With tales of Christmas indulgence just around the corner, but my sweet tooth ever present, today I baked some ‘healthy’ sweet treats. Baking is another of my loves in life, but lately, I don’t seem to find the time. When I was pregnant, you couldn’t get the spatula out of my hand and, before my son was born, I loved to whip up a cake or pavlova. Now, life is busy and with so many other things I want to do with my family, my writing, working, and managing life, baking is taking a back seat. When I do get the chance to spend a little time in the kitchen, I don’t make anything fancy, but I like to give the people I love something fresh, sweet and tasty to put a smile on their faces.
Whenever I want to make anything healthy, my first port of call is Deliciously Ella’s recipe books. Today, I chose her Carrot Cake Cookies. As I was making these cookies, I felt like I wanted to change their name to Spiced Carrot Christmas Cookies. I think it has a much nicer ring to it and is perfect for the season. Plus, I made a few minor changes to the recipe so I’m going to name these just that. Ella’s ingredient list is as follows:
My minor changes are to substitute date syrup for 1.5 tablespoons of molasses and 1.5 tablespoons of honey. We didn’t have any date syrup, but I still wanted some of the caramel-like flavours, so I mixed in molasses. My Grandfather ate molasses on his porridge every morning when I was a child because he said it kept him ‘regular’. He died 16 years ago, and I still remember that advice, so I’m convinced it’s good stuff!
I’m not a big cinnamon fan, so I used a teaspoon and a half of nutmeg and a teaspoon of ground mixed spice instead. I love the Christmassy aroma that comes from ground mixed spice. I think my mum used it when she made gingerbread men when I was a kid or maybe it was an ingredient in her Christmas cake. Either way, it’s another smell of childhood and Christmas so it had to go in. I added some chunks of ginger and cranberries instead of just sultanas to complete the vibe.
That’s it. I can’t really steal Ella’s recipe based on those changes, but what the hell; I think she’d agree with me that my name is better. At least for the next three weeks, anyway!
I started grating the carrots and apples by hand and then I remembered I have a machine that can do that hard work for me. It made the experience considerably more enjoyable. What did people do before food processors?
Look at those beautiful colours! I love making food that’s filled with ingredients that are good for the body; the natural goodness makes my soul sing!
Here they are fresh from the oven, hot and baked. I think mine are bigger than Ella suggests to make them, so I left them in the oven an extra 15 minutes. I kept checking on them until they looked like they might burn at any moment.
I let them cool and crisp up for 10 minutes before tasting them. They are soft and gooey, just as Ella describes, but with a lovely crisp exterior. The cranberries give that extra Christmas bite! Delicious! Now it’s time to put my feet up, grab a beer and tuck in. Happy weekend everyone!
If you’d like to make these delicious cookies, here’s Deliciously Ella’s link. Enjoy!