I wanted to make some cookies but with a twist and so thought could I make a cookie inspired by a cake? Carrot cake seemed like a good choice given you get a nice mix of spices as well as texture. The first time I made these they were a lot more cakes in texture but that's because I had used my cookie base receipe. The secret to cookies is the sugar ratio. If you want thinner and softer cookies then you use more light brown sugar. If you want cookies with more body, which is necessary for carrot cake cookies, you need to up the caster sugar.
Hands-on Time 25 minutes plus chilling (overnight)
Baking Time 18 minutes
300g Unsalted butter (softened)
190g Light brown sugar
190g Caster Sugar
2 tsp Vanilla extract
2 Eggs, large
400g Plain flour
1 tsp Bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp Fine salt
1 tsp Ground cardamom
1 1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
3/4 tsp Ground ginger
100 Cream cheese (room-temp)
200g Icing sugar
Freestanding mixer with paddle and whisk
Baking sheet (ideally aluminium)
Peel the carrots and grate them so you have 200 grams.
Transfer the grated carrot onto kitchen paper so you can squeeze out all of the juice over the sink. Set the grated carrot aside.
Add 250 grams of butter, the light brown and caster sugars to the bowl of the mixer and beat on a medium-high speed with the paddle for 5 minutes until you have a very light and fluffy mixture.
Add the vanilla and eggs and beat for a couple of seconds until combined.
Add the flour, bicarb, salt, cardamom, cinnamon, and ginger and again beat for a couple of seconds until combined. Scrape the sides down using a spatula to make sure everything is incorporated.
Grate the zest of an orange over the dough. Roughly chop and add the pecans followed by the grated carrot before giving it a final mix. You shouldn’t need to run the mixer for more than 10 seconds. The key thing is not to over-mix.
Take a sheet of baking parchment and place the dough onto. Shape the dough into a wide, long sausage and roll up before popping it into fridge to chill for 30 minutes.
Line a baking sheet with parchment.
Take the dough out of the fridge, slice into 20 equal rounds. Roll each round into a ball and place onto the lined baking sheet.
Pop the sheet back into the fridge, ideally overnight, so the dough balls can firm up.
Preheat the oven to 170°C/150°C (Fan)/325°F/Gas mark 3.
Slide the baking sheet out of the fridge and leave the dough balls on the shelf.
Once the oven has warmed up line the baking sheet with another piece of parchment.
Place approx 6/8 balls spaced about 10cm apart from each other onto the baking parchment.
Pop the tray into the oven on a middle shelf and bake for 18 minutes.
Once the time is up remove the tray from the oven. Slide the parchment carefully, with the cookies, onto the worktop. Re-line with more paper and bake your next batch.
After the cookies have rested for a couple of minutes they should be firm enough for you to transfer onto a wire rack to fully cool. Don’t forget they will get firmer as they cool, as tempting as it is to immediately eat them straight from the oven. Like some things in life, patience pays off.
When the cookies have cooled you can get on with the cream cheese topping.
Combine the cream cheese with the remaining 50 grams of butter in a clean bowl in the freestanding mixer with the whisk attachment on low.
Add the icing sugar and combine until you have a smooth cream cheese frosting.
Smear the frosting on top of the cookies. By all means add some orange and green food colouring to some of the frosting so you can add little carrots as decoration. If you leave the cookies to rest the frosting will firm up.