Homemade carrot jam is a unique addition to classic thumbprint cookies, and believe me, it’s delicious!
On the 12th day of Vegmas, my true love gave to me…CARROT JAM!
Say whaaaa?! First of all, I cannot believe it’s the last day of Vegmas. I had so much fun putting together this series of recipes for all of you, and I loved reading your responses and seeing which ones you will be making for the holidays!
Second of all, this is probably one of the most interesting recipes I have ever made! I wanted to finish Vegmas with a Christmas cookie recipe, but had a hard time narrowing down options to which I could add a vegetable.
Then I remembered that the last day of Vegmas also fell on the same day as this month’s Recipe Redux. If you aren’t familiar with the Recipe Redux, it’s a group of dietitian bloggers who create recipes on the 21st or 22nd of every month based on a different monthly theme.
December’s theme challenged us to modify one of our favorite cookbook recipes!
Since I knew I wanted to do a Christmas cookie recipe, I quickly indexed to my mom’s favorite Betty Crocker cookbook. (By the way, if you still need help finding a Christmas gift, don’t forget to take a look at my holiday gift guide!)
Every year at Christmas time, she would make classic thumbprint cookies from the BC cookbook for her cookie exchange. So, I figured that would be a great recipe to modify for the Recipe Redux challenge! You can’t get any more classic than Betty Crocker, right?!
My mom usually filled her cookies with apricot or raspberry jam (yum!), but I had my heart set on using a vegetable in this recipe. So, I started to think about a veggie jam instead! Soon enough I came across a recipe for carrot jam.
Immediately, I was sold. After doing some more research, I set out to make my own rendition of homemade carrot jam. And let me tell you…it is simply delicious! (Can’t have anything to do with the amount of sugar in it, right?! ha!)
Love veggies in your sweets? Check out my Homemade Spiced Carrot Pie, White Chocolate Chip Spinach Cookies, and Candied Vegetable Popcorn Mix while you’re here!
How to Make Carrot Jam
My version has only three ingredients: carrots, sugar, and lemon juice. It’s that easy! To make it, follow these steps:
- Cook sliced carrots in boiling water.
- Drain and return to pot. Mash with a potato masher.
- Add grated carrots, sugar, and lemon. Mix until well combined.
To add the carrot jam to your cookies, take a piece of dough (directions on how to make classic thumbprint cookie dough below), roll into a ball, then flatten into a disc. Press your thumb in the middle of the disc and add a spoonful of carrot jam.
Pop those cookies in the oven, and enjoy a delicious carrot jam cookie in 15-18 minutes!
What to Do with Leftover Carrot Jam
If you following the recipe exactly, you’ll likely have a good amount of carrot jam leftover! You could cut the recipe for the jam in half if you don’t want leftovers. Or, you can try the veggie-loaded jelly on biscuits, scones, or toast.
It should last for up to 10 days in the fridge (tightly sealed). You can also freeze the carrot jam in airtight containers for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge before using.
More Veggie Dessert Recipes
I’d love to hear how you like these cookies if you make this recipe! Please rate and review it using the stars on the recipe card or in the comments section.
Classic Thumbprint Cookies with Carrot Jam
For the cookies:
- 2.5 cups all purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter - room temperature
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Confectioner's sugar - for dusting
For the carrot jam:
- 4 cups carrots - sliced or grated (see directions), about 7-8 large
- ½-1 cup sugar - depends on how sweet you want it
- 1 lemon - juiced
- Prepare the cookie dough first, as this will need to rest in the fridge for approximately 60 minutes. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt. In another large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the room temp butter, sugar, egg, and vanilla.
- Use a hand mixer or the paddle attachment on the stand mixer to blend the butter, sugar, egg, and vanilla until combined. Slowly add the dry ingredients, mixing as you go, until the dough is well combined.
- Remove the dough from the bowl, shape into a disc, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the fridge for approximately 60 minutes.
- While the dough is cooling, make the carrot jam. Prepare the carrots by slicing them into large rounds until you have 3.5 cups worth. To get the other 0.5 cup of carrots, use a hand grater to shred 1 or 2 carrots. So, you will have 3.5 cups sliced carrots and 0.5 cup grated carrots.
- Put the sliced carrots in a large pot and add just enough water to cover them. Bring to a boil and cook until soft, about 10 minutes. Drain the carrots and return them to the pot. Use a potato masher to roughly mash the carrots into a puree. Add the grated carrots, sugar, and lemon juice to the pot. Bring to a boil and then lower heat to medium. Cook for 12 to 15 minutes or until it begins to thicken. Remove from heat and store in a glass jar in the fridge to cool.
- When the dough is ready, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Take 1-2 tablespoons of dough at a time and roll it into a ball, then flatten it into a disk. Place on the baking sheets.
- Use your thumb to make a thumbprint in the middle of each cookie. Add a scoop of carrot jam (the deeper your thumbprint, the more jam you can add). Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until slightly browned.
- Let cool for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks. Sprinkle with confectioner's sugar, and enjoy!
- Use leftover carrot jam on toast, scones, or mixed into oatmeal. You can also freeze it in airtight containers for up to 3 months.
- Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temp. They should last for 3-5 days, and possibly longer but they may not taste as fresh.
And that’s a wrap! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all of the Veg World!
This was a great surprise of flavors and will be a great way to mix up the average Christmas cookie for a cookie exchange. I am sure no one less will have made these! I added lemon zest to the lemon juice as well as freshly grated ginger. Note, the jam made A LOT! I doubled the recipe for the dough and the jam but I think one batch of jam would have covered both batches of cookies. I am going to try freezing it to make another batch closer to Christmas time. Fingers crossed that will work! Thank you for such a creative cookie option.
Lizzie Streit, MS, RDN
Hi Amy! I’m so glad to read your review of these cookies! They are one of my all time favorites to make during the holiday season. It sounds like the lemon zest and ginger would be great additions to the carrot jam. And yes, the jam does make so much! I have been workshopping a bit in my kitchen to see if I can cut back on the ingredients so that those who make this recipe don’t have too much jam leftover, haha! It does freeze really well, though, so I’m glad that’s what you did to keep it for a batch of cookies closer to Christmas. You can just thaw it in the fridge a day or two before you make the cookies. Thanks again for letting me know, and hope everyone at the cookie exchange enjoyed them!!