Carrot Cake Cookies

‘Tis the season for holiday cookies, and plenty of them.  This time of year I gorge myself on cookies and other sweets, and then every year my New Year’s resolution is to cut back on the sweets.  Notice the cycle here?

I love the carrot cake cookies from Talula’s Garden and decided I was going to attempt to make them for my book club’s 3rd Annual Cookie Swap.  They turned out softer than the ones at Talula’s, but still had that great carrot cake flavor.  They also happen to be good for breakfast on the go.

Carrot Cake Cookies

Adapted from Gourmet
Makes about 24 cookies (12 filled cookie sandwiches)

Ingredients

3/4 cup golden raisins (2 1/2 ounces)
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
pinch of cloves
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/3 + 3 tablespoons cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup finely grated carrots (2 medium or 4 small)
1 cup walnuts (3 ounces), chopped

8 ounces cream cheese
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions

Place raisins in a small bowl and add enough hot water to cover. Set aside for 5-10 minutes, then drain thoroughly and pat dry.

In a small bowl, whisk together flour, spices, baking soda and salt.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter, sugars, egg and vanilla until smooth and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Mix in carrots, walnuts and raisins (drained!) on low speed. Add flour mixture and beat just until combined. Set dough in refrigerator to chill for 15-30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Line two baking sheets with Silpats or parchment paper.

Working with one baking sheet at a time, drop 1 1/2 Tablespoons of dough per cookie onto baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake each sheet separately, 13-15 minutes or until centers spring back to the touch. Cool on pan for 2 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the frosting, pulse cream cheese and butter in a food processor, scraping down sides with a spatula as needed, until smooth. Add powdered sugar and vanilla, and pulse until combined.

If making ahead, store cookies at room temperature and frosting in refrigerator. Frost cookies before serving.

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