Carrot Cake Cookies

Carrot Cake Cookies close
I won't even go into the "these-cookies-are-good-for-you-because-they-contain-carrots" lecture.
You know that already.

Carrot Cake Cookies with wire cooling rack and frosting

I love, love, love carrot cake. I'm a chocolate girl through and through, but I think carrot cake wins almost every time. The carrots ensure its moistness, that little bit of spice makes it intriguing, and cream cheese frosting—you really can't beat cream cheese frosting.

carrot cake cookie dough pre-baked

You've got a little carrot cake in cookie form, mounds of carrot and ginger-laden cookies flecked with toasted pecans and topped with an orange-flavored cream cheese frosting.

It all starts with this dough...

carrot cake cookie dough in metal bowl

....which I could have easily eaten with a spoon without baking one single cookie. Crystallized ginger is the key to making these the MOST delicious! 

Then you add the cream cheese frosting...

cream cheese frosting in bowl

....hello, gorgeous.

How to Make Carrot Cake Cookies Cute with Frosting

carrot cake cookies frosting technique

Pipe on generous squiggles of frosting, heck, dunk the entire cookie in frosting...I won't tell.

carrot cake cookies, decorated

Save a little of the frosting, tint green and orange, and pipe mini carrots on top.

carrot cake cookies on plate with piping bags to the side

They come together really quickly and will be such a welcome addition to your Easter desserts.

Carrot Cake Cookies

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Bake Time: 18 minutes
Yield: 16 cookies

For the cookies:

½ cup Imperial Granulated Pure Cane Sugar 
¼ cup Imperial Light Brown Sugar
¼ cup salted butter, room temperature
½ cup shortening
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ teaspoon pure orange extract
1 egg
2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ cup finely chopped crystallized ginger
1/3 cup finely chopped, toasted pecans
1 ¼ cups grated carrots (grated on the small holes of a box grater)

for the frosting:
½ cup salted butter, room temperature
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon pure orange extract
1 pound Imperial Confectioner's Powdered Sugar
orange & green gel/paste food coloring, optional

Preheat oven to 350 and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.  

Cream the butter and shortening together until combined and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the sugars and beat again until light and fluffy.

Beat in the egg and extracts. On low speed, add the flour, baking powder, and salt; mix just until combined.

Stir in the crystallized ginger, pecans, and carrots. 

Use a two-tablespoon cookie scoop to dollop the dough onto the prepared sheets. Bake 18 minutes or until the cookies are set. Cool on the cookie sheets for 1-2 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

While the cookies are cooling, make the icing. Beat the butter and cream cheese together until well combined. Add the extracts. With the mixer on low, add the powdered sugar a little at a time until fully combined. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy.

If desired, set aside two small bowls of frosting and color with orange and green food coloring. Place the remainder of the frosting in a pastry bag or a large freezer zip-top bag, snip off the end, and pipe frosting onto the cookies.

If using the orange and green frosting to make carrots, fit one pastry bag with a #3 tip for the orange frosting and another with a #2 for the green. Pipe carrots onto the cookies. 

*post updated 3/24

I'm also sharing the printable recipe over at Imperial Sugar. Come get your daily dose of veggies...

...and cookies.
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