Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Carrot Cake Cookies

I love carrot cake. For some reason I always really want it around Easter. Maybe it's a subconscious thing with seeing all the Easter bunnies that gets me craving carrots. Who knows! This year was no different. I been craving a piece  hunk of carrot cake. Although as much as I really do adore carrot cake, the recipe I usually use makes an enormous cake. Not necessarily a bad thing if you've got a big family, or are entertaining a crowd, or don't mind eating only carrot cake for a week. Actually I could probably do the last one, my pants, not so much though! Anyway since it is just hubs and me, and he'll only eat a couple slices, and I do want to zip my pants, I thought I try these carrot cake cookies. They had everything I love in carrot cake; nuts, raisins, carrots, and cream cheese frosting. The original frosting recipe mixes cream cheese and honey together for the frosting, but I decided to use the cream cheese frosting I use on my cake for the cookies. I mean really, it's the cream cheese frosting that has you licking the plate with carrot cake, right?
I was really happy with  these cookies, they really did taste a lot like a traditional carrot cake. I got my carrot cake fix and didn't have to eat 75 percent of a cake to do it!

Carrot Cake Cookies
(printable recipe)
Source: Gourmet,  April 2004 (adapted)
1 1/8 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt 
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup coarsely grated carrots (2 medium)
1 scant cup walnuts (3 ounces), chopped
1/2 cup raisins 
Put oven racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly grease a baking sheet or line with parchment paper.
Whisk together flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt in a bowl.
Beat together butter, sugars, egg, and vanilla in a bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Mix in carrots, nuts, and raisins at low speed, then add flour mixture and beat until just combined. 

Drop 1 1/2 tablespoons batter per cookie 2 inches apart on baking sheets and bake, switching position of sheets halfway through baking, until cookies are lightly browned and springy to the touch, 12 to 16 minutes total. Cool cookies on sheets on racks 1 minute, then transfer cookies to racks to cool completely.
While cookies are baking, make the cream cheese frosting.
Ice the tops of the cookies with cream cheese frosting and sprinkle with chopped nuts or sandwich flat sides of cookies together with a generous tablespoon of cream cheese frosting in between.
On some of the cookies I just iced the tops. Either way is yummy!
Cream Cheese Frosting
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
8 oz. cream cheese
3 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
With an electric mixer, mix together the butter and cream cheese , until very smooth. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.  Add the vanilla extract and the powdered sugar, mix until smooth.


MegSmith @ Cooking.In.College said...

Carrot cake and Easter really do go hand-in-hand. I am definitely making something like this on Sunday! It's a must and these are too cute to pass up.

Hanne said...

Forgive me if I sound silly, but I have never baked with grated carrots before -- do you peel the carrots before grating them, or is it ok to leave the skin on?

Half Baked said...

Hanne, I always peel them but it would probably be fine no to peel them. Whichever you prefer.

Helene said...

That is something that I should try. I always bake carrot cake but never cookies. Yum!

mitzi said...

Great idea! Those will be served at my house Sunday. I also do carrot cake cupcakes--easy to transport and not as messy as the whole cake. Great post!

Lynn said...

I have altitude issues and can't make cakes so I can't wait to try these cookies! I was going to make a fairly formal and fancy Easter dinner, but am now trending towards a more casual meal. This would make a great ending. Thanks!

bellini said...

Small is good if you don't want to tempted by an entire carrot cake with cream cheese frosting:D

Comfy Cook said...

This is a great idea. A cake is too much for us, also and these are adorable. How to get kids to eat carrots.

blkenigma888 said...

omg these are so cute I have a themed linky party going on at my blog and I'd like to invite you to stop by and link up your themed treat! This week's theme is strawberries! Can't wait!

grace said...

you absolutely can't go wrong when the flavors of carrot cake are involved, particularly if cream cheese frosting is also involved. and let's be honest--carrot cake is nothing without cream cheese frosting. lick the plate clean indeed! :)