Growing up I can always remember my mom’s carrot cookies. I can’t specifically remember any occasion that would call for them, but when she surprised my brother and I with a batch it always brought a feeling of joy, comfort, and warmth to me. However no matter how great this surprise was nothing beat actually being able to make the cookies with my mom in the kitchen, for those are probably some of my most cherished childhood memories involving food.
The first thing we would do is grab the vintage Pyrex mixing bowls out of the cabinet, a gift mom and dad received the year they were married back in 1970. To this day vintage Pyrex are the only bowls I can use to mix in, otherwise cooking just does not feel the same to me. My set is from the flea market and every time I grab them it reminds me of my moms.
After setting out our tools we would precisely measure and pour all of the ingredients carefully into the bowl and I would use a giant wood spoon to gradually turn the batter over and over again until it was blended just right. Of course my favorite part of this whole experience was just after everything had been mixed taking the spoon and licking the batter completely off of it. I would then use my finger and wipe my way around the bowl’s rim to make sure and get every last drop I could.
Next my mom and I would carefully place small dollops of the batter onto the greased cookie sheet making sure each cookie was just the right size before placing it into the warm oven. I remember just waiting in anticipation for the timer to go off. Staring at it as if it would make the time go faster. Once the buzzer would sound my mom would pull the cookies out and take her spatula and place each one out onto the newspaper we had laid out in order for them to cool off. On a cold Colorado winter day nothing beats warm cookies coming straight from the oven. I hated the 10 minutes I would have to wait till they were cool enough to eat. However after all of the waiting it was always worth it. The moment the warm cookie touched my lips I could taste the sweetness from the coconut, the hint of vanilla which gave it just a little something extra, the richness from the butter, and just the overall chewy deliciousness that were them.
These cookies are not the healthiest per say, however life has to be about these small doses of enjoyment. These are the memories that stick with us as adults and become our comfort on a cold day. Just one taste as an adult brings you right back to the place you enjoyed them as a child. The tricky part is learning how to appreciate them in moderation, something I personally have struggled my whole life with. Last night after a hard day and needing to decide what to make for a for bake sale fundraiser at work I finally landed on the idea that I needed a little comfort in my night and so I decided the carrot cookies were in order. Below is my mom’s original recipe, I hope you all enjoy them as much as I have over the years!
Carrot Cookie Recipe
1 cup. flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp soda
1/2 cup. white sugar
1/2 cup. brown sugar (use less of both sugars if desired)
1/2 tsp vanilla (I used lemon as I was out of vanilla and it tasted amazing)
1/2 cup. grated carrots (I used the pre-grated ones from Trader Joes. Quick and Easy)
3/4 cup. rolled oats
1/4 cup. wheat germ
1/2 cup. coconut
1/2 cup. butter or margarine (I used 1/4 cup of butter and 1/4 cup un-sweetened applesauce to cut calories)
Combine dry ingredients.Cream butter and sugar. Add egg and vanilla.
Stir in rest of ingredients
Bake 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes. Makes 4 dozen