the beach anyway when you can have CAKE!!!
Lol, but in all seriousness, as much as I love cake, sometimes it can be too filling. Most of us tend to have dessert after dinner and by that time, we are usually full. Cake can push you to the brink of that painful full ( you know where you ate too much and wish you had stopped two bites ago, but it was SOOOOOO good that you had to finish it).
With that feeling in mind, I went in search of an alternative solution to my current desire for carrot cake. My mother has been working on growing a vegetable garden and has been giving me all of the fruits of her labor. With tons of squash, zucchini, pumpkins, etc…, I wanted to try to make something that would incorporate them into my love of baking.
Now most people will turn to zucchini bread when vegetables and baking are involved, but I though how about carrot cake……….. but with a twist: Carrot Cake Cookies.
I went out searching and found a recipe that provided me exactly what I wanted to satisfy my current craving and boy did it. These cookies were phenomenal! A perfect combination of carrots, walnuts, raisins, and yumminess. Not too heavy or overly sweet; they were just the perfect summer cookie to enjoy despite the heat. I advice you to forget the beach and get to crackin in the kitchen asap!!!
Carrot Cake Cookies
Prep Time: 45 min
Cook Time: 16-20 min
Makes approximately 18 cookies
1 bag of shredded carrots (10 oz)*
1/4 c granulated sugar plus 1/2 c
1/4 c salt
2 c all-purpose flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 c (packed) light brown sugar
2 sticks (12 tbsp) unsalted butter (melted and cooled)
1 large egg plus 1 large yolk
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 3/4 c chopped walnuts
3/4 c raisins*
6 tbsp unsalted butter (softened)
1 1.2 c confectioners’ sugar
6 ounces cream cheese (softened)
1 tsp vanilla extract
FOR THE COOKIES:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper
3. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the carrots, granulated sugar, and 1/2 tsp salt. Toss and set them to the side for 30 min. After 30 min, place carrots in the middle of a clean dish towel (not a paper towel) and twist to form a bundle, squeezing out the remaining liquid (roughly 1/4 of liquid should come out)
4. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg and 1/2 tsp of salt. In a separate medium-sized bowl, whisk together brown sugar, melted butter, egg and yolk, vanilla, and remaining 1/2 c granulated sugar until fully combined
5. Stir wet mixture into dry mixture until fully combined. Stir in carrots, walnuts, and raisins if desired
6. Make roughly 2 tbsp sized balls of dough, staggering them among the cooking sheet (about 8 per sheet). Using your fingers, lightly press the cookies to an even 3/4 in thickness
7. Bake 16-20 min until edges are set and golden brown. If trays are staggered on different levels, switch positions halfway through cooking time
8. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes before transferring to wire rack to allow to cool completely prior to frosting
1. Using either a stand mixer with paddle attachment or a hand mixer, beat butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, roughly 2 minutes. Add cream cheese and continue to beat until fully incorporated. Add vanilla extract and blend until smooth
2. Spread about 1 tsp of frosting over the tops of the cooled cookie and sprinkle with additional walnuts if desired
*I decided to use pre-shredded carrots rather than grating my own to save time. The original recipe from Cook’s Country uses non-prepped carrots and requires additional time for shredding as well as an adjustment to the carrot prep ingredients to remove the excess moisture.
* I also chose to use regular raisins versus golden raisins (personally preference)
**Cookies can be layered between parchment sheets and stored for up to 2 days