When I was growing up, my mother made us carrot cake: she would take a box of Duncan Hines or Betty Crocker cake mix, grate up a bunch of carrots, and add it to the mix. (My mother, an expert cook of Korean dishes, never really bothered to learn how to cook anything else, let alone desserts, which she saw as unhealthy).
She was so thrilled at the concept of “adding fiber and vitamins” to a cake, that she began adding grated carrots to ANY cake mix. THAT–became my idea of carrot cake. It wasn’t bad. But it wasn’t the carrot cake that the rest of the world knows and loves.
Now I can make all the “real” carrot cake I want–and when I feel like just a bite of carrot cake, these carrot cake cookies are just perfect! Every little bite gives you that combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, carrot, raisin and cream cheese frosting (never will you suffer from a bite of carrot cake WITHOUT the delectable and rich cream cheese frosting).
I’m making these for a company party tomorrow night (I volunteered to bring desserts). But of course, I couldn’t wait–I snuck one for myself just now.
Recipe follows after the jump….
Carrot Cake Cookies
From Martha Stewart Living
Makes about 25 sandwiches
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 1/2 cups finely grated carrots (about 3 large carrots)
1 cup raisins
Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe below)
1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line two baking sheets with Silpat baking mats or parchment paper, and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine sugars and butter; beat until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla, and beat on medium speed until well combined.
2. In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder,
salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger; stir to combine. Gradually add flour to butter mixture; mix on a low speed until just blended. Mix in oats, carrots, and raisins. Chill dough in refrigerator until firm, at least 1 hour.
3. Using a 1/2-ounce ice-cream scoop, scoop dough onto prepared baking sheets, leaving 2 inches between cookies. Transfer to oven, and bake until browned and crisped, rotating pan halfway through baking to ensure even color, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Repeat baking process with remaining dough. Once cooled completely, use an offset spatula to spread about 2 teaspoons of cream-cheese filling onto a cookie. Sandwich together with a second cookie. Repeat with remaining cookies. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.
Cream Cheese Frosting
Makes about 2 cups
Use this to frost Carrot Cake Cookies and Cupcakes with Cream Cheese
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, room
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1. Place cream cheese in a medium mixing bowl. Using a rubber spatula, soften cream cheese. Gradually add butter, and continue beating until smooth and well blended. Sift in confectioners’ sugar, and continue beating until smooth. Add vanilla, and stir to combine.