My mom has declared this her new favourite cookie and demanded I make it at Christmas time. I knew she would love it, which is why I made a few extras when making some for a coworker's husband's birthday (that's a mouthful). These were actually a batch of cookies I put up for our charitable campaign silent auction at work. This was the last of my charitable campaign baking commitments.
These cookies are very yummy, especially for fans of carrot cake and cream cheese frosting (who doesn't like cream cheese frosting? only crazy people).
I got the original recipe over a year ago and made them for my spring tea party. It was a quite a hit and I kept it around to make again. This was the first time I had gotten around to making them and I decided to make a slight alteration to the recipe which I believe made them even better!
Carrot Cake Shortbread with Cream Cheese Frosting
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/3 cup shredded carrot
1 tsp vanilla essense
2 1/2 cup plain flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
3 tbsp ground walnuts
walnut pieces for decoration
Cream cheese frosting: see here.
1. In a bowl, beat butter, carrot and vanilla extract with an electric mixer for about 30 seconds. Transfer butter mixture to a piece of clingwrap and shape into a log. Wrap and put in freezer for 20 minutes.
2. Preheat oven to 300 deg F. When the oven is ready, toast the walnut halves for 10 minutes.
3. In the mean time, stir flour, cinnamon, salt, ground walnuts and brown sugar in a large bowl. Remove butter mixture from freezer and then add into flour mixture. Using a pastry blender (or your hands), cut the butter mixture into the flour mixture until it resembles fine crumbs and cling together. Knead the dough until smooth and forms a ball.
4. Roll the dough on a lightly floured surface into 1/4-inch thickness. Cut out cookies with a 1 1/2-inch fluted cookie cutter.
5. Press the walnut pieces onto half the cookies. Then bake in the preheated oven for 18 to 20 minutes, or until the edges of the cookies turn slightly brown.
6. Pipe the frosting on half the cookies, top with remaining cookies, with walnut sides up.