We always have carrots in the fridge. Most evenings there is a carrot in our dinner salad and Robbie slices carrots and puts them in our sandwiches for color and crunch. They flavor our soups along with onion and garlic and at times we enjoy carrots roasted or steamed. I love it when we find fresh garden carrots in our CSA box—I take advantage and think outside the eating “box.”
This cookie is Alice Medrich’s recipe from Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-in-your-Mouth cookies. I added cayenne pepper and subbed orange for the lemon zest. The cookies are delicious and different but not that easy to make. I mixed them together last night; right after I pulled them from the oven, I went to bed. This morning Robbie came from the kitchen and said, “Good news and bad news. Those cookies are really good but they stick to the parchment paper—I can’t get them off.” I thought not-to-worry because I’d read a note in the recipe telling how to remove the cookies from the parchment: hold one cookie at a time while gently peeling the parchment away from it. But when we pulled a cookie off the paper, some of it still stuck to the bottom of the cookie. Robbie had figured out a solution by the time I got to the kitchen—he had turned the cookies over—the sheet of parchment with cookies stuck on it–and rubbed the paper with a wet kitchen sponge. Voila! The cookies released from the paper. I think if I ever make them again I will put them on a silicone baking mat—most everything releases easily from a “Silpat.”
Be sure to use unsweetened coconut—available in specialty markets that sell nuts and dried fruits, and in natural food stores. The highly sweetened coconut we use in German Chocolate frosting is not a good substitute.
¾ cup whole almonds
2 large egg whites
1 cup organic cane sugar
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
Pinch cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon Real Salt
1 1/3 cup finely shredded carrot
¾ cup unsweetened dried shredded coconut
Heaping ¼ teaspoon grated orange zest
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
In a food processor, pulse the almonds until you get chopped almonds ranging from finely chopped to mostly finely chopped.
In a stainless steel bowl, whisk the egg whites with a fork until frothy. Stir in the sugar, pumpkin pie spice, salt and cayenne. Add the carrot, coconut, almonds and orange zest and stir until everything is moistened. Set aside for 10 minutes to dissolve the sugar and hydrate the coconut. (This is when I took a shower and brushed my teeth.)
Set the bowl directly in a wide skillet of barely simmering water and stir the mixture with a silicone spatula, scraping the bottom to prevent burning, until the mixture is very hot to the touch and any liquid at the bottom of the bowl has thickened and turned from translucent to opaque.
Drop by heaping teaspoons 1 inch apart on parchment lined baking sheets or on silicone baking mats on the baking sheets. Bake about 25 minutes, until the tips of the carrot shreds begin to color. Allow to cool completely. (This is when I went to bed.)
Remove the cookies from the pan as best you can—use Robbie’s trick if you line your pans with parchment.
Keep in a box loosely covered—they will loose their crunch if kept airtight. Alice says do not freeze and I have not tested her caution.