While everyone has the tradition of leaving cookies out for Santa on Christmas Eve, I was the only one that left a tray of carrots for the reindeer as well. It seemed only fair to me – those reindeer are working hard all night to drag Santa’s rather portly shape around the world, they deserve a treat as well.
However, why leave out two separate trays, dirtying two separate plates, when you can leave out only one? After I started having to do my own dishes a while back, I decided to consolidate the cookie-carrot extravaganza and – if you’ll excuse the saying – kill two reindeer with one stone. Carrot cake cookies! These delicious delicacies managed to cover all the necessary bases in one fell swoop: Cookies √ Carrots √ Milk √ (There’s milk in cream cheese, right? Totally counts). This Christmas, give back to those hardworking reindeer with these tasty treats!
- 1 1/8 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
- 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup coarsely grated carrots (2 medium carrots)
- 1 cup (3 ounces) walnuts, chopped
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- 1/4 cup honey
Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter 2 baking sheets
Whisk together flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt.
Beat butter, sugars, egg, and vanilla together in a bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed for about 2 minutes, or until pale and fluffy. Mix in carrots, nuts, and raisins at low speed, then add flour mixture and beat until combined.
Drop 1 1/2 tablespoons of batter per cookie 2 inches apart on baking sheets and bake for 12 to 16 minutes, switching positions of sheets halfway through until cookies are lightly browned and springy to the touch. Cool cookies on the sheet for 1 minute, then transfer to racks to cool completely.
While cookies are baking, blend cream cheese and honey in a food processor until smooth.
Sandwich flat sides of cookies together with a generous tablespoon of cream cheese filling in between.
This recipe makes about 13 cookies, so after you take care of all nine reindeer and Santa you’ll have three of these bad boys left over for your own Christmas cheer!