Carrot Cookies

Here’s a quick weekend baking project that will satisfy any craving for cake: cute little carrot cake sandwich cookies, complete with a cream cheese filling. These little gems are easy to make and have the same luscious flavors of a regular carrot cake. I had in mind something completely different for this post, but my special ingredient, which I mail-ordered earlier this week, did not arrive. So I’ll leave you to wonder what I might be cooking up in the next few days, and enjoy these sweet treats in the meantime.

Carrot Cookie Sandwiches with Cream Cheese Filling
(from the “Blue-Eyed Bakers” blog who adapted it from “The Craft of Baking”)
Makes approximately 14 cookie sandwiches

3/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup unbleached flour
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
14 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 large egg
3/4 cup roughly grated carrots (about 2 medium carrots)
1/4 cup raisins

Filling:
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
Finely grated zest of 1 small orange
2 tablespoons of sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 350F. Line two baking sheets with parchment and set aside. Grind the oats in a food processor until they are fine. In a bowl, mix together the oat flour, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, brown sugar, and sugar on medium speed until blended. (I used a hand mixer and it worked fine for this small-scale dough). Add the egg and vanilla and mix until incorporated. With the mixer on low add half of the dry ingredients and mix until blended. Add the remaining dry ingredients and stir until just incorporated. Fold in the carrots and raisins. Drop rounded tablespoon-sized mounds onto your baking sheets about an inch apart.

Bake until the cookies are golden brown and spring back when gently touched in the center, about 11-14 minutes. Cool cookies on wire racks completely before filling.
To make the filing, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or with a hand mixer),beat the cream cheese, butter , orange zest, sugar and salt on medium speed until fluffy. Use a small knife to spread a tablespoon (or more) of the filling over the flat side of half of the cookies. Sandwich together with the remaining cookies. Cookies will keep in an airtight container for 2 days.

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