Heidi Swanson’s 101 Cookbooks is one of my favorite sources for cooking inspiration. I had seen this carrot oatmeal cookie recipe several months earlier, but like with many things, I see it, file it away in my mind, and later it pops back up when the right moment arrives. That’s what happened with these cookies. One day I decided it was time. Also, the only ingredient I didn’t have was the coconut oil, which I had been meaning to experiment with. Be sure to use virgin coconut oil, because it still smells and tastes like coconut. Making these cookies was a great sensory experience. The smell of the coconut oil permeates the air, and the oil gives these cookies a creamy sort of quality that I just love. Extra virgin or virgin coconut oil can be on the pricey side, but it’s totally worth it. I adjusted the ingredients of these cookies slightly from Heidi’s recipe. I used brown rice syrup to sweeten them, while she uses an equal amount of maple syrup. One of the great qualities of this cookie is that it’s not too sweet–it’s just sweet enough to be a nice treat, but it’s not too much. Heidi also uses whole wheat pastry flour, while I used white whole wheat flour. It’s the same concept–white whole wheat and whole wheat pastry flour have a lighter texture than whole wheat flour, making them more appropriate for baking. Otherwise, I used the recipe exactly. I do paraphrase a lot in the recipe below–this is not exact verbiage from Heidi’s recipe. I also add a lot of my own commentary.
Ingredients (includes my substitutions)
1 cup white whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
About 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 cup rolled oats
2/3 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup shredded carrots (this ended up being about 2 medium carrots)
1/2 cup brown rice syrup (I think honey would work as a substitute as well, as would the maple syrup Heidi uses in the original recipe)
1/2 cup unrefined coconut oil warmed until just melted-it should be about the consistency of softened butter (you’ll know it’s unrefined if it smells like coconut!)
1 tsp fresh grated ginger (to make it easier on myself, I used a teaspoon of the jarred grated ginger I keep in my refrigerator, but go ahead and use fresh is you have it and you so desire)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a large bowl mix together the flour, baking powder, salt, and oatmeal. Add the carrots and walnuts. In smaller bowl, mix together the coconut oil, brown rice syrup, and ginger. Add wet mixture to the flour mixture until just combined.
Roll into balls of more or less equal size and place onto the cookie sheets.
Bake in the top third of the oven for 10-12 minutes until the cookies are golden brown on top and around the edges.