I currently have a carrot problem at my house. We received several bags of beautiful, fresh, local carrots from our CSA over the past couple of weeks, and I’ve been sorely neglecting them.
My husband eats just about everything, but carrots are probably his least favorite vegetable. I actually have to scold him into finishing his carrots sometimes; I guess I should make it my mission to discover some more interesting and delicious carrot recipes to sneak them past him! Not today, though. Today I made cookies.
These carrot cake cookies are killer on their own, and only get better when sandwiched with honeyed cream cheese. While I was preparing the batter, I realized that I was out of both raisins and walnuts (both of which were included in the original recipe), which is shocking because I generally keep my baking pantry very well-stocked.
Anyway, I happened to have some currants, which are basically baby raisins, and some hazelnuts (left over from my Hazelnut Chocolate Chip Loaf). I think the substitutions worked extremely well, and would definitely make them this way again. If you’d rather use raisins and walnuts, feel free to use whichever you have in your pantry.
The cookies are soft and tender and totally reminiscent of a really great carrot cake. They gain a little bit of texture from the currants and nuts, and the plentiful shredded carrots help keep them moist. I loooooove cream cheese frosting on anything – cakes, cookies, a spoon, my finger…. The honey adds just the right amount of sweetness here, and slathering the frosting between two carrot cake cookies results in an exceptionally delicious dessert or tea-time treat.
The number of sandwiches you get depends on the size of your cookies. I made mine rather large, so the recipe below gave me 16 cookies and therefore 8 sandwiches. You could definitely make them smaller and end up with more pairs, just make sure you adjust the baking time accordingly.
This recipe was a perfect use for (some of) my carrots, and my husband happily ate most of the batch with absolutely no scolding or shaming necessary.
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon coarse salt
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ⅓ cup + 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
- ⅓ cup + 2 tablespoons white sugar
- 1 egg
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup grated carrots
- 1 cup chopped hazelnuts (or walnuts)
- ⅓ cup currants (or raisins)
- 1 package cream cheese
- ¼ cup honey
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Butter or spray a large cookie sheet and set aside.
- In a bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter, brown sugar and white sugar together until creamy. Beat in egg and vanilla until pale and fluffy. At low speed, stir in carrots, nuts and currants. Add flour mixture and mix just until combined.
- Drop batter by the tablespoon onto cookie sheet, leaving 1-2 inches between cookies. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until browned on the bottom and lightly springy when tapped on top. Cool cookies on sheet for 1 minute, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Blend cream cheese and honey with a hand mixer (or in a food processor) until smooth.
- Once cookies have cooled, spread a generous tablespoon of filling on the flat side of half of the cookies and top with remaining cookies. Will keep covered in the refrigerator for 1-2 days.
Source: Adapted from Gourmet Today (Inside-Out Carrot Cake Cookies recipe)