Here’s a formula for perfect cookies: take a Dorie Greenspan recipe for cookies based on the ingredients in carrot cake, and top it with a luscious cream cheese frosting. Who in the world could possibly resist such perfect cookies?
For starters, both of my daughters.
I love raisins, both on their own and in nearly any kind of cake, muffin or cookie. I don’t know how it’s possible for me to have raised two children who don’t care for raisins in baked goods. And, in this case, “don’t care for” is a euphemism for “loathe”. I’ve seen them pick raisins out of hot cross buns, cinnamon rolls and oatmeal cookies. Not to mention carrot cake.
So I save this recipe – and others like it – for times when I’m baking for someone else. This week, I volunteered to take baked goods to my writers’ association meeting. Only after checking the fine print did I realize that would entail about ten dozen cookies. So among other treats, I whipped up a batch of these wonderful cookies, iced them and saved a few for Andrew and me. (Yes, he likes raisins too. How can this odd recessive gene have been passed on to both of our kids?)
I will say this. My oldest daughter may leave her hot-cross buns looking like a moth-eaten blanket, but she decorated some of the cookies with little icing carrots before photographing them for me.
In the end, I guess we can’t easily influence the taste buds of our loved ones. I’m just grateful that we passed on our dominant genes for loving chocolate chip cookies.
Gingered Carrot Cookies
(adapted from Dorie Greenspan's Baking From My Home to Yours)
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground ginger
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter at room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup shredded carrots (about 3, peeled and trimmed)
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
1 cup raisins
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Whisk together the flours, baking powder, salt and ginger.
Beat the butter on medium speed until smooth. Add white and brown sugar and beat for 2 minutes or so, then add the egg and vanilla and beat for another minute.
Add the dry ingredients and stir until mixed. (Dough will be thick.) Mix in the carrots, coconuts and raisins.
Spoon the dough onto the baking sheets in heaping tablespoonfuls leaving an inch between them. Bake for 16 to 18 minutes. Carefully transfer the cookies to racks to cool to room temperature.
8 ounces cream cheese
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 1/2 to 4 cups icing sugar
1/2 cup shredded coconut
Beat the cream cheese and butter together until creamy. Gradually add icing sugar and continue to beat until smooth. Spread on cookies and sprinkle the coconut on top.