To appease all the cookie lovers out there that are staying true to their New Year’s resolutions I have the perfect, healthy alternative to carrot cake…enter skinny carrot cake cookies.
This recipe is dedicated to my friend Erica: fellow pharmer (that’s nerd for pharmacist), fitness fanatic, and carrot cake connoisseur. I thought I loved carrot cake, but man this girl is what you might call obsessed with carrot cake. Erica is also the most dedicated runner I know and will brave the Wisconsin winters to train for marathons outdoors. She even qualified for the Boston Marathon this year…”You go Glen CoCo!” (Yes, that was a Mean Girls reference) I can guarantee that Erica will be enjoying a big slice of carrot cake post-marathon. Who’s counting calories when you’re burning thousands?!?!
I will be honest and say that this recipe is not as decadent as the real deal. I chose to exclude a cream cheese frosting, since I wanted to keep these on the light side. Also, cookies sans frosting = minimal mess = happy me. I can grab a cookie (or handful) for breakfast, as a snack, or as dessert when I am running from place to place. But don’t you worry, these cookies are packed with flavor: fresh grated carrots, cinnamon, ginger, honey, apple sauce, and oats. They also stay soft and chewy, which is a requirement in my cookie-making kitchen!
I decided to top the cookies with some organic coconut flakes to add a little extra flare and flavor, but you can always splurge and drizzle on some cream cheese frosting. I promise I won’t tell anyone ;)
Recipe slightly adapted from Amy’s Healthy Baking’s Carrot Cake Oatmeal Cookies
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 12 minutes
Servings: 14-18 cookies
2 medium carrots, peeled and grated (~1 C grated carrot)
1/3 C unsweetened apple sauce
1/3 to 1/2 C organic honey (alternatively maple syrup or agave)
2 1/2 T coconut oil, melted
1 T ground cinnamon
1/2 t ground ginger
1 C quick oats
3/4 C whole wheat flour
1 1/2 t baking powder
1/8 t salt
optional: organic coconut flakes for topping
- Combine carrots, apple sauce, coconut oil, and honey in a medium-sized mixing bowl.
- Combine the dry ingredients, except the coconut flakes, in a small bowl.
- Slowly mix in the dry ingredients with the wet ingredient. Stir until well combined, but do not over mix the batter. Refrigerate the batter for at least 15 minutes. (Note: this will allow the oatmeal to absorb some of the wet ingredient and will make the dough easier to work with)
- Preheat the oven to 350 F while your cookie batter is setting in the refrigerator. Spray a cookie sheet with coconut cooking spray.
- Drop 1 tbsp of the cookie batter, shaped into rounds and slightly flattened, on cookie sheet. Space the cookies at least an inch apart.
- Top each cookie with a sprinkle of coconut flakes and gently press the coconut onto the cookie surface so it sticks. Bake for 12 minutes.
- Remove the cookie sheet from the oven and allow the cookies to cool on the cookie sheet for at least 10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Once the cookies are completely cooled, transfer to an air-tight container and store at room temperature.