Day 365: Carrot Cookies ◄

To my proper mind, every good meal should end with a sweet note.

And so here for Day 365 (!), by good luck vs good management, is a carrot cookie that expresses my convictions about food and nutrition and balance and pleasure.

The inspiring recipe was SO! unnecessarily indulgent. It was hellbent on turning a 'healthful sounding' carrot cookie into a double order of fries with an apple pie on the side.

The big issue was two cookies (the double order of fries) sandwiching a cream cheese frosting (that'd be the apple pie).
  • The sandwich cookie (the one iced Too Much in the photo) racks up 329 calories and, in the Weight Watchers world, 8 whole points -- EIGHT! Have another, why don't you?
  • After my adjustments, a single satisfying cookie has only 114 calories and 2 Weight Watchers points -- and that's still a lot
My cookies aren't abstemious-tasting in the least. They're very good carrot cookies -- in fact, they're very good cookies, no qualification, especially after sitting a day. They're less cakey than most carrot cookies and packed with the vanilla and spice flavor I added. The drizzle of icing was an added touch but hardly necessary.

SO ... DAY 365 ... You'd think the words would be pouring forth ... but they're not. It's been quite a year, one I'll look back on with considerable pride, remembering how much I learned, realizing how many new vegetables and combinations I tried just because it was fun, all the people who've welcomed me into their kitchens. What's next? I'm not sure. I've been vascillating back and forth for a few weeks now. End on a high (as well as sweet?!) note? Continue as is but posting less frequently? Less likely, launch another venture? For now, I'm going to take a few days off to see how "life without blogging" feels.

CARROT COOKIES
Hands-on time: 30 minutes
Time to table: 60 minutes
Serves 24

1/3 cup pecans (vs 1 cup walnuts)
1 cup grated carrots (from 2 medium carrots)

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/3 cup sugar (vs 1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons)
1/3 cup brown sugar (vs 1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons)
1 egg
1 tablespoon vanilla (vs 1/2 teaspoon)
1/3 cup currants (vs 1/2 cup bigger raisins)

1 cup flour (vs 1 1/8 cup flour)
2 teaspoons Penzeys baking spice or cinnamon (vs 1 teaspoon cinnamon)
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (my addition)
1/4 teaspoon ginger (my addition)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon table salt

ICING
4 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese aka Neufchatel (vs 8 ounces cream cheese)
1 tablespoon honey (vs 1/4 cup honey)

Preheat oven to 375.

Place pecans in a single layer oven dish, put in oven immediately, before oven is preheated. Remove when aromatic and toasted (about the time they're needed for the cookies, as it turns out), then chop finely.

Grate the carrot and let drain over a colander.

In a large bowl with an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugars til smooth. Add the egg and vanilla, beat for about 2 minutes. Gently add in nuts, carrots and currants.

(What follows is an unorthodox but effective technique. It substitutes for separately mixing the flour, spices, baking soda and salt.) Measure the flour, spices, baking soda and salt onto the top of the wet mixture but don't incorporate. With a spoon, gently and lightly stir together the dry ingredients on top of the wet mixture, still not incorporating. Now turn the mixer back on and mix the wet and dry ingredients until combined.

Using two spoons, one to scoop and one to scrape, transfer scoops of dough (it'll be wet) onto a cookie sheet (use parchment if you don't have good cookie sheets) leaving space between the cookies for spreading. Bake for about 12 minutes. Let cool and drizzle with icing.

ICING Mix the icing ingredients in a small bowl with a spoon. Transfer to the corner of a small ziplock bag. Spin the corner and drizzle the cookies with icing. (It's a soft icing so if you're going to transport, you might want to do this after arrival.)

NUTRITION ESTIMATE
AS SPECIFIED BY THE RECIPE, per cookie: 329 Cal (51% from Fat, 7% from Protein, 42% from Carb); 6 g Protein; 19 g Tot Fat; 9 g Sat Fat; 36 g Carb; 2 g Fiber; NetCarb34; 42 mg Calcium; 1 mg Iron; 209 mg Sodium; 57 mg Cholesterol; Weight Watchers 8 points -- EIGHT POINTS!!

AFTER "ALANNA-SIZING" per cookie: 114 Cal (49% from Fat, 6% from Protein, 45% from Carb); 2 g Protein; 6 g Tot Fat; 3 g Sat Fat; 13 g Carb; 1 g Fiber; NetCarb 12; 15 mg Calcium; 1 mg Iron; 103 mg Sodium; 24 mg Cholesterol; Weight Watchers 2 1/2 points


CREDIT WHERE CREDIT'S DUE
Adapted from Gourmet, April 2004


(c) Copyright 2006 Kitchen Parade

15 comments:

You definitely deserve a break, but my hope is that you'll come back from it refreshed and willing to keep us supplied with new veggie recipes, at least periodically.

Happy 365th post! :-)

It's been so fun getting to "know" you during the time you blogged your 365 days of veggie love. Congratulations on a real accomplishment. Do come back and give us more great recipes to try. Enjoy the days off!

Congratulations on a well done year! Enjoy your break!

i hope you are coming back, inspired, for more recipes. And if you decide on another venture let us know please!

Congratulations ... you definitely deserve the break! And thank you for everything that you've shared with us.

By the way ... those cookies ... fantastic!

Alanna: Thank you so much for your veggie blogging efforts during the past year. I've only been reading for the last two months, but I've tried at least 15-20 of your recipes and I hope to continue using some of the summer recipes from the files in the next couple of months.

Best wishes for a well-deserved rest and I'm hoping you'll return with some great new (veggie?) recipes.

I'm going to try the carrot cookies because we (Alaska) has the best carrots in the world.
Enjoy your time off!

The big 3-6-5! Congrats, Alanna!

Hi all, thanks for the good wishes, truly.

And "Alaska"? You may have single handedly persuaded me to come back with a vengeance! If you'd ever like to do a guest post, just say, truly! It'd be cool to learn more about those Alaskan carrots or ... or ... !

Thank you for sharing such a great year. Your cookie recipe sounds wonderful.

this recipe looks great and what a great experiment you've accomplished with this blog. enjoy the break!

Eep! You mean I've had the original recipe clipped and in my to-do file for 2 years??? At this point, I think I'd be better off ditching it and making yours. And promising myself not to wait 2 years to do it.

Congratulations on your accomplishment! Enjoy your break and I hope to see you back here soon!

Congrats on your milestone ... hope you keep going. I've missed you from ARF/5-A-Day lately...

What a year to be proud of! So many veggies tried, so many people turned onto to new and different things.

Your break is indeed well-deserved!

Congratulations AK! What a wonderful venture this was...I enjoyed it very much! Enjoy your break :) and I hope you will be back soon!

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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna