Thursday, September 1, 2016

Carrot Cake Cookies (Allergy-Friendly and Vegan)

Sooo what do you do when you realize you bought waaaaay too many carrots?  This was my silly little dilemma last week.  I know, I know.  I should've known better.  Who in their right mind buys TEN POUNDS OF CARROTS?

Okaaaay, so I got a little carried away.   I was thinking I could challenge myself.  I've been in a creative rut lately and needed to do something about it.  So I had this crazy idea to buy a ton of carrots and see what I could come up with.  I added them in soups, salads, stir-fry, smoothies, muffins... You name it, I made it.  And by Day 4 or 5, nobody wanted to see another carrot in their life.  I'm surprised we didn't turn orange.  And I still had about half a bag left.  I think I'm ready to chop them all up and freeze them.

But there was one good thing that came out of this crazy catastrophe.  These carrot cake cookies are definitely worth buying extra carrots for.  Just don't buy ten pounds of it, ok?  A pound is more than enough for this recipe. They're soft-baked in texture and chock full of grated carrots, rolled oats and plump raisins.  And with their beautiful orange hue, I think they make a perfectly delicious cookie for Fall.

Carrot Cake Cookies (Allergy-Friendly and Vegan)
Makes about 4 dozen cookies
Allergy Note: contains wheat ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbs. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup vegetable shortening or allowed margarine
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. lemon juice
zest from one lemon
2 cups grated carrots
2 cups rolled oats
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup roasted pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Line 4 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mat. Sift together flour, ground cinnamon, baking soda and salt.  Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, beat together brown sugar, granulated sugar and shortening using an electric mixer until blended. Pour in applesauce, vanilla extract, lemon juice and zest; mix until combined.
Slowly incorporate the dry ingredients.  Add in rolled oats, raisins and pumpkin seeds.

Using a cookie scoop, portion out the cookie dough onto the prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart. Bake for 10-12 minutes.  Allow to cool for at least 15 minutes before serving.

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