Brown Butter Carrot Cookies

Brown Butter Carrot Cookies |

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have noticed a photo that I took this morning of an old recipe box.  The first thing I look for when I hit up a garage sale is anything recipe related.  Books, recipe boxes or show boxes full of newspaper clippings.  Not that I really need more recipes (I have over 300 cookbooks) but I guess I feel it’s my duty to “save” the recipes.  What if no one bought it and they ended up in the trash?  Years of collecting, handwriting, typing and cataloging.  That would just be a sad moment.

Carrot Cookies |

I was thumbing through a couple of my rescued recipe boxes this morning and happened on this one for Carrot(t) Cookies and knew I needed to make them right away.

Brown Butter Carrot Cookies

I could’ve made them as written but I have a major aversion to using shortening.  I just don’t like using it…go figure.  So I whipped out the butter (which I happen to love more than Bourbon) and browned it with star anise, then popped it in the fridge to chill it again.

Brown Butter Carrot Cookies |

I love adding whole spices when I brown butter for cakes or pies.  I make a country apple pie every Christmas that has a spiced brown butter custard that is making me drool while I type this.  Soooooo gooooooood!

Brown Butter Carrot Cookies |

These cookies are more on the shortbread or scone front than a typical chewy or cake-y cookie, but don’t fret…they are incredibly addicting.  In fact, I am currently having a back and forth conversation in my head about why I deserve to have another one (read 5th one).  They’re screaming my name from the kitchen as I type.  Make it stop.  :)  Alright, let’s stop all this chatter and get to the recipe!  Thanks to Ella Pike – whoever you are for inspiring carrot deliciousness!

Brown Butter Carrot Cookies

Yield: Makes about 18 cookies

Brown Butter Carrot Cookies

An old recipe for carrot cookies reinvented using spiced brown butter in place of shortening. Scone like cookies filled with steamed carrots and topped with a tangy orange glaze.


  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 whole star anise
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups baby carrots (6.5 oz), steamed until soft, coarsely mashed and cooled.
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups all purpose flour, sifted
  • Orange Glaze:
  • juice from 1 orange
  • zest from 1/2 of the orange
  • pinch of salt
  • about 2 cups powdered sugar


  1. Add the butter and star anise to a small saucepan and heat over medium heat until the butter begins to brown and smells nutty, about 15 minutes. Discard the star anise and pour the butter into a small glass bowl and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes, or until solid.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment and set aside.
  3. Beat the butter in the bowl of a mixer with the paddle attachment until creamy and smooth. Add the sugar and egg and beat until combined. Add the mashed carrots and vanilla and beat just until combined. Add the baking powder, salt and sifted flour and mix just until combined.
  4. Use a hinged scoop to achieve uniform cookies, or drop 1/4 cup sized balls onto prepared baking sheets. Bake 15-18 minutes, until centers are set. Cool on a wire rack.
  5. To make the Glaze: add the orange juice, zest, salt and powdered sugar to a small bowl and whisk to combine. Drizzle over the cookies and allow to set for 15-20 minutes before serving.

Other Deliciousness


  1. Glad to find this recipe…my grandmother made this recipe and brings back GREAT times…..THANKS. FOR. FINDING!!!!! Dana Thompson

  2. My grandma used to make these exact cookies (without the glaze) all the time for me; they were my favorite! I could never find the recipe anywhere online, so I finally just copied it from her recipe box. I’ve had the recipe for more than 5 years but never made them because I didn’t realize how bad they were for you and, like you, didn’t want to use shortening.Thinking I’m definitely going to have to try to make them this weekend though!

  3. I finally had the chance to make these this morning. I went with 1/4 tsp of the extract, and they turned out great! Now I just need to stop eating them!!

    1. That is awesome Winter. I will make a note in the recipe so other readers will know they can substitute with extract. They sure are addicting. I need to make them again! I bet they’d be good with zucchini too! Mmm…the possibilities. :) Thanks for letting me know they worked out. Love it. ~heather

  4. All I could find at the store was pure anise liquid. How much of that would I use in place of the whole star anise? I’m excited to try this recipe! Thanks :)

    1. I’m so sorry for the delay. If you’re using Anise extract, I would only use a small amount. 1/4 teaspoon at most or it will overpower the browned butter. Also, you may want to add it after the butter is browned and right before you pop it in the fridge to solidify it. Maybe start with 1/8 teaspoon and taste the browned butter. I’d hate for it to be too strong and since I’ve never made it using extract, I’m not sure how it will turn out. For future reference, you can buy whole anise at Cost Plus World Market for very little money. Let me know how it turns out!!

  5. Title sounded awful. Cookies look delicious. After reading ingredients and comparing them to scones, I’ll try them.

  6. Old recipes are the best…this inspired me to go through my recipe box and maybe break a few out. Putting carrots in cookies is a great idea.

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