Friday, April 10, 2009

Easter Bunny Carrot Cookies

With Easter arriving this coming Sunday, all of the cooking shows, websites, and blogs are focusing on egg-and-bunny themed desserts. I've seen cakes, brownies, cookies, trifles, and cupcakes that have been coated in pastel colors and shaped to form various Spring creatures. I, of course, find all of these treats adorable. I think that as a new Easter tradition, instead of simply coloring eggs, I'm going to begin making egg-shaped Rice Krispies treats, dipping them in fine chocolate, and coating with pink and lavender and blue sprinkles.

What I've also noticed (it's difficult not to, really) are pages of recipes focusing on Spring ingredients: Spinach! Asparagus! Rhubarb! The list of fantastic seasonal produce is a long one, as I've pleasantly begun to discover, based on the local farmer's markets. I decided that I could come up with an unbearably cute Easter dessert, one that would be too pretty or too precious to actually eat. Or instead (as if I had to make a choice between one and the other...) I could make something that incorporated some of the flavors of the season. In that vein, I took a cue from the Easter Bunny and decided to make a carrot-based dessert.

I found this recipe for Carrot Cookies, and I slightly modified some of the ingredients, and substantially lowered the sugar amount, allowing the vegetable and the pineapple to lend their flavors more than they would have otherwise. I like how the cookies turned out: light and fluffy. Very Spring-like, indeed. The only thing I would have done differently would be to experiment more with the spices; I think these could have benefited from a stronger kick of spice. Regardless, these are the perfect cookies to serve next to the towering rabbit cake or the Easter-egg colored frosted brownies on Easter day.

Carrot Cookies

2 ½ cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. ground cloves
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ tsp. salt
1 ½ cups quick oats
¾ cups dark brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
2 sticks (1 cup) salted butter, softened
2 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups grated carrots
½ cup crushed pineapple, drained
1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, cloves, cinnamon, salt, and oats. Mix well with a whisk.
In a large bowl with an electric mixer, blend sugars. Add butter to mix.
Add eggs and vanilla and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add carrots, pineapple, and nuts and blend until combined.
Add flour mixture and blend at low speed until just combined. Do not overmix.
Drop by rounded teaspoons onto ungreased baking sheets, about 1 ½ inches apart. Bake 14-15 minutes, but do not brown. Cool completely on wire racks.


CC said...

Thank you so much for sharing your recipe. I'm always looking for new things to try and I appreciate the reduction in the sugar. We can all use that! Happy Easter!

Cpolchowski said...

So glad you liked it, CC! I'm making a conscious effort now to use less sugar or more natural sugars in my baking now, wherever possible.