Carrot Cake Cookies

Curious about the cookies in my holiday product shots this year? They may look like some kind of oatmeal chip cookie, but they're actually carrot cake cookies. Genius. And delicious! Stomach-ache because you've eaten six in one day delicious! They seriously taste like you're eating a mini carrot cake, especially when you do them up proper, sandwiched with cream cheese icing. Plus, with oats, carrots and raisins, you could almost pass these off for healthy.

The recipe is adapted from Martha Stewart's version in Cookies. You can also find the recipe online here. We used fresh carrots we had just pulled up from our garden. A part of me thinks they were extra good on account of our carrots. We didn't have raisins, so we cut up some dates and soaked them in Maltese honey liquor. Because we're fancy like that. We didn't have ground ginger, so we put in a pinch of all spice, but I doubt that made any difference. For the icing, I used delicious cream cheese from the farmer's market (way better than Philadelphia) and also added about a quarter-cup more icing sugar to the icing, because I don't like icing that tastes too cheesy.

Ok. On with the recipe, already!

Carrot Cake Cookies

1 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 1/2 cups finely grated carrots (about 3 large carrots)
1 cup raisins (or dates)

Cream Cheese Frosting:
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, room temperature
1 cup icing sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. In an electric mixer beat sugars and butter until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla, and beat on medium speed until well combined.

2. In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger; stir to combine. Gradually add flour to butter mixture; mix on a low speed until just blended. Mix in oats, carrots, and raisins. Chill dough in refrigerator until firm, at least 1 hour.

3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Shape tablespoons of dough into balls and place on prepared baking sheets, leaving 2 inches between cookies.

4. Bake until browned and crisped, rotating pan halfway through baking to ensure even color, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

5. Place cream cheese in a mixing bowl. Using a rubber spatula, beat cream cheese until smooth. Gradually add butter and continue beating until smooth and well blended. Sift in icing sugar and continue beating until smooth. Add vanilla and stir to combine.

6. Once cooled completely, spread about 2 teaspoons of cream-cheese filling onto a cookie. Sandwich together with a second cookie. Repeat with remaining cookies. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.

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