I found this really great recipe on MarthaStewart.com. My husband really, really loves carrot cake so I knew as soon as I saw the recipe I would have to make him some carrot cake cookies.
I often feel free to take liberties with recipes. I have been successful and also have regretted it. Sometimes I make the recipe first and then adjust it to my liking. With this one, I took liberties right away to make a few changes and thankfully, it worked out fine.
The original recipe called for raisins and that would have been good, but I knew my husband would like cranberries, rather than raisins in this recipe. It also called for ginger and I substituted cinnamon. I also didn't care too much for the original filling recipe. It called for too much butter and cream cheese and not quite enough confectioners' sugar. I also knew he would not like it if the filling was flavored with lemon juice. He really doesn't like lemony desserts very well.
If you want to see the original recipe, go to the website. I just think my cookies are the southern version of that recipe. I took them to a family gathering and they all seemed to appreciate them and I like the idea of the filling in the center. It made this a really special dessert.
I baked the cookies on a stoneware baking sheet -- otherwise, I would suggest parchment paper, as is called for by the original recipe. This cookie would have a tendency to stick if not baked on stoneware or parchment paper.
I baked them a little longer than it said on the recipe. They reminded me of Little Debbie Oatmeal cakes -- but from scratch. I cooled them on a rack and then put the frosting in the center. I will make this recipe again. See the recipe, below.
Carrot Cake Cookies
1 cup butter
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups rolled oats
1-1/2 cups finely grated, peeled carrots
1 cup dried cranberries
1/2 package (3 oz.) cream cheese
1/4 stick of butter
2 or more cups confectioners' sugar (add until frosting is creamy)
1/2 vanilla flavoring
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
To make the cookies: cream butter and sugar, add the eggs and cream. Add the flour, cinnamon and salt. Stir in the oats, carrots and cranberries. Refrigerate for half an hour for a better consistency before baking. Drop by tablespoons onto baking sheet (stoneware or on parchment paper) and shape with a spoon until they are flat and round. Bake for about 18 to 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool and spread a heaping teaspoon of the filling in between two cookies.
For the filling: cream the butter and cream cheese and flavoring, slowly add confectioners' sugar until it is creamy and firm.
This will be fine at room temperature for a day but after that, store them in the refrigerator.