FRIENDS. these cookies are unreal. they are huge, soft, and stuffed with a cream cheese filling.
I got the idea for these cookies when I was on Instagram one day and saw a post from a bakery in NYC that had stuffed carrot cake cookies. The second I saw it I knew I needed to recreate it! So here is my recreation. And I think they are pretty darn good. My husband told me these are his favorite cookies I have ever made — I have made him a lot of cookies, so that is high praise. But you will have to be the judge! Try these cookies out and let me know what you think.
Even if you don’t love carrot cake, I still think you will like these cookies. Many people don’t like the raisins in carrot cake — these cookies have no raisins! The only mix-ins are carrots and pecans. The carrots help make the cookies soft and chewy and oh so good.
When making these cookies, first start by making the filling that we will stuff the cookies with. The filling needs to set up in the freezer to make it easier to stuff in the dough, so this should be made first. Once the filling is made and scooped out, it can be put in the fridge, but I think it is best to put it in the freezer for at least 30 minutes to be almost solid.
Before mixing the dough, grate the carrots. Use a small grater, if possible, to get small pieces of carrots. The small pieces mix into the dough much better. Once the carrots are grated, put them in a bowl with paper towels underneath. Leave them in the bowl for about 10 minutes to let the extra water drain out. I would suggest squeezing out as much water as you can before you add them to the dough.
Now let’s talk about butter and sugar! This recipe calls for cold butter, and by cold I mean taken right out of the fridge. I take it out of the fridge, cut it into small pieces, then add it to the bowl. Cold butter gives cookies such a great consistency that can’t be beat. As for the sugar, this recipe calls for only dark brown sugar. That is an important step. You can use light brown sugar if you don’t have dark, but dark brown sugar will give your cookies a richer flavor. So use dark brown sugar if you can!
As I mentioned earlier, the two mix-ins of these cookies are carrots and pecans. You can use salted or not salted pecans, but if you use salted, cut back the amount of salt you add — instead of 1 tsp, add 1/2 tsp. This will keep the salt balance perfect!
These cookies cook at 400 degrees, which is much higher than most cookies. The higher cooking temp and the relatively short cooking time helps the cookies stay big and get golden brown on the outside, but still stay soft on the inside. Since they will be soft on the inside, this next step is very important — when you take the cookies out of the oven, leave them on the pan for at least 30-60 minutes to completely cool off! This is the hardest step to follow because I know you will want to dive into them right away, but I promise they will be even better if you let them cool! Giving them adequate time to cool lets the gooey inside set up perfect. Then you won’t have a doughy cookie, but a beautiful, huge, soft cookie. Please make these and let me know what you think!
STUFFED CARROT CAKE COOKIES
CREAM CHEESE FILLING
- 4 oz cream cheese
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 cups powdered sugar
CARROT CAKE COOKIES
- 1 cup butter cold
- 1 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 3 1/2 cups flour
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt (unless you're using salted pecans, then add 1/2 tsp)
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 cup finely grated carrots
- 1/2 cup pecans crushed
- For the cream cheese filling, add the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla to a medium bowl. With a hand beater (or stand mixer) beat until the mixture is smooth. Add the powdered sugar and mix for about 2 minutes until there are no clumps.
- Using a 1 tbsp sized cookie scoop, scoop the filling onto a piece of wax paper. Scoop out 9 dollops of the filling. There will probably be a little extra filling. Put the filling in the freezer while you make the dough.
- Using a small grater, grate carrots and add to a bowl with a paper towel. Let the carrots sit for at least 10 minutes to let the extra water drain off.
- In a stand mixer, combine cold butter and brown sugar. Mix until smooth and slightly fluffy (about 2 minutes).
- Add the eggs and mix on low until the eggs are just mixed in.
- Add the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Mix on low until there is only a little bit of flour not mixed in.
- Add the carrots and pecans and mix on low until they are just combined in with the rest of the dough and there are no streaks of flour.
- Put the dough in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to chill.
- When you take the dough out, preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
- Grab a large handful of dough. Put one ball of frozen cream cheese filling in the middle of the dough and enclose the dough around it. Place the dough on a kitchen scale. Each dough ball should weigh 8 oz. Add or take away a little dough to get it close to 8 oz. If you want smaller cookies, that is fine, just make them a consistent weight! If you don't have a scale, eyeball it and make them as consistent as you can.
- Bake the dough for 8-11 minutes, until the outside is slightly golden brown and barely set. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 30-60 minutes. This is important so the dough will set up properly. After they cool, dive in!!
Recipe adapted from A Bountiful Kitchen’s Levain Bakery Oatmeal Raisin Cookie.