One of my favorite parts of the holiday season is the food. Of course, this should not come as a surprise to anyone. The difference between food every other time of the year and the holidays is tradition. During the holidays I get to make and eat foods that, for some reason, are saved for this time of year. That is definitely true of my grandma’s Carrot Cookies.
There is not a Christmas that I can remember that didn’t include Carrot Cookies. This recipe came from my dad’s mom. My own mother started making them at Christmas time during my childhood. They were one of the few cookies that my oldest brother ate. He was never a huge fan of chocolate or sweets in general. I’m sure mom felt that she needed to make some sort of treats that he enjoyed, too.
Through the years my own children have come to look forward to the Christmastime treat. In fact, when D1 heard that I was making Carrot Cookies earlier in the week she was very excited. Her excitement waned when I told her they were for a cookie exchange at work. I told her not to be discouraged; her grandmother would probably make some.
Many times when I tell people, “these are Carrot Cookies”, their faces, or at least their noses, wrinkle up. Carrots don’t seem to belong in cookies. However, when they are cooked and mashed and combined with fresh orange juice they are a soft and delicious treat. Plus, they must be full of Vitamins A and C. They’re practically a health food.
Our office Cookie Exchange didn’t have very many participants. Those who sampled the Carrot Cookies mentioned how soft they are, and the orange flavor. My co-worker who drew the number for my cookie canister is not a huge fan of sweets, similar to my afore-mentioned brother. I told him that his kids might really enjoy those cookies. Of course I touted the health aspects of these Vitamin rich cookies, so that he would feel good about letting the little ones eat them. That was Thursday.
Yesterday at work my Carrot Cookie winning co-worker mentioned that he liked my cookies. He had eaten four the previous evening. Wow. These really must be the cookie that people who don’t eat sweets eat.
As for D1, I do have a bowl of Carrot Cookie dough ready to be baked up right now. Don’t tell her, though. I want it to be a surprise!
What are some of the foods that you look forward to during the holidays? Those foods that you only make or eat during this season? I would love to know!
If you wrinkled your nose when you read “Carrot Cookies” I suggest you give these a try. They might be a new tradition for your holidays!
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup cooked and mashed carrots
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- Juice and grated rind of 1 orange
- 1 teaspoon lemon extract
- 1 cup shortening
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ cups powdered sugar (sifted)
- 1 teaspoon lemon extract
- Juice and grated of orange of ½ – 1 orange
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl until combined.
- Drop by teaspoonful onto ungreased cookie sheets.
- Bake for 20 minutes, or until starting to brown on the edges.
- Remove from the oven and place pan on a cooking rack. Allow to cool for five minutes before removing from pan. Cool completely before icing.
- In a medium mixing bowl, carefully beat or whisk ingredients together to make an icing. If you prefer a thicker icing add less juice. For a thinner glaze, add more orange juice.
- Spread icing on cooled cookies.
- Allow icing to set before serving or plating.