Always on the lookout for cute treat ideas for kid parties, I stumbled across this adorable carrot in dirt idea while browsing on TheKitchn.com. I’d been planning for yet another outdoor get together, this time with Denise’s nephews— these cookies are perfect. I made a few of my own changes for Tyler and Ryan’s little boy messy party at the clubhouse in our neighborhood.
Carrot Shortbread Cookies
Adapted from 101Cookbooks.com
• 1 ¾ cups all purpose flour
• ¼ teaspoon baking powder
• 10 tablespoons salted butter, softened
• 2/3 cup brown sugar
• 5 ounces grated carrots
• ½ teaspoon cinnamon
• ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
• 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves (optional)
• 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
• Red food coloring
• Yellow food coloring
I skipped the apple in the original recipe in order to pump up the carrot flavor. I consider the strength of carrot flavor similar to pumpkin or sweet potato, so naturally I added spices that typically compliment those ingredients. Also, I couldn’t possibly use only a few ounces of carrots, so I added a bit extra there too— it can’t hurt, and only makes the cookies healthier!
Grate your carrots into a small bowl and set aside. Using your hand-mixer or stand mixer, cream together the softened butter and brown sugar. Next, begin adding the carrot, at about a half cup at a time.
In a separate bowl, pour the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg—sift with a fork. Add to your sugar butter mixture, a cup at a time.
At this point, the carrots have yielded a very yellow color to your dough. Add some red and possibly a bit more yellow food coloring to saturate the color. Place the dough, wrapped in plastic wrap, in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
Preheat your oven to 350°. Layer parchment paper over your cookie sheet. Take a handful of dough and roll it out onto a clean and floured surface. I used a cookie cutter in the shape of an ice cream cone to cut the shapes, but hand cut would work nicely as well. Place the cookie on the baking sheet, then take a toothpick and wiggle a hole about ¾ inch in width. Also, I used the same toothpick to trace half-circle lines on each cookie, to mimic a real carrot. Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes, or just as the cookies begin to brown. Set aside to cool.
• One package of Oreo Cookies
• One box of Chocolate Graham Crackers
• Ziplock bag
• Green pipe cleaners
• Clear plastic party cups
Separate the oreo filling from the cookie outsides using a butter knife. Place a handful of these in your ziplock bag, along with 4 chocolate graham crackers. I found crushing and crumbling the dirt fairly easy by hand, however, a rolling pin works just as well. Fill each clear plastic cup ¾ of the way full with your cookie dirt.
Place your personalized label on each clear cup. For Tyler and Ryan’s party, I chose labels in the style of Fest in green. Take each pipe cleaner, cut in two, thread the two unevenly through the hole you created in each cookie, bend upward, and twist—to create the look of carrot leaves. Then nestle a carrot in each cup, and invite your little guests to make a mess!
More Creative Recipes from Zoe:
Cup n’ Saucer Treats Candy Sushi Apple Cookies Bird Nest Treats
Shop Our Party Collection:
Shop Our Food/Craft Collection: