carrot cake cookies

As a carrot cake lover, I was intrigued when I started seeing carrot cake cookies. Not a fan? It might help to think of these cookies as a convenient delivery system for my very best and favorite frosting: bourbon salted caramel. I halved a recipe from Land o’Lakes and adapted ever so slightly, adding coconut and my own frosting. I’d rather bake, share and enjoy a small batch than drown in cookies. Though, if I had a choice, drowning in these cookies wouldn’t be so bad. At all.

CARROT CAKE COOKIES WITH BOURBON SALTED CARAMEL FROSTING

1 stick butter, softened
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup coconut
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup carrots, shredded (you’ll need about 2 medium carrots to shred 1 cup)
½ cup pecans, finely chopped

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. In your mixing bowl, combine butter and sugars. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until creamy. Add egg and vanilla; beat till well incorporated. Sift (or whisk) together flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Add dry ingredients to wet. Beat at low speed, scraping bowl often, until well combined. Stir in carrots, coconut and pecans.

I used my Zeroll #60 (pink) scoop to portion the dough. Barring a scoop, drop by rounded tablespoons onto greased cookie sheets. I baked mine 6 minutes on the upper rack of the oven, then swapped front to back and top to bottom for another 6 minutes, for a total of 12. I found the cookies easiest to move to the cookie rack after letting them sit a minute or so after taking them out of the oven. As the cookies cool, let’s make the frosting.

BOURBON SALTED CARAMEL FROSTING

First, make the salted caramel. In a small saucepan, over medium-high heat, whisk together:

1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 tablespoon heavy cream
1 tablespoon butter
good pinch of salt

Continue to whisk till sugar dissolves, then cook for one more minute. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, get the rest of the frosting together.

3 oz. cream cheese (I got away with Neufchâtel, so can you), softened
4 tablespoons butter, softened
½ teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons bourbon
1 ½ cups powdered sugar

Cream together butter, cream cheese, bourbon and vanilla. Gradually blend in powdered sugar. Then blend in salted caramel. This makes plenty of frosting, so you can frost generously and should still have some extra frosting to enjoy on a spoon or your fingers!

Enjoy with a cuppa tea, a glass of milk and/or a good friend.

carrot cake cookies and a cuppa

 

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Last weekend, I thought it would be fun to make carrot cake in the morning. So I went to the store and didn’t buy carrots. Nice going, Kat.

After I returned to my senses and the store, I updated a cake from my mom’s recipe files. So what’s my new spin on a classic? Less sugar (half brown, half granulated, please), a mix of oil and butter, toasted walnuts, coconut, some nutmeg, bourbon-soaked golden raisins (HOO-AHHH!) and a drizzle of bourbon over the cake once it’s out of the oven. To top it off, I whipped up my very own bourbon salted caramel frosting. Sound good to you, amici? Let’s make cake!

CARROT PINEAPPLE CAKE

½ cup golden raisins
¼ cup Maker’s Mark
1 ½ cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup light brown sugar
¼ cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup corn oil
1/3 cup melted butter
2 eggs
1 ¼ cups finely shredded raw carrot (about ½ a a pound bag or four carrots)
½ cup crushed pineapple with juice
¼ cup Baker’s coconut
½ cup chopped walnuts, toasted
1 teaspoon vanilla

Soak raisins in Maker’s for at least a couple of hours. Once they’re plumped, reserve the bourbon. Of course, we’ll use it later!

Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.

In a stand mixer or with an electric mixer, beat eggs, sugars, oil and melted butter 2 minutes at medium speed. Reduce speed to low and mix in dry ingredients in three parts. Add, carrots, pineapple, coconut, raisins and toasted walnuts. Mix till all ingredients are moistened. Pour batter into greased 9″ square pan.

Bake at 350 degrees about 35 minutes.

Drizzle some—or all—the bourbon used to soak raisins over hot cake. Not sure you want to use it all? CLINQUE! Cheers to you and your carrot cake! CENT’ANN’!

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Ohmygoodness…I almost forgot my own blogiversary! Two years ago today, this kat and her feline sidekick started to let you in on our little kitchen in the Land of Steady Habits that is Connecticut.

If you’ve been reading along, by now you know I LOVE brownies and LOVE to liquor up my recipes–especially with bourbon–so it seems only fitting I should share how to bourbon up your favorite brownies with a lovely salted caramel frosting.

First, my favorite brownies. My go-to recipe, having tried many others, is the recipe on the Ghirardelli Sweet Ground Chocolate and Cocoa canister with a bit less sugar and a handful of Valrhona chocolate chop-chopped! To make life easy, consider lining your 8 x 8″ dish with foil, then butter the foil. For these, somewhere between 25 and 30 minutes seems to be the right amount of time to spend in the oven. Make sure a toothpick comes out clean when you test. But how to bourbonize?


Did you know it’s sweater weather, by the way?

While the brownies are still warm, gently poke with a fork to create lots of delicious little entry points for the bourbon. Pour 1/4 cup of your favorite bourbon over the top and let it sink in. Inhale deeply over the dish. No one is watching and I won’t tell.


Once the brownies are completely cooled, it’s time to make the frosting.

BOURBON SALTED CARAMEL FROSTING

First, make the salted caramel. In a small saucepan, over medium-high heat, whisk together:

1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 tablespoon heavy cream
1 tablespoon butter
good pinch of salt

Continue to whisk till sugar dissolves, then cook for one more minute. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, get the rest of the frosting together.

3 oz. cream cheese (I got away with Neufchâtel, so can you), softened
4 tablespoons butter, softened
½ teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons bourbon
1 ½ cups powdered sugar

Cream together butter, cream cheese, bourbon and vanilla. Gradually blend in powdered sugar. Then blend in salted caramel.

This recipe makes enough to frost a 9 x 13 cake, but I frosted generously, then put the rest of the frosting in a small bowl for snacking purposes ’cause that’s just how I roll! 🙂


The Queen and I thank you kindly for reading along as we continue to bake, cook and otherwise concoct in Katty’s Kitchen. XOXOX

Editor’s note: Hello again! Having made these a few times, I can tell you there’s no need to poke holes. Bourbon sinks RIGHT IN when poured over warm brownies and sizzles as it sinks. Sizzle-sizzle and happy bourbon brownie baking! >>^..^<<