Carrot-Cake Thumbprint Cookies

Prep Time:
35 mins
Total Time:
1 hr 45 mins
Makes 1 1/2 dozen

You can have your cake and eat it, too--as a cookie! The bases for these thumbprints are studded with grated carrots, chopped pecans, golden raisins, and rolled oats. The creamy filling features fresh goat cheese (cream cheese would work in its place) and a swirl of apricot jam. The result? Layers of flavor in every bite.


  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted, plus ½ stick, room temperature, for frosting

  • cup packed light-brown sugar

  • cup granulated sugar

  • 1 large egg yolk, room temperature

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger

  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • ¾ teaspoon coarse salt

  • ¾ cup old-fashioned rolled oats

  • ¾ cup packed finely grated carrots (from about 3)

  • ¼ cup golden raisins, chopped

  • ¾ cup pecans, finely chopped

  • ¼ cup confectioners' sugar

  • 2 ounces fresh goat cheese or cream cheese, room temperature

  • 1 ½ teaspoons apricot jam


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together melted butter, brown and granulated sugars, and yolk. In another bowl, whisk together flour, ginger, cinnamon, and salt. Stir flour mixture into butter mixture to combine. Mix in oats, carrots, and raisins. Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes.

  2. Roll dough into 1 1/2-inch balls; roll balls in pecans to coat. Space 2 inches apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake 10 minutes. Remove from oven; press an indentation into center of each cookie with the end of a wooden spoon. Bake until golden brown on bottoms, 10 to 12 minutes more. Transfer cookies to a wire rack; let cool.

  3. In a bowl, beat remaining 1/2 stick butter and confectioners' sugar on medium until smooth. Beat in goat cheese until just combined. Swirl in jam. Fill center of each cookie with goat-cheese mixture; serve.

    Marcus Nilsson

Cook's Notes

Piping makes fast work of filling the cookies; use a plastic bag with a corner snipped off. You can also simply spoon it in.

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