I have never had much of a sweet tooth. UNTIL I GOT PREGNANT. I am no longer pregnant but still craving certain sweets. Sure, I’m more into salty greasy than sweet but I can still kill off a danish or five. I’m not your typical dessert lover in that I prefer a certain savoriness to my sweets. Carrot cake embodies this perfectly. And when you can’t have cake, have cookies.
Enter: carrot cake cookie sandwiches, my friends!
Let’s start with carrots. When you’re cooking (or baking) it always helps to set out all your ingredients ahead of time so that when the process begins, you can get through it quickly. If you have to measure everything out as you go it can take longer and opens up opportunities for interruption. From kids. And this happens to me EVERY. STINKIN’. TIME. As such, I’ll be including a recipe “card” at the bottom where you can check out all the required ingredients beforehand. But I’ll also include measurements in the body of the post.
Now, grate your carrots.
I used about 5 multi-sized carrots. The point is to have 2 cups of grated carrots in the end. When I get down to the “nub” when grating I just eat it. It’s tempting to keep on grating that end piece, risking the flesh of your fingers, but for goodness sakes just eat it!
Now the butter… *quiver*
You want a stick (1/2 cup) of softened butter. Room temp. I use salted butter… don’t hate me. Bakers will say unsalted because you can separately control how much salt goes into the recipe. But since I’m fond of salt (and hate planning ahead to buy unsalted) I’m just gonna use salted.
We’re also bringing in shortening (1/2 cup) to the recipe. The reason is if we used all butter then the cookies might be too thin. We need them to be less brittle and more cake-y to be good sandwich components. So, we use equal parts shortening and butter.
Combine the room temperature butter and shortening with 1 cup granulated sugar and 1 cup DARK brown sugar. Why dark brown instead of light brown sugar? Because of flavor yo! There are detailed explanations for What’s the difference between light and dark brown sugar but in a nutshell – brown sugar is made with molasses; light brown has some but dark brown has more. I love the deep toffee flavor that the molasses gives dark brown sugar. Actually, I never buy light brown sugar. It doesn’t exist to me.
Cream them together adding 2 teaspoons of vanilla and 2 eggs after a minute or so. I’m using a paddle attachment on an electric mixer. Cause I’m cool. I suppose you can use a regular old bowl and whisk but that’s sooooo old school. Wait. Old school is back in…
The point is you can do either. Just make sure in the end you have a silky soft mixture. Set that aside and bring out a separate bowl for the dry ingredients.
Sift together 2 and 1/4 cup flour with 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/4 salt, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon nutmeg, and 1/2 teaspoon ginger. If you don’t have a sifter or fine mesh strainer then just use a fork to mix all the dry ingredients together. Then very gradually add the dry stuff to the wet stuff, mixing slowly! You don’t want to overwork the flour. Just mix it nice and slow until all of it is looking moist. You can throw in a pinch of salt while you’re at it but remember that we used salted butter – so it already has a pinch. I do an extra pinch anyways and it tastes great.
Scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula to make sure flour isn’t clumping on the sides. Get all of it mixed together happily. Then add 2 cups of dry rolled oats – the old fashioned stuff, and the 2 cups of carrots you shredded earlier!
Again, mix this slowly and gently! You don’t want to be whipping it all up. You’ll have a tough tough cookie if you do. Scrape the sides down and take a look at this fantastic cookie dough. Take a taste! Delish.
A good baker would chill this dough for at least an hour. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t. Let’s be honest here, who has the patience for yet another hour waiting for treats? Yes, the texture gets better the longer you let the dough rest. But I haven’t noticed a big enough difference to hold me back from just making them right away. I DO, however, recommend sticking the dough in the fridge while you wait for the oven to preheat and in between scooping out onto the cookie sheets. This is because it is easier and less messy to scoop when cool.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Take some parchment paper and lay it out on your cookie sheet. I didn’t used to use parchment paper and let me tell you something… parchment paper saves time. The baked cookies literally fall right off the paper with no scraping of the pan necessary. Heed my advice and get some parchment paper.
Next is to grab a small scoop. You can totally use a regular spoon but these make it so simple in that you get clean and equal amounts of dough in each scoop. This is a very small scoop and when I first bought it I was unsure if it would yield an appropriately sized cookie. I was surprised to find that it did make a perfect size – especially for these carrot cake cookies.
Give your cookies enough space for them to cook evenly. I have found this to be incredibly helpful especially since all ovens are different and usually have hot spots. If you at least give your cookies some space they have a chance to look a little more uniform.
Pop them in the oven for 12-14 minutes. I put mine in for exactly 13… boom.
Now slide the cookies off the parchment paper and onto a cooling rack – another must have item! Cooling racks can be found cheap so there are no excuses here! They’ll help your cookies cool faster (obviously) but it’s important because you don’t want your cookies to keep cooking from the residual heat. I used to be lazy and let them stay on the sheet for awhile but I’ve noticed a difference in texture when I promptly remove them.
These are good enough on their own but we are going the extra mile with some seriously legit cream cheese frosting. Carrot cake and cream cheese frosting are a match made in heaven. Why separate them in cookie-hood?
Don’t fear – frosting is easy. Whip together an 8oz. package of cream cheese and 1 stick (1/2 cup) of softened butter. Slowly add in 3 cups powdered sugar so that it doesn’t whip up into the air as you beat it. Then pour in 2 teaspoons of vanilla and a pinch of salt. Mix and taste. Lovely.
Spread a good amount of frosting over a cookie and top with another cookie. Ta-da! Sandwich style.Because I’ve transformed this into a sandwich it immediately becomes “cool”. At least my 6 year old thinks so. He turned his nose up at the cookies themselves but apparently these guys are something completely different.
Plain cookies, cookies topped with frosting, or as sandwich treats, either way… I think they’re all cool.
- ½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened
- ½ cup shortening
- 1 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon ginger
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 2 cups grated carrots
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 8 ounces (1 package) cream cheese
- ½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- Cream the butter, shortening, and sugars together. Add in eggs and vanilla until the texture is nice and silky. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. Gradually incorporate the four mix into the wet mix. Then add oats and carrots. Chill for 1 hour.
- Preheat to 350 degrees. Prep cookie sheets with parchment paper and scoop out dough one spoonful at a time and 2 inches apart. Bake for 12-14 minutes. Transfer to cooling rack.
- For the frosting, cream together butter and cream cheese. Add powdered sugar, vanilla, and pinch of salt.
- Once cookies are cooled, spread a generous amount of frosting on one cookie and top with another to create a sandwich. Store in an airtight container.