Lightly crunchy on the outside but soft and flaky in the middle, these cookies are full of flavor and colorful fun. Topped with a lightly sweetened cream cheese frosting, these cookies are a must try for carrot cake and cookie lovers alike. What a great treat these cookies are to share with your family and friends during Easter and throughout spring.
Carrot Cake Cookies
Prep and bake time: 1 hour / Makes 2 dozen
2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 large egg
3/4 cup unsalted butter, cubed
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup raisins or dried cranberries
1 1/2 cups carrots, finely grated
1/3 cup pecans, chopped
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp orange zest
- Prep your baking sheets with parchment paper before getting started on the cookies and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350°
- Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl; flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.
- Using cold butter, cut butter into small cubes and beat with an electric mixer for a minute. Add both brown and white sugar and continue to beat until light and fluffy.
- Crack large egg into a small ramekin, watching for egg shell pieces, then add the egg, vanilla extract and orange zest to the light and fluffy butter mixture. Beat ingredients until combined.
- Add dry ingredients one cup at a time, until combined, I usually use a wooden spoon to mix at this point.
- Stir in raisins or dried cranberries, pecans and carrots. Using a scoop, drop balls of dough onto the prepared cookie sheets and flatten slightly.
- Bake at 350º for 15-17 minutes or just until tops are golden. Cool on a wire rack. Once cooled, pipe cream cheese frosting on top and enjoy!
For those of you who like some spice, add 1/3 cup chopped crystallized ginger.
Cream Cheese Frosting
Prep and decorating time: 40 minutes / makes enough for 2 dozen
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 8oz package cream cheese, room temperature
2 – 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- Start by prepping ingredients as listed. The butter and cream cheese should be room temperature. Sift powdered sugar into a separate bowl and set aside.
- Using an electric mixer, butter until whipped in appearance, then add in cream cheese and continue to beat until light and fluffy, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary.
- I like to add in the vanilla extract before adding the powdered sugar, this way I can gauge my perfect consistency and sweetness appropriately.
- Add in the powdered sugar about a cup at a time, beating until the frosting is smooth and creamy.
- Using a pastry piping bag or a plastic baggie (which is what I used here by clipping the edge of my baggie) fill bag with frosting and pipe design unto each cookie.
If you prefer your cream cheese frosting not over sweet and a little tangy, I suggest using 2 cups of powdered sugar. Otherwise, use the full 2 1/2 cups sugar. Allow cookies to be completely cool before decorating with frosting. These cookies can be kept in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up-to one week.