Carrot Walnut Cookies

Ingredients

1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, softened
1 1/4 cups packed light-brown sugar
2 jars (4 oz each) baby-food strained carrots
1 large egg
1 Tbsp freshly grated orange peel
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1 tsp each baking soda and ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp each salt and ground nutmeg
1/3 tsp ground cloves
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup chopped walnuts

Orange Cream Cheese Icing

3 oz low-fat cream cheese, softened
2 Tbsp butter, softened
1 tsp freshly grated orange peel
2 Tbsp fresh orange juice
2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Directions

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Have baking sheet(s) ready.
2. Cream butter and sugar in a large bowl with mixer on medium speed. Beat in strained carrots, egg, orange peel, orange juice, baking soda, ground cinnamon, salt, ground nutmeg, and ground cloves one at a time until blended (mixture may look curdled).
3. With mixer on low speed, beat in flour just until blended. Stir in the walnuts.
4. Drop by rounded tablespoons 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheet. Bake 10 to 12 minutes until tops look dry. Cool on baking sheet 1 minute before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
5. Icing: Beat cream cheese, butter, orange peel and juice until creamy. Beat in confectioners’ sugar until blended and smooth. Spread about 11/2 tsp on each cookie; sprinkle with walnuts. Let icing set 1 to 2 hours.

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