Carrot Cake Cookies

These are kind of like carrot cake whoopie pies, and since they’re quite literally made from carrots, you’re getting a serving of vegetables for the day!  Add to that the fact that there’s orange rind in here as well (fruits!), this is by far the healthiest thing I’ve ever made.

While your nutritionist may not entirely agree with that assessment, I don’t care.  If I’m going to eat vegetables and fruits, then I damn well want the credit for eating vegetables and fruits.

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So, eat lots – you’ll thank me later.

Ingredients

Cookies

·        2 cups shredded carrot

·        2/3 cup dark brown sugar, divided

·        2 T butter, softened to room temperature

·        2 T vegetable oil

·        1 t grated orange rind (See – fruit too!!  Could this be more healthy????)

·        ½ t vanilla

·        1 egg, brought to room temperature

·        1 cup flour

·        1 t cinnamon

·        ¼ t salt

·        ¼ t baking soda

Filling

·        4 oz cream cheese, softened to room temperature

·        2 T butter, softened to room temperature

·        ½ t vanilla

·        ¼ t salt

·        1 cup powdered sugar

Directions

First off, mix together the shredded carrot and 3 T of the brown sugar so that all the carrot shreds are covered.

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Interesting tidbit here – we do this not necessarily to sweeten the carrots (there’s plenty of other sweet in this recipe), but to tenderize them.   When you cook a carrot cake, it bakes for something like an hour, which gives the carrots time to soften.  But with cookies, which are much smaller, they only bake for 10-12 minutes or so, so you need to tenderize them otherwise they’ll be crunchy, which we don’t want.  No one wants al dente cookies.

Leave the carrots and sugar for about 10 minutes.  After that, some of the moisture will seep from the carrots, so I’d recommend putting them on some paper towels after the 10 minutes to dry them a bit, since we don’t want the liquid.

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Next, in a bowl put the 2 tablespoons of butter along with the vegetable oil, orange rind, vanilla and egg.

IMG_1053Whisk that until it’s well combined (you don’t need to use a mixer).  Set aside.

In a separate large bowl whisk together the flour, the rest of the brown sugar, cinnamon, salt and baking soda.  Add in the carrots along with the butter mixture and stir everything until it’s just combined.  Don’t use a hand mixer for this – it’s a mess.  The carrots are too stringy and will just clog up the beaters.  It’ll take a while because everything is kind of goopy, but you have to use good old fashioned elbow grease.

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Place the batter in tablespoon-sized drops on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper and bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes, or until they’re slightly brown on the bottom.  Note – try to make the cookies as uniform in size as you can, since you’re going to be making sandwich cookies out of them.

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Take them out of the oven and let them sit on the cookie sheets for a couple minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.

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The filling is super simple.  Put all the ingredients except the powdered sugar (cream cheese, butter, vanilla, salt) into a bowl and mix with a hand mixer until it’s nice and fluffy – assume a couple minutes.  Then, add in the powdered sugar and beat again for another minute until everything is well combined.

Take the icing, put a blob on the bottom side of one cookie and take another cookie and make it a sandwich and you.  Are.  Done!

IMG_1063Couple things to note – these are pretty rich so you won’t be able to/want to eat too too many of them.  Which is a good thing because depending on how big you make the cookies, the recipe only makes about 10 of them.  You can easily double up everything if you want more.

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