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WW2 Carrot Cookies Recipe

If you're craving a vintage dessert recipe that is also delicious, don't miss this carrot cookies recipe from the 1930s.

Updated January 09, 2018
WW2 Carrot Cookies Recipe
WW2 Carrot Cookies Recipe
This image courtesy of recipelion.com

This WW2 Carrot Cookies Recipe will impress your grandmother! This particular recipe is kind of like a mix of muffins and cookies with a dash of cake - what more could you want?

The cream cheese frosting on top gives them a great dessert quality, but if you leave off the frosting, these cookies could easily pass for a decently healthy breakfast treat.

Make these tasty vintage cookies for a special occasion like Christmas or Easter, or just a Wednesday you feel like sweetening up!

Serves36 cookies

Preparation Time25 min

Cooking Time12 min

Easy

Ingredients

  • 2 cups carrots, peeled and sliced (1 cup after cooking)
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped candied ginger
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temp
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar

Instructions

  1. In a small saucepan cook the carrots with water until tender. Drain and mash.
     

  2. Heat oven to 375 F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
     

  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer cream the butter with the sugars until light and fluffy.
     

  4. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined.
     

  5. On low speed, add the mashed carrots.
     

  6. In a medium bowl whisk the flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.
     

Why the carrot craze in WW2?

These cookies are inspired by recipes that were popular in Britain during World War II, but you might be wondering what the connection is! Carrots were very popular in baked goods because they were a good substitute for sugar, which was rationed during the war. Recipes for carrot cookies, carrot cakes, and even carrot flan were developed, and the best recipes are still enjoyed today.

The other interesting thing about carrots in World War II is that they were used in propaganda from the British Ministry of Intelligence. By 1939, British pilots in the Royal Air Force were using new radar technology (Airborne Interception Radar) to target and shoot down enemy planes. Because this was a new technology, and they didn't want the Germans to know about it, the Ministry invented a reason why their pilots had become so adept at shooting down planes. They said that British pilots ate lots of carrots to improve their night vision!

There's not a lot of evidence that the German army believed this tall tale, but the idea that carrots improve your vision has stuck around to this day. It is true that they're good for your eyes... but they won't actually improve your night vision.

To learn more about why carrots were popular in World War II, check out this article from Smithsonian Magazine.

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When I view this recipe on my computer, the directions stop after step 6, leaving out combining wet and dry ingredients as well as the oven temp and cook time. How do I get the rest of the directions?

My family has a beloved carrot cake recipe with of course, a super creamy/sugary cream cheese icing- yum! I never thought of turning that cake into a cookie before but I love the idea! Much easier to eat/carry on-the-go. Will definitely be trying these soon!

What a great story behind this recipe...I feel inclined to up my carrot intake to see if they'll help my night vision, it couldn't hurt. Carrot cake inspired desserts and snacks are the best in my book and although I'm not much of a frosting fan, I think these little bites of deliciousness would be wonderful with a light dusting of powdered sugar.

Oh my gosh. These cookies were so good. I loved how soft they were!

I LOVED these cookies. They were honestly the best cookies I have ever tasted...

So good! I loved the cream cheese frosting on this!

WHOA, these cookies are incredible! The light carrot flavor and good texture paired perfectly with the sweet frosting.

Just sweet enough, crunchy contrast with the nuts was delightful. The fluffy frosting was the perfect topper!

I loved the crunchy texture to these delicious cookies. I'll have to have them again soon!

I LOVED these cookies. I'm a big fan of baked goods, but I can't stand when they're too sweet. These cookies had a comfortingly sweet flavor without feeling like I was overloading on sugar. And they look beautiful too. You can see tiny flecks of carrots through the cookie, which makes them even more colorful on the plate!

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