Okay, let me start by saying that when my mother reads the title of this post, she will fall off her chair. She’ll think to herself, “there’s no way my daughter voluntarily made something that includes ginger in the title…”. And typically, she’d be right. I’m just not a big fan of ginger — at least not as a predominant or stand-alone flavor. Truth is, the smell of ginger makes me think of soap, and the thought of eating soap is not exactly appetizing. I never had my mouth washed out with soap for saying something naughty as a child, but I suppose if you were unfortunate enough to endure that experience, you know exactly how unpleasant the taste of soap is. Do parents even do that anymore? What’s it supposed to be anyway — an exorcism for your mouth? Out, out, bad words, you’ve been washed away! Go forth clean tongue and teeth, and utter only good.
Okay, moving on.
How I arrived at this recipe is a bit like following a conversation among teenage girls. They start on one innocuous subject and within minutes seamlessly bounce among four or five different topics without any obvious bridge until they land somewhere so distinctly different from where they started that an eavesdropper would swear he must have blacked out for a good portion of the conversation. It all started with birthday party planning for my soon-to-be-three son. He loves pumpkin bread and has told me he’ll be having a “pumpkin bread cake” for his birthday. Alrighty then, I’ll be sure to tell the chef. So while I pretended he was going to take a nap this afternoon, I was looking at my pumpkin bread recipe and thinking about converting it to a cake recipe, then window shopping for random stuff on etsy, then scrolling for cake recipes, and then lost my laser-like focus and remembered a carrot cookie recipe I’d seen recently that looked pretty interesting. Hey, at least pumpkins and carrots are both orange – it all makes sense now.
As much as the motivation for this recipe was to try baking a cookie with carrots, the predominant taste is coconut. Probably due to both the coconut flakes and the coconut oil. I also happen not to be a huge fan of coconut. (How the heck did I end up with this recipe??) But I really liked the outcome, honest. The cookies feel light in the mouth, almost like a macaroon that is double-dating a carrot and ginger. I can never eat more than one coconut macaroon because of the coconut overload, but since baking these I’ve already eaten ….. well, let’s just say I’ve liberally indulged in these cookies. For the sake of this post, of course. Quality control is important, people!
The recipe makes about two and a half dozen cookies; although I typically make small cookies, so it’s probably closer to two dozen medium cookies. I, along with my toddler helper, actually made two versions of the cookies — with and without dried cranberries added. The toddler gets kudos for the cranberry addition. He spied the bag of dried berries in the baking cabinet as we were prepping the batter, and there was no convincing him otherwise. Of course, he then also required a bowl of them for a snack. Again, quality control! We just stirred the cranberries into the mixed batter before spooning out the second batch. The berries added a nice punch, but they’re definitely not a requirement. The berry-less cookies are just as tasty (and have less sugar), so you can skip the cranberries if they’re not your thing or you don’t have any on hand.
Recipe: Coconut Carrot Ginger Cookies
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup old fashioned oats
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup grated carrots
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
2 generous Tablespoons finely diced crystallized ginger (or more to taste)
1/2 cup agave nectar
1/2 cup coconut oil (I use organic virgin coconut oil from Trader Joe’s.)
optional: 3/4 cup dried cranberries
Preheat oven to 375 degrees (note: I actually cooked them at 350 on convection)
Combine flour, oats, baking powder and salt in large bowl. Add carrots, shredded coconut and crystallized ginger and stir to combine. In small bowl (or liquid measuring cup) combine agave nectar and coconut oil and stir briskly. Pour liquid into dry ingredients’ bowl, and stir until batter is wet throughout, but avoid over mixing. Stir in cranberries, if using. Spoon batter onto lined cookie sheets (note: the spooned out batter may act like it wants to fall apart; just squeeze gently with fingers to hold together for baking). Bake for 9 – 12 minutes (I baked for 9 minutes on convection setting), until edges start to turn golden brown. The cookie’s finished color is light, so don’t wait until they turn an overall golden brown to remove. Cool on sheet for a couple minutes before removing to rack.