Carrot Cake Cookies

ByWendy Monro

I don’t know what happened to me. I never used to like desserts. Then, I started liking cupcakes. That was the beginning of my downfall. My new love for cupcakes led me to the carrot cake cupcake, which is my absolute favorite cupcake. Now, I love anything carrot cake. If I see carrot cake muffins, cookies, cupcakes or just plain old carrot cake, I have to order it. I don’t even care how big my meal was before the dessert. I need to have the carrot cake if it is offered. I cannot pass it up. Well, carrot cake or anything red velvet. It has a lot to do with the cream cheese frosting, which is the standard for both of these desserts.

This week, being in the Christmas spirit, Daphne and I decided to make cookies to hand out to our friends for the holidays. I haven’t done this for years. I asked her to look up some good recipes. She came back with the carrot cake cookie. I thought that was the sweetest thing ever. I knew she was thinking of me. She knows I cannot resist carrot cake anything. I also knew that these cookies wouldn’t all be given as gifts. She and I would be partaking in the consumption of these little goodies. I became excited. As a side note, I have eaten at least two a day since we made them. They are so delicious. I like to put them in the microwave for ten seconds to soften them to perfection. It’s a delicate balance to make certain not to over microwave. I have it down to a science now.

However, I digress and I must get back to the baking of these delightful treats. So, off we went to the store. Daphne wanted to make a vegan version of the cookies. I wanted to make a full butter and fat version just because I want to fatten up my friends for the holidays. I am going to give you the recipes for both because to tell the truth, they both turned out great. Seriously, the vegan version was very delicious and if you are trying not to put on the holiday weight or are watching your cholesterol, this would be the better heart healthy option for you and your friends. I have to admit, when they are side-by-side in the refrigerator, I keep reaching for the butter version. So, if you want the healthier variety, don’t make both. It is just too difficult to be good every time. It’s better not to give yourself the option.

I love the cream cheese frosting. I know I have mentioned this before, but I felt it needed to be reiterated. This is my absolute favorite type of frosting on any cake. Is it because it has cheese in it? I am pretty obsessed with cheese. I think it is because it is so creamy and scrumptious. It’s sweet but doesn’t taste too sugary. I don’t know. Maybe my love of cream cheese frosting will just be a mystery, a sweet creamy delicious mystery.

You’ll notice, in the photo, that some of the cookies have frosting drizzled delicately over them while others are just piled on in a big mess. Mine are the messy ones. This is not only because I am no good at being crafty. This is because I wanted much more frosting than a drizzle would produce. Daphne’s vegan cookies are the beautifully drizzled version. These cookies are so quick and easy to make. I am sure most of you will be able to do the drizzle like Daphne and make them look beautiful. I don’t know why I am no good at making treats look pretty. I really need to work on this.

Carrot Cake Cookies: (Vegan version is the option in parentheses)

Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 16 cookies

1 cup butter, softened (vegan: 1 cup coconut oil, no butter)

1 cup brown sugar

½ cup sugar

2 eggs (vegan: 2 bananas, no eggs)

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 ½ cup flour

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 ½ cup flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup shredded carrots

½ cup unsweetened coconut, shredded

½ cup raisins

2 cups oats

Cream Cheese Frosting:

1 cup powdered sugar

1 ounce cream cheese (vegan: vegan cream cheese)

1 tablespoon milk (vegan: soy or almond milk)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, mix together the butter (or coconut oil) and sugars. Add eggs (or bananas) and beat until incorporated. Add vanilla and beat. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Slowly, add the dry ingredients to the wet until combined. Stir in the carrots, coconut, raisins and oats. Spoon onto the baking sheet into one-inch rounds. Bake for 13 minutes. Let cool before adding the icing. Beat together the cream cheese, powdered sugar, milk and vanilla until combined. Drizzle over each cookie.

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