My dear Luisa sent me a cookie Bible to add to my collection. It's Martha's cookie Bible. It has a feature that I've never seen before in a cookbook, and it's brilliant: In the beginning of the book, is an index of sorts (although is it an index if it comes first? I don't know, and I'm tired.) that categorizes the cookies into types of cookie, with a photograph of each cookie, and the page number of the recipe. For instance, there's a page titled, "Light and Delicate", you know, for your tea parties. There's my favorite, "Soft and Chewy", and then, "Crumbly and Sandy (though if you stink at baking cookies, probably anything you try would end up like this.) "Chunky and Nutty", "Cakey and Tender" (also nice), "Crisp and Crunchy", and "Rich and Dense". In true Martha fashion, it is a Good Idea. So you can pick the kind of cookie you're hankering for, look at the photos for the one that tickles your fancy, and then away you go, right to the recipe page. Genius.
When I had more time on my hands, and television reception, I watched Martha from time to time. Every now and then I'd go to her primitive website (this was more than ten years ago when all websites were primitive) and find the recipe for something she'd demonstrated and copy it down. Once she made Carrot Cake Cookies, and I was all over it. I hand-wrote the recipe out and made them a few times, and then stuck it in my massive collection of gathered recipes. When Luisa gave me this cookbook, it was the very first thing I thought of. "You think the Carrot Cake Cookies are in this book? Surely, they must be!"
Flipping to the "Cakey and Tender" section of the contents/index/whatever-it-is-but-it's-Genius, there it was, on the top row, only preceded by such temptations as Pumpkin Cookies with Brown Butter Icing and Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies, page 202. I dug out my ancient copy and compared. The same! Hooray! (And I tossed the handwritten copy, because I'm efficient like that.)
There was a Girls' Night In scheduled for that night at a friend's, so I offered to bring them along. Holy Yum. Now, I leave out the raisins, and I cook them just a bit less than suggested (because she says to cook them until browned and crisp, and again, I lean towards chewy, but do what you want.) but if you love carrot cake, you must make these cookies. And they're pretty to boot. Oh, and I like my cream cheese frosting just a bit sweeter, so I've doubled the powdered sugar, but either way, delish.
Carrot Cake Cookies
2 sticks butter, room temp.
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, room temp.
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ginger
2 cups rolled oatmeal
1 1/2 cups finely grated carrots
1 cup raisins (if you like that)
Cream Cheese Frosting
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 stick butter, room temp.
2 cups powdered sugar (Martha says to use 1 cup, but she can't be perfect in all things, right?)
1 tsp. vanilla
For the cookies, beat butter and both sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3-4 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla, and beat until well combined.
Sift together flour, soda, baking powder, salt, and spices. Stir to combine. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture. Mix on low speed until just blended. Mix in oats, carrots, and raisins. Chill until firm, at least 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350. Shape tablespoons of dough into balls, and place on baking sheets 2 inches apart. Bake about 11-12 minutes, or up to 15 minutes if you want them crisper. Transfer to wire rack and let them cool completely.
Mix up the frosting and spread about 2 tsps. (or more!) onto flat sides of half the cookies and sandwich together with remaining cookies. These store great in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or you can just eat them all and get sick, but rationalize it by saying you got lots of beta carotene, protein, fiber, and calcium. Your choice.
Luisa, as usual, the perfect gift. Another Good Idea.