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Carrot Cake Cookies

Chewy Carrot Cake Cookies with warm spices, freshly grated carrots, a hint of vanilla and rich butter. Topped with classic cream cheese frosting made with butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Make for Easter and springtime holidays.
Course Dessert
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 16 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 1 minute
Servings 35 -40

Ingredients

For the Carrots

  • 12 ounces carrots , peeled and shredded (2 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For the Cookie Dough

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour + plus more if needed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter , melted and cooled
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

For the Frosting

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter , softened
  • 1 + 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar (powdered sugar)
  • 6 ounces cream cheese , cut into 4 pieces, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

Instructions

  • Peel carrots and grate them on a cheese grater. In a medium bowl, toss carrots with 1 teaspoon sugar + 1/2 teaspoon salt. Allow carrots to sit for 30 minutes. This step will remove extra liquid to ensure a chewy center. Place carrots in center of dish towel or use hands to wring extra liquid out. Liquid should amount to at least 1/4 cup, mine was 1/3 cup; set liquid aside.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
  • In a bowl fit with a mixer, combine melted butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, egg and egg yolk and vanilla extract. Beat until combined. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg. Pour dry ingredients into wet ingredients. Mix just until combined.
  • Slowly beat/stir in drained carrots and nuts.
  • **If mixture is too clumpy and dry, fold in a tablespoon at a time of carrot juice.
  • **If mixture is too wet, fold in a tablespoon of flour at a time.
  • Scoop about 1 + 1/2 tablespoon - 2 tablespoons cookie dough onto baking sheet. Bake in oven for 16-19 minutes. *See notes if first batch of cookies are flat.
  • Allow to cool for a few minutes. Place on cookie rack to cool.

To make the frosting

  • Beat softened butter and confectioners' sugar for 3-5 minutes. Beat in 1/4 softened cream cheese at a time. Beat in vanilla extract. Beat for an additional 2 minuets.
  • Frost each cookie and top with chopped pecans or walnuts.

Notes

*Cookie dough can be made without a mixer and stirred by hand.
**Carrots can be drained with a dishtowel or by squeezing between clean hands. Reserve liquid for later, if needed.
***Melted and cooled butter refers to butter that is melted and slightly cooled. It should read between 85-95 degrees F.
******If mixture is too clumpy and dry, fold in a tablespoon at a time of carrot juice. Alternatively, if mixture is too wet, fold in a tablespoon of flour at a time.
NOTE - If cookies come out flat, bake for less time or add more flour!