I’m addicted to baking cookies. I love coming up with new flavors and experimenting with different textures. My husband eats cookies by the dozen and knows a good one when he tastes it, so he makes the perfect guinea pig on which to test new recipes.
In my house, new cookie flavors are often created with whatever random foods are in my fridge or pantry and that just need to get gone. Such was the case with these carrot and molasses cookies. They came about when I realized that I bought way too many carrots for some soup. It occurred to me to bake a carrot cake with them, but I had already made sweet potato pound cake the week before, and a girl can only eat so much cake.
So, the carrots sat for a few days before I decided they should be made into some sort of cookies. However, I was completely out of brown sugar (I only make sugar cookies without brown sugar). Luckily, I remembered that I had molasses left over from making gingerbread at Christmastime. And, isn’t brown sugar just white sugar coated in molasses?
Anyway, that’s how the idea for these cookies was born. And, I see it as an especially happy accident because these little guys are soft and chewy and delicious. Also, they’re easy to make and 100% husband approved.
To get started, go ahead and gather your ingredients:
- ½ cup (1 stick) of softened butter
- 1 cup of sugar
- ¼ cup of molasses
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 large carrot (finely grated)
- 1/3 cup of shredded coconut flakes (I used sweetened)
- 2 cups of flour
- 1 tsp of baking soda
- 1 tsp of salt
- ¼ cup of chopped pecans (optional)
Set your oven to 350 degrees, and then mix the butter, sugar and molasses together in a bowl. Now, I use a standing mixer, but you could also use beaters or even a wooden spoon. The mixture doesn’t necessarily need to be creamed, but make sure no big butter chunks are left.
One of my favorite things about this recipe is that it only requires one bowl. Baking is therapeutic to me, so I don’t like to make a big mess. In fact, I’m a huge proponent of cleaning as you go. For instance, as you add ingredients and use measuring cups and what-not, take time to put things back where they came from and rinse or wash kitchen tools so you can reuse them instead of grabbing clean ones. I find that baking is a much more enjoyable practice if my kitchen stays clean, so if there’s no reason for you to rush on this recipe, then don’t. Keep your area tidy, and take time to stop and smell the molasses.
Okay, so after your butter, sugar, and molasses are BFFs, scrape the sides of the bowl and add the egg and vanilla. Mix until those ingredients are just incorporated before adding your carrots and shredded coconut flakes. Stir it all together again.
Finally, dump in your flour, baking soda, salt, and pecans. Combine with the wet mixture.
Grab a spoon and a baking sheet. I like to make somewhat big cookies and give them plenty of room, so I filled up two baking sheets with 12 cookies each. If you go this route, then bake at 350 degrees for 10-11 minutes.
This cookie dough is naturally a dark golden color because of the molasses, so it’s hard to judge if they’re done based on color. I normally wait until all shine has disappeared from the tops.
Once you take the cookies out of the oven, give them a few minute to cool. The tops will shrink a bit and begin to look a bit moister than they did when you first took them out. This is exactly what you want to see because it means your cookies are going to be soft and chewy.
All that’s left now is to pat yourself on the back and taste your cookies. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!