A few years ago, I was rustling through Grandma Clara's recipe box, looking for some inspiration. Grandma's version of "Carrot Cookies" was good, but the recipe needed more color, texture, and zip. The original recipe called for cooking the carrots, which seemed to diminish the carrot flavor. So I used fresh carrot garnishes on top to finish, which makes them bright and colorful for parties and holidays. A bit of flake salt is nice, too.
- Serves: 45 persons
- 2cups all-purpose flour
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1¼ teaspoons sea salt
- ¾cup unsalted butter, softened
- ¾cup white sugar
- 1large egg
- 1teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1¼ cups finely grated carrots
- ¾cup chopped pistachio nuts
- ¾cup finely chopped crystallized ginger
- 1½ cups confectioners' sugar
- ¼cup water
Step 1Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) and place racks in the top and bottom third of the oven. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
Step 2Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium mixing bowl. Set aside.
Step 3Combine butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl and beat with a hand mixer on medium speed for 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber scraper, add the egg and vanilla, and continue beating on medium speed for 1 more minute. Add 1 cup of the carrots (reserve the 1/4 cup for garnish), nuts, and ginger, and mix with a wooden spoon.
Step 4Add 1/2 of the dry ingredients to the large bowl. Mix with the spoon until combined. Add the remaining dry mixture and mix again until fully incorporated. Chill for 20 minutes.
Step 5Meanwhile, make the icing. Place confectioners' sugar in a small bowl and whisk in water.
Step 6Using your hands, roll the chilled dough into 1-inch balls and place on the prepared baking sheets.
Step 7Bake in the preheated oven until edges are golden and set, about 16 minutes. Remove from the oven.
Step 8Place parchment under two wire racks to catch the icing. Transfer the cookies to the wire racks.
Step 9Dollop 1/2 teaspoon of icing on top of the cookies while they are still hot. Sprinkle the tops with the remaining carrot, about 1/4 teaspoon on each. Let cool for 10 minutes on the rack. Serve.