As you may have heard (since it seems to be literally the only thing the news stations around here are covering aside from the Toyota recall), the East Coast is getting walloped with snow.  And I don’t mean the kind of snow that fell so serenely in London at the stroke of midnight on my 24th birthday a few weeks ago (Good lord - has it really only been a month!?).  It’s the kind of sleet-rain-blizzard snow that not only means that the roads are a sheet of snow-covered ice, but that my entire family is off from work and school today because of it.  And with the federal government closed for the third day in a row, the majority of this region is quite literally snowed in.

I don’t know about you guys, but this kind of weather makes me want to bake.  I want to fill the whole house with the scent of butter and sugar, and feel the heat radiating from the oven all day.  I want to bundle up in my biggest, softest sweaters and pajamas and hunker down in the warm kitchen making snacks, while outside my window, Mother Nature makes a mess.  And this weekend (and this morning, because it’s still snowing, in case anyone was wondering), that’s exactly what I did.

And to make sure that the cookies wouldn’t be a total caloric nightmare, I used a recipe from Heidi at 101 Cookbooks.  If you haven’t visited yet, you should.  Heidi makes the kind of food that you feel good about eating – completely natural, healthy, and delicious.  Using one of her recipes is a sure-fire way to guarantee success, and this one was no exception.  So if the rest of you are bored, snowed in, or just in the mood for some cookies, might I suggest whipping up a batch?

Carrot Shortbread

Adapted from 101 Cookbooks

These cookies are not-too-sweet, not too heavy, and pretty much just right in every respect.  Because I lack the kind of perfectly stocked, 100% natural pantry Heidi has, I improvised a little here.  Forgive me.  I promise they were still 100% delicious.

1 cup whole wheat flour

3/4 all-purpose flour

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

5 ounces room-temperature, unsalted butter

2/3 cup sugar (brown sugar is preferable, but white sugar will work fine here)

1/4 cup grated carrot

Milk

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Mix the flours, baking powder, and salt together and set aside.  Stir in the carrot, making sure it’s well-coated with the dry ingredients.

In a separate bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until it’s pale yellow and fully incorporated.  Add the carrot/flour mixture to the butter/sugar mixture, and stir/knead until everything comes together.  It’s going to be very, very dry, but it will come together.  Split the dough in half, roll it into two 1-inch-high slabs, wrap both in plastic and refrigerate for a half hour.

Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.  Flour your work surface and rolling pin and remove one slab of dough from the fridge.  Roll it out until it’s about half the thickness you started at (about 1/2 inch thick), and cut shapes using metal (to get through the pieces of grated carrot) cookie cutters.  Lay on parchment-paper-lined bakinig sheet (they won’t spread, so you can lay them pretty close together).  Brush each cookie with a little milk, then bake for about 10 minutes (It’s a little tough to tell when these bad boys are done because the whole wheat flour makes them fairly brown to begin with – when they’re set in the center and the edges are just a bit golden brown, they’re done.).  Remove immediately and place on a rack to cool.

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