Citrusy Carrot Cake Sandwich Cookies

Citrusy Carrot Cake Sandwich Cookies {}

Moist carrot cake and a citrus cream cheese frosting. In a nice compact handheld cookie. What more can you ask for?

Citrusy Carrot Cake Sandwich Cookies {}

As I age I find the eye is trained to zero in on imperfections.  When I became aware of this I thought imperfections are just easy to spot. For example, if I have a stain on my shirt my eye can probably zero in on that in seconds. I came to realize, maybe I’m just looking for the stain; something imperfect for no reason at all.  I believe this is true of many of us. In my case I can safely say it’s environmental. And though I fight this daily, hourly even – I have been conditioned to spot all that is faulty. Zero in on it like an imperfection bulls eye. It’s the way I was raised. I even married into it. It’s a way of life.

Citrusy Carrot Cake Sandwich Cookies {}

It’s draining, ya’ know? It kills the spirit. Those closest to you without fail point out all that is faulty in your life, in everything you do. They’re quick to offer unsolicited advice on how you can make improvements. They see nothing wrong in doling out a list of criticisms, in pointing out how and where you went wrong. They feel these “criticisms” are helping you improve. They are making you stronger, dammit! And shit, why aren’t you thanking them for pointing out something that would be otherwise insignificant?

Citrus Carrot Cake Sandwich Cookies {}

Seldom do they point out what is beautiful or well done. Seldom do you receive compliments – And when you do it comes with a side of critique fries. Even when you’ve achieve what you feel is near perfection you get a “Yeah, that’s not your best. You can do better.” You get more support from strangers. They’re doing all of this because they love you. That’s what they have you believe.

Citrusy Carrot Cake Sandwich Cookies {}

I’ve been on the receiving end of enough negativity to last me several lifetimes. Not only is this way of life emotionally and spiritually draining, it stunts your personal growth. It stunts creativity. It ensures you don’t take risks.  It feeds self-doubt. You condition your brain for failure with every step you take.  You learn to ignore that nagging feeling in your gut that tells you, you are doing the right thing.

And I’ve had enough.

Citrusy Carrot Cake Sandwich Cookies {}

Let’s talk about these cookies. This is the VERY LAST recipe I will hold onto because all I can see are imperfections. Because it doesn’t compare to what I was conditioned to believe is great. Based on opinions that are not my own. Fuck that. It doesn’t matter anymore. The time for comparison is HELLA OVAH. These cookies are damn delicious. That is all you need to know.

This is a carrot cake cookie recipe I found in the Martha Stewart Cookie Book. It’s been done and overdone. It’s been photographed the same way a million times by many of us.

What makes my cookies stand out above all others?

Citrusy Carrot Cake Sandwich Cookies {}

In the words of Frank Sinatra – I did it MY WAY. I made very little changes to the carrot cake cookie base. I played with the ratios a bit. A little less flour, a little more spice. But cream cheese frosting? Yeah, it has orange zest and juice in it. Orange zest, yo! I love the combination of spiced cookies and orange zest. I dunno. I think citrus in cookies just makes my day brighter. I wanted to share the wealth. If haven’t noticed there’s a clear lack of trickle down wealth. I’m just doing my part.

So there it is. This is THE last time you’ll hear me talking about crappy photos, or how I wasn’t happy with my photos, or how I held onto a recipe for months because I’ve been conditioned to doubt myself. I’m not allowing that demon in. It could go back to where it came from.

From now on we’re having cookies. We’re having cake. We’re having drinks. I don’t care about perfection. I care about bringing delicious situations.  And I’m going to bring the hell out of it.

Peace out.

Citrusy Carrot Cake Sandwich Cookies {}



For the carrot cake cookies

  • 1 cup 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • cups all-purpose flour scooped then leveled
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 1/2 cups finely grated carrots (about 3 large carrots)

For the citrus cream cheese frosting

  • 8 ounces 1 block of full fat cream cheese, room temperature
  • ½ cup 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 ¾ - 2 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 2 teaspoons orange juice


Make the cookie dough:

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves. Stir this jammy to combine and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine sugars and butter. Beat on medium/high speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add eggs one and a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla extract.
  • Reduce the mixer speed to low. Gradually add flour until just blended. Add the oats and carrots. Remove bowl from mixer and transfer dough to an airtight container. Cover and chill the dough in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. While the dough is chilling make the citrus cream cheese frosting.

Make the citrus cream cheese frosting:

  • In a bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, combine the cream cheese and butter. Mix on medium speed until combined, about 45 seconds or so. Turn off the mixer and add confectioners’ sugar. Mix on low speed until the sugar is mostly combined with the butter and cream cheese. Add the vanilla bean paste, orange zest, and orange juice. Increase the speed to high and mix until the cream cheese is light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes.
  • Remove bowl from mixer and cover with plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator until ready to use. Store any unused frosting in an airtight container. Frosting will last about 3 days or so in the refrigerator.

Bake the cookies:

  • Remove cookie dough from the refrigerator and using a 1/2-ounce ice-cream scoop, scoop dough onto prepared baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches between each cookie. Bake for about 12 minutes or until the cookies are browned, making sure to rotate the pan halfway through to ensure even baking and color. Remove cookies from the oven. Allow to cool for about 5 minutes or so, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Assemble the sandwich cookies:

  • Place half the cookies flat side up. Using a cookie scoop or an offset spatula spread about 2 teaspoons of cream-cheese filling onto each cookie. Top with another cookie. Repeat. Cookies will keep in an airtight container for about 3 days. Makes about 3 dozen sandwich cookies.

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