Gingered Carrot Cake Cookies
A couple of weekends ago while we were traipsing about in the Outer Banks, I ordered a piece of carrot cake for dessert the first night we were there (I talked about it in my food and restaurant review of the Outer Banks). It was outrageous in all sorts of good ways… it was massive (I couldn’t finish it), it had four layers, those layered were sandwiched and topped with a delectable cream cheese frosting, it was drizzled with orange and caramel sauces, and it was sprinkled with candied pecans. I was in foodie heaven. And I’ve had carrot cake on the brain ever since. So while I was flipping through some of my cookbooks and came across this recipe, it immediately jumped out at me. First, I was still on a carrot cake high; and second, for as many times as I have pored over Dorie’s Baking book, I couldn’t remember ever seeing the recipe before. Insanity! So off I went to whip these up and try to catch a whiff of salt water if at all possible… (totally not possible, I live in southwestern Pennsylvania, and the winds just aren’t strong enough to whip that salty air this way… such a shame!)
These cookies are downright fabulous. They teeter on the border between cookies and scones, but I suppose we’ll still need to call them cookies since the process for making them is exactly like that of making cookie dough, and not scones. In any event, they do have the characteristic tenderness of a scone that it enhanced by the carrots, which keep the cookies supremely moist. Throw in coconut, raisins, pecans and a healthy dose of ginger and you have an irresistible cookie that I just may have eaten for breakfast on more than one occasion.
Oh, and if you noticed that the ingredients in these cookies sound similar to those in the cowboy cookies, bravo on your observation skills! It’s no accident. When I think about the recipes I want to try during any given week, I always take stock of what I already have in an attempt to be somewhat frugal. (We won’t talk about how much money I have wrapped up in Steelers and Penguins tshirts and jerseys in my drawers and closet.) I like to choose recipes that use at least some of the ingredients that I already have on hand. It’s a great habit to get into not just for baking, but for everyday meals and dinners as well. (A discussion about money spent on sports team paraphernalia will have to wait, there are cookies to bake and eat!)
Since we’re here chatting about a Dorie Greenspan recipe, did you know that she has a new cookbook that was just released from Amazon this week? It’s called Around My French Table, and is a collection of all of her favorite French recipes. Down-home French. Not fancy, schmancy French. My kinda lady. I can’t wait to dig in. I have so thoroughly enjoyed everything about her last book, Baking: From My Home to Yours, and feel like she’s right there hanging out with me in the kitchen while I bake from it. I have no doubt that Around My French Table will have the exact same feel. Having tried so many of her baking recipes, I am elated to enjoy her favorite French recipes!
While you’re waiting on that new book, give these cookies a try, you won’t be disappointed!
Disclaimer: I was not compensated in any way for endorsing Dorie Greenspan’s new cookbook. I just adore her style of writing, find her to be an absolutely lovely person, and want to share her great kitchen treasures with you!
One year ago: Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars
Gingered Carrot Cake Cookies
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
Pinch of grated nutmeg
¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup shredded carrots (about 3, peeled and trimmed)
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
1 cup raisins
½ cup coarsely chopped pecans
1. Position oven racks in the upper-middle and lower-middle positions and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, ginger and nutmeg.
3. With a stand or hand mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy and smooth. Add the sugars and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes, then add the egg and beat for another minute. Reduce the mixer speed to low and beat in the vanilla. Continuing on low speed, add the flour mixture in 2 or 3 batches and beat only until they just disappear into the mix. The dough will be very thick, but don't overbeat to incorporate the flour. Using a rubber spatula, mix in the carrots, coconut, raisins and pecans.
4. Spoon about three heaping tablespoonfuls of dough (or use a large cookie scoop, which is what I did) onto the prepared baking sheets at a time, leaving about an inch of space between them. Using your fingers, every so slightly flatted the tops of the cookies.
5. Bake for 16 to 18 minutes, rotating the sheets from top to bottom and front to back at the midway point. The cookies should be light brown and only just firm on top. Carefully transfer the cookies to racks to cool to room temperature. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.