If You Love Carrot Cake, Get Ready for a Platter of These Cookies
2024/03/04

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Lovers of , behold: Your favorite is even better transformed into a homemade cookie! Less intimidating than baking  and a whole lot easier to pack up and carry to the big , these bite-sized beauties taste just like the real thing. While you typically have to wait until to taste a slice of nutty carrot cake with cream cheese frosting, you can now get your fix any time of year with these. And the best part is that these scrumptious can be baked and frozen, so you can get your fill quickly any time a craving strikes!

What are the origins of carrot cake?

Rich with natural sugars, carrots were often used in desserts and baked goods in England during World War II when sugar was rationed.

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American bakers soon caught on and carrot cake became a popular wedding cake in the 1970s.

What's the texture of carrot cake cookies?

These cookies are soft and perfectly caky, just like traditional carrot cake. The carrot and toasted walnuts provide a little crunch in every bite.

Can you use pre-shredded carrots in this recipe?

Although it can be tempting to reach for a bag of pre-shredded carrots, we recommend grating fresh carrots for these cookies! Grated fresh carrots have a higher water content and will yield cookies that are more moist and tender. With that being said, you'll want to pat the carrots dry before combining them with the other ingredients so they don't add 

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much moisture to the dough. To make grating carrots easy, use a with the grating blade attached. Otherwise, grate the carrots on the small holes of your box grater.

Can you make carrot cake cookies ahead of time?

You bet! The cookies can be baked, cooled, and frozen in a zip-up freezer bag up to a month, then thawed for two hours. Top them with the frosting and toasted walnuts or orange jimmy sprinkles just before serving.

What kind of icing goes on carrot cake cookies?

Just like the classic cake, these cookies are topped with none other than tangy, luscious cream cheese frosting. Because there's dairy in the frosting, you'll need to refrigerate any leftover frosted cookies.

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However, if you're purposefully making the cookies a day ahead, we recommend storing the baked, un-iced cookies at room temperature and waiting until just before serving to frost them. Refrigerating cookies can cause them to dry out.

1 c.

salted butter, softened

1 c.

light brown sugar 

1/2 c.

granulated sugar

2

large eggs, at room temperature

2 tsp.

vanilla extract

2 1/2 c.

all-purpose flour

1 tbsp.

ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp.

ground ginger

1 tsp.

baking powder

1/2 tsp.

baking soda

1/4 tsp.

salt

2 1/2 c.

finely grated fresh carrot (from about 6 medium carrots), patted dry

1 c.

chopped toasted walnuts

8 oz.

cream cheese, softened

1/2 c.

unsalted butter, softened

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1 lb.

powdered sugar

1 1/2 tsp.

vanilla extract

Orange jimmy sprinkles or chopped toasted walnuts, for sprinkling

Step  1 For the cookies: Preheat the oven to 350°F with oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.  Step  2 In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar on medium speed until pale and creamy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs and vanilla. Beat until well combined, stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl, as needed.  Step  3 In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, ground ginger, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

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Gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture with the mixer on low. Beat until well combined, about 1 minute. Stir in the carrots and walnuts.  Step  4 Using a 1 3/4-inch cookie scoop, drop leveled spoonfuls (about 1 1/2 tablespoons each) of the dough onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing at least 2 inches apart. Bake 2 pans at a time, rotating halfway through cooking, until the cookies are lightly browned around the edges, 14 to 16 minutes total. Cool the cookies on the pans for 3 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely, about 30 minutes. Repeat with the remaining cookies.

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Step  5 For the frosting: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter on medium speed until smooth, about 3 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, add the powdered sugar and vanilla, beating until combined. Increase the speed to medium and beat until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Step  6 Dollop a spoonful of frosting on the top of each cookie and spread all over the top. Sprinkle with orange jimmy sprinkles or chopped toasted walnuts, if you like. 

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