While my mom and I are adamant about chocolate cakes on our birthday (and really all things chocolate), my dad and brother have always preferred carrot cake. I remember the first year I made my brother a carrot cake for his birthday all by myself. I was so proud, it was probably more than a little rough on appearance and I likely made the cream cheese icing too sweet because that’s what I thought frosting should be at 12. His birthday is the day after Christmas so making this cookie to celebrate the 4th day before Christmas reminds me of how far I have come in my baking skills from that very first carrot cake for him.
- 1 cup margarine, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ cup packed brown sugar
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- ¾ tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. baking soda
- 1/8 tsp. ground cloves
- 1 ½ cups shredded carrots
- 2/3 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- ½ cup butter, softened
- 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
- 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
With an electric mixer, cream the margarine and sugars until light and fluffy, 5-7 minutes. Beat in the eggs and vanilla.
In another bowl, whisk the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, salt, baking soda, and cloves. Gradually beat into the creamed mixture.
Stir in shredded carrots, chopped walnuts, and dried cranberries.
Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Press a deep indentation in center of each with the back of a ½ tsp. measuring spoon.
Bake 10-12 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Reshape the indentation if needed.
Cool on pans 5 minutes before removing to wire rack to cool completely.
For the frosting, beat the butter, cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla until blended. Place frosting into a ziplog bag and cut a small piece of the corner off. Use it like an icing bag to fill the indent of the cookies.
Store in the refrigerator.
This recipe is courtesy of the Taste of Home Cookie Magazine 2020