Carrot cake meets thumbprint cookies; perfect for Easter! Every bite is packed with layers of flavor- grated carrots, golden raisins, oats, and a creamy apricot frosting. There is just the right amount of spice in this recipe to let the carrots really shine through. I mean, how many times do carrots get to be the star of the show? The chopped pecans on the sides and tops of carrots cakes are one of my favorite parts, so I rolled each cookie in a big bowl of chopped pecans for some crunch. The best part about these cookies? They’re pretty darn healthy! At least that’s what I said as I was helping myself to a whole bunch after dinner. Not that I would ever discourage someone from baking a cake, but these cookies really take the fuss out of layered carrot cakes. Can’t wait to serve them up at Easter!
Melt 1 stick of butter in a small saucepan over medium heat and let cool slightly. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together both sugars, the egg yolk, and melted butter until smooth.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, ginger, and salt. Gradually add the flour mixture into the butter mixture.
Stir until just combined.
Mix in the oats, grated carrots, and chopped golden raisins. Chuck the carrots and/or raisins into a food processor if you have one. I don’t, so I grated the carrots by hand. Thankfully, you only need to grate about 3- just enough for 3/4 cup. Cover and refrigerate for 30-40 minutes. This will help firm up the dough to keep its shape while baking.
Preheat your oven to 350 and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll the dough into 18 balls, each one about 1 1/2 inches, and roll in the chopped pecans to coat.
Space the dough balls 2 inches apart and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and use your thumb to make indentations in the center of each cookie. Return to the oven for another 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown on the bottoms. Transfer cookies to a wire wrack to let cool.
While cookies are cooling, prepare your frosting. In a bowl of an electric mixer, beat the softened 1/2 stick of butter with the powdered sugar until creamy.
Beat in cream cheese until just combined. Stir in the apricot jam.
Transfer frosting into a sandwich sized ziplock bag and cut off a corner. Squeeze a small amount of frosting into each indentation on the cookies.
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Let cookies come to room temperature before serving. Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart Magazine.