Carrots don't get enough credit. It's one ingredient that finds its way into many of the (random) homemade soups I throw together. I love baby carrots just by themselves or paired with hummus for a super delicious and still healthy snack. But probably my favorite carrot recipe has got to be carrot cake.
These cookies have all the goodness of a slice of carrot cake without all the fuss. What I mean is, sometimes you don't want or don't need to bake a whole cake. But these cookies have enough of a cake-like crumb and still get topped with just the right amount of cream cheese frosting that I think if you added a candle to the top, it would still feel like you're getting all the goodness of cake.
Not that I'm trying to dissuade you from baking cake. I would never! I'm just introducing you to some lovely cake cookies. 🙂
As I write this, these cookies are long gone, but man does this photo make me wish I still had a few left. I LOVE cream cheese frosting! It's so delicious and probably one of the easiest frostings to make.
1/2 cup softened butter
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
For the frosting:
4 oz. softened cream cheese
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup powdered sugar
up to 1 tablespoon milk
In a large mixing bowl, blend together the butter and sugar until well combine. Then stir in the egg and vanilla extract. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and spices. Now, in the larger mixing bowl (that already has the butter/sugar mixture) add the flour mixture, shredded carrots, and walnuts. Stir until just combined and a dough ball forms. Cover and refrigerate for at least two hours or up to two days.
In a bowl, combine the cream cheese and vanilla extract. Blend until combined. Now sift in the powdered sugar and blend to combine. If the mixture feels too thick, use up to one tablespoon milk to thin it to a consistency you like. I like my cream cheese frosting soft but still able to hold a shape when piped. 🙂 Cover and refrigerate until the cookies are ready.
Bake the cookies at 350°F for 14-15 minutes if you are baking them as cookies on a baking sheet, and 16-18 minutes if you are baking them in mini cast iron skillets.
Allow to cool for a few minutes before topping with frosting.
This will make enough frosting to lightly top all your cookies (no matter which size you made them), but it does not "generously" top them. All I mean is, when frosting an entire cake, I tend to coat the entire surface, and sometimes side of the cake, with frosting. For these cookies, we're looking just to add a good-sized dollop to the centers, like pictured. If you want more frosting, you could try doubling the frosting recipe above, but I personally think this is just the right amount. Happy baking! xo. Emma
Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.