It’s time for a quick history lesson!
Did you know Carrot cake is often referred to as Passion cake? The history of this sweet dessert can go back as far as Medieval Times. Carrots were used in sweet cakes since sweeteners were scarce and expensive. Here in the States following the end of WWII there was an over abundance of canned carrots. A business man named George C. Page hired master Bakers to find uses for the cans of carrots. He promoted the idea of carrot cake after seeing a recipe on the side of the cans. The cakes became very popular in the 1960’s in restaurants and cafeterias from coast to coast. Every establishment had the delectable dessert on their menu.
My family history of carrot cake is with my Grandma Taylor. She was a wonderful baker. I loved spending time with her. The most amazing smells filled my Grandma’s kitchen and I loved sitting there watching her glide easily from counter to oven and back. She would make the most delicious baked goods and all from memory. I never remembered seeing her ever refer to a cookbook. After her death I found a small spiral notebook with my Grandma’s hand written recipes.
Consider these cookies portable mini carrot cakes! They are made with my Grandma’s recipe in mind.
2 cups brown sugar
2 cups sugar
1 lb. butter
2 tsp. vanilla
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
2 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 ½ tsp. ginger
3 cups grated carrots
1 cup raisins
4 cups rolled oats
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, optional
Cream butter and sugars together until light brown. Add eggs one at a time. Wait until each one is combined before adding the next. Mix in vanilla. Fold in carrots, raisins and oats.
Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger in a large bowl. Slowly add mix to wet ingredients by fourths. Scrape after each addition.
Scoop by teaspoons (I use a small 1-tsp ice cream scooper to make the perfect size) onto a lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes at 350° until golden.
Cool on rack.
While the cookies are baking and cooling, whip up the frosting.
1 lb. cream cheese (softened)
1 lb. butter (softened)
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
Cream butter and cream cheese until no lumps remain.
Slowly add vanilla and sifted powdered sugar.
After the cookies have cooled and the frosting is ready, assemble them by smearing some frosting on the bottom of one cookie and then sandwiching it closed with another.