I don't know about you, but I love carrot cake. Of course you do too. On those rare occasions when I come across someone who claims they don't like carrot cake, I have been known to tell them that's impossible, there is no way anyone could not like carrot cake. (I have a similar disbelief when people say they don't like ketchup. Yes, very American of me.) BUT, even if you are one of those crazy people who says they don't like carrot cake, trust me, you will LOVE these cookies. Just take a look at the ingredients, and you'll be convinced.
My husband is actually one of those people who claims to not like carrot cake (gasp! how could I have married such a person?!!) - but he loved these cookies. He ate 5 in a row and wanted to go back for more. (Apologies to my husband for making him sound like a pig on my blog- he isn't... really).
Now, I should add the caveat that I prefer my carrot cake (and cookies) without nuts. So in making these cookies, I left out the walnuts, which I think would have broken up the perfect texture of each bite. But feel free to add in nuts if that's your preference. Another thing that helps appease the claiming to hate carrot-cakers here is that the carrot itself is super finely shredded, so you barely even notice it's there. Instead, you get incredible notes of spices -including cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg- with sweet cakey-chewieness and a light hint of citrus sugary frosting. It's the perfect combination of flavors in a few bites- a far less committal dessert relationship than a full slice of carrot cake. But that doesn't mean you won't want more than one . . .
Recipe (with a few minor changes) from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero
- 1/3 cup nondairy milk
- 1 Tbsp ground flaxseeds
- Scant 1/2 cup canola oil
- 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 tsp finely shredded orange zest (optional: I used a blood orange, and added about a 1/2 tsp of the juice)
- 1 and 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour (Note: this is NOT the same as whole wheat flour; if you don't have it, simply use regular all purpose flour- this is just an option for making these slightly more healthy!)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 and 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup finely shredded carrots (use the smallest hole on your grater), loosely packed
- 1/2 cup shredded coconut
- 1 cup raisins
- 1 and 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease cookies sheets or use parchment paper.
- Beat together milk, ground flax seeds, oil, sugars, orange zest, and vanilla. Add in the flour, baking powder, spices, and salt. Stir well, or beat on low with a hand mixer. Fold in carrots, coconut, and raisins.
- Drop by generous tablespoon-fulls onto the cookie sheets - they will spread a little, so leave a little room in between. Bake for about 14 minutes, until golden brown.
- Cool on wire racks.
- Prepare the lemon glaze by beating or whisking together the ingredients; you can add a teaspoon of water at a time if it's too thick (I added 2 tsp) - you want it to drizzle but still have a little thickness.
- Once the cookies are cooled, drizzle with the lemon glaze.
You have reached cookie heaven.