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Carrot Cake in a Cookie!
11333pecan-carrot-cookies-final

School is in full swing, and it's nice to bring a treat to share for meetings.  With all the flavors of carrot cake,  Pecan Carrot Cookies are sure to be a hit!

The recipe has a few steps but overall is very simple. For the first few steps, you need orange zest and juice, so get those ready. I like to zest my orange onto parchment or waxed paper so it's easy to just brush into the bowl. The orange adds a whole new dimension of flavor to this recipe that is just fabulous.

micrograting-orangeJuice the orange after you zest. It's a little squishy and tricky to hold onto without peel, but it's so wonderful to use fresh orange juice. One orange was adequate to get the juice I needed. Squeeze gently... squeezing-oj

Now you're ready to start by creaming the butter and sugar with a mixer.

ready-to-cream-butter-sugarBe sure to stop the mixer and scrape the sides once or twice to make sure everything is getting mixed. scraping butter sugar mixtureOnce the butter and sugar mixture is ready, add the egg and orange ingredients. adding-oj-zest-egg

Next add the dry ingredients. I just add the flour and then sprinkle the soda and salt on top. Be sure to turn the mixer on low so you don't end up with a face full of flour. Then get the final ingredients ready. Chop the pecans... I find that chopping slowly and carefully works best -- the nuts stay on the cutting board instead of flying around the room.

chopping-nuts

Grate the carrot... I used one large carrot and that was plenty to make one cup. I used a grater with a container underneath -- carrot juice can get rather messy otherwise.

grating-carrotsTo save dish washing, I use the same measuring cup for the carrots and pecans, just layering them in to the 2-cup mark. measuring-carrots-pecansNow I add final ingredients: carrot, pecans and coconut! mix-in-carrot-pecan-coconut

I know they're going to be fabulous because the final batter looks just like carrot cake -- one of my favorite desserts. Drop them onto the cookie sheet and they're ready to bake.

raw-cookies-on-sheet

If your first batch spreads more than you like -- mine did -- then just chill the dough for an hour or two and try again. It's all for appearances. The slightly flatter cookies certainly tasted good -- and when I set them out on the school treat table, there were absolutely no complaints! (In picture below, the chilled cookies are on the left cookie sheet; first batch is on the right.)

comparing-cookies

Make the icing while the cookies are cooling. You want it soft enough to spread and you need to wait until the cookies are totally cool so the frosting doesn't run over the sides.

finished-frosting

I found the cookies made from chilled dough were less fragile and frosted easier. I held the cookie carefully in my hand and applied the frosting with a small spatula made for that purpose.

frosting-cookiesThe cookies were so beautiful, and just a little fancy. Top them with toasted pecans for even more flair if you like. (To toast nuts, spread them in a single layer on a cookie sheet or baking pan and pop them into a 350° oven. Stir them once after about 4 minutes, and take them out after about 5-7 minutes or when they start to brown lightly.)

When I brought them into school, they disappeared in less time than it took me to put them on the tray! I refilled the tray once and they disappeared again! The pretty pecans and the orange zest peeking out from the frosting made them the center of attention. I also think that they have a rather homey and irregular quality that makes it easy to see they're homemade. (At my kids' school, the homemade goodies are always the ones that go first.)

tea-party-2The recipe makes 3 1/2 dozen cookies, so we had plenty to share, plus a few to enjoy at home with iced tea and lemonade on these last few warm Minnesota days. I kept my extras layered between waxed paper in a container in the fridge and they stayed good for 5 days -- after which I can't tell you how they would be as they were all gone!

I hope you try this great recipe for Pecan Carrot Cookies and have success like I did. I do believe it is worth the time. I'd love to hear your comments or any feedback.

Stop back Thursday to learn about how Becky answers the question, "Do you have any cookies?".

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