I was in the sixth form when one of my teachers asked me to make her a carrot cake. I went through a phase of making complementary biscuits to go with cakes I baked, so these carrot cake cookies were made. Since then I’ve developed the recipe and these cookies are not anyone’s sidekick any more… CarrotA Cake Cookies take centre stage.
Carrot Cake Cookies
For the filling
150g full-fat cream cheese
150g icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
For the dough
350g plain flour
½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp ground cloves
150g unsalted butter, softened
100g soft light brown sugar
50g soft dark brown sugar
1 large egg
200g carrot, finely grated
For the décor
zest of 2 oranges and juice of 1 orange
4 tbsp walnuts, finely chopped
Filling × dough
Mix the cream cheese, 3 tbsp of the icing sugar and the vanilla in a large bowl until combined, then pop in the freezer for 30-45 minutes.
Meanwhile, measure your flour, baking powder and spices into another bowl.
Beat your butter and both sugars together in a third bowl until creamy.
Beat your egg into the butter mixture, then tip in your carrot.
Mix together well.
Tip your dry ingredients into the carrot mixture and mix slowly to form a dough.
Roll × Fill
Preheat oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/gas mark 6.
Line a baking tray with baking paper.
Weigh your dough and divide by 15 – this is how much each ball should weigh.
Then flatten them slightly into thin discs using the palm of your hand.
Add a generous teaspoon of the cream cheese filling to the centre of each disc and wrap the dough around the filling to seal.
Pinch the top and roll it back into a ball, making sure no filling leaks out.
Pop the balls on to the tray and flatten slightly.
Place in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes.
Bake the cookies for 20 minutes, until golden brown.
Remove from the oven and leave on the tray for a few minutes to firm up, then transfer to a wire rack to cool further.
Sift the remaining icing sugar into a small bowl and mix with the orange juice – you’re aiming for a drizzling consistency.
Flick the icing over the cookies and top with the orange zest and walnuts.
These are best eaten the day they’re made. They’ll keep for up to 2 days in an airtight container. Pop them in the fridge, though – dairy in the middle.
Extracted from Cheeky Treats by Liam Charles (Hodder & Stoughton, approx €23). Photograph by Haarala Hamilton © Hodder & Stoughton 2018.