Family Recipes: Carrot Cookies…Preserving Family Memories and Traditions

carrot Cookies

Carrot Cookies Like my Mom Used to Make

Most of us have great memories of spending time in the kitchen with Mom or Grandma, sometimes Dad or Grandpa.  I remember making carrot cookies with my Mom almost 40 years ago.  (OK it was more than 40 years ago!)  Mostly I remember juicing the oranges for the glaze.  I got to pull the handle on the old red and chrome citrus juicer we used to have.  One of the best things about making those cookies was eating the glaze that I could scrape up after it ran off the sides of the cookies onto the wax paper when my Mom wasn’t looking.

Carrot cookies are a tender rather delicate cookie.  They do not stack well, so you can’t just put them in a cookie jar.  They will all end up stuck together in a glop.   They can be kept on a covered tray or flat dish with a good lid.  They may be stacked carefully with a sheet of wax paper or foil between the layers.

Carrot Cookie IngredientsCarrot Cookie Ingredients and a Nice GFI Electric Outlet.  One day I hope to have a Beautiful tile back splash.  You know how it is when your husband does tile, marble, granite for a living!

Preheat your oven to 350.

Carrot cookies creamed shortening

Cream sugar, shortening, and vanilla together, add egg, and mashed carrots while still creaming.  I use canned carrots.

Mix remaining dry ingredients together before adding them to the creamed ingredients (or cheat like I do and add the salt and baking powder and mix before adding the flour)  There nothing worse than biting into a lump of baking powder in the middle of a cookie.  You will need to adjust the amount of flour depending on how moist your cooked carrots are.  For me it takes every bit of that 2 and 3/4 cup, but for you maybe it won’t.  They are a very soft cookie, but you don’t want them to just melt into a puddle when you bake them.  Make sure the mixture feels like it has some body to it, not just like the creamed mixture.  Drop by teaspoons onto greased cookie sheet.

Carrot Cookies on stoneware

Carrot cookies on cookie sheet ready to bake. I use a Pampered Chef Stone to bake them, but a regular, greased cookie sheet works fine.

Bake Carrot Cookies for 20 minutes at 350 degrees. While the cookies are baking make your orange glaze.  Mix 2 cups of powdered sugar with 1 teaspoon of softened butter or margarine and 2 to3 Tablespoons of orange juice.


Juicing an orange for the orange glaze for the carrot cookies. My juicer versus my Mom’s old Juice-O-Matic? Can’t say mine is better, but for no more than I use a juicer, clean up is certainly easier. Yes, I Photo-shopped the antique juicer onto my kitchen counter (not very well either). My brother has my Mom’s Juicer displayed with other antiques on the top of his kitchen cabinets.

zesting an orange

Add one teaspoon of orange zest.  To Zest an orange, use a fine grater and grate the orange part off of the peel.  Don’t go deep the white part is bitter. The zest adds nice flavor to the glaze.  It is best to use an organic orange for this as you will be eating the skin.  I don’t suppose anyone ever heard of an organic orange when I was a kid, but then we hadn’t heard of most of the pesticides and bacteria we have now either.

Glaze should be opaque and thick enough that it keeps it form for a few seconds when dropped back into itself with a spoon.  Thicker is better because the glaze gets thinner when poured over warm cookies.

orange glaze

When they are done they will be golden brown in places, but not every where.  Take them off of the cookie sheet and onto a piece of wax paper on the counter with a spatula.

glazing Carrot Cookies

Pour spoonfuls of glaze onto the warm Carrot Cookies.  I usually let them set a few minutes then apply a second coat of glaze.  While the glaze is setting is a good time to poke your fingers down between the cookies to scrape up the icing and lick it off your fingers, but only if your Mom isn’t looking!  Enjoy! 

Carrot Cookies Recipe

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