1cupunsalted buttersoftened and at room temperature
1cuplight brown sugar
1 ½teaspoonsvanilla extract
2cupsfinely grated carrotsfresh, do not use frozen
½cupfinely chopped pecans or walnuts
Cream Cheese Frosting
¾cupsunsalted butterslightly softened and a bit cold
12ozcream cheeseslightly softened and a bit cold
4 to 5cupsconfectioners sugar
A pinch of salt
Make the cookies
Combine dry ingredients: in a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. Set aside.
Wet ingredients: With a mixer on high speed, cream butter with brown sugar and granulated sugar until creamy and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. On medium speed, mix in the eggs, one at a time. Add in the vanilla extract and a few more times.
Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, and mix until just combined on low speed. Do not overmix. Stir in the grated carrots and nuts, and mix a few more times until just combined. Cover the dough with plastic wrap, making sure that the plastic is touching the dough. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F while the dough is refrigerating. Line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper.
Scoop dough, about 1.5 tablespoons per cookie, onto the lined sheet pans. The dough is sticky, so use a cookie scoop if possible. Space them out about 3 inches apart. If you run out of space, bake them in batches.
Bake for 11-12 minutes, or until golden brown around the edges. It may look a little bit undercooked, that’s fine. Let cool completely (I transfer them to a cooling rack 10 minutes after they are out of the oven).
Make the frosting
After the cookies have cooled completely, make the cream cheese frosting: Beat the unsalted butter with cream cheese until combined. Add the confectioner’s sugar, vanilla extract, and salt. Mix on low for a few seconds and then high for about 2-3 minutes until combined and smooth.
Assemble the Cookies
Pipe some frosting on one cookie and cover with another to make sandwich cookies. Or, you can just frost the top of each cookie to make it simpler. Enjoy!
Special equipment: grater, hand or stand mixer, cookie scoop, parchment paper, sheet pans.
Let the cookies cool completely before adding the frosting.
If the shredded carrots have too much moisture, pat it dry with paper towel.
Make ahead: make the cookies 1 day ahead and keep in airtight containers. Make the frosting 1 day ahead and refrigerate. The next day, assemble the cookies.
Disclaimer: Nutritional values (per serving) are approximates only.