Les petits chefs – Week 5

This is the fifth in a series chronicling my adventures in the kitchen with my cooking club at school – Les Petits Chefs.  We had been using using recipes from the book C is for cooking, which I received for review but this week, since it is this particular group’s last session, I thought I might try something different with this very accomplished group of little chefs.  They helped me out with my Gourmet Unbound submission for this month and made Inside out Carrot Cake Cookies from Gourmet Magazine, April 2004.

Yield: Makes about 13 cookies


1 1/8 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup coarsely grated carrots (2 medium)
1 scant cup walnuts (3 ounces), chopped
1/2 cup raisins (2 1/2 ounces)
8 ounces cream cheese
1/4 cup honey


Put oven racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat oven to 375°F. Butter 2 baking sheets.

Whisk together flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt in a bowl.

Beat together butter, sugars, egg, and vanilla in a bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes.

Mix in carrots, nuts, and raisins at low speed, then add flour mixture and beat until just combined. (there was some great chopping and grating action here!)

Drop 1 1/2 tablespoons batter per cookie 2 inches apart on baking sheets and bake, switching position of sheets halfway through baking, until cookies are lightly browned and springy to the touch, 12 to 16 minutes total. Cool cookies on sheets on racks 1 minute, then transfer cookies to racks to cool completely.

While cookies are baking, blend cream cheese and honey in a food processor until smooth.

Sandwich flat sides of cookies together with a generous tablespoon of cream cheese filling in between.

Result?  These were absolutely amazing and I will be making them myself fairly soon, I imagine!  I loved that you got a mouthful of carrot cake without a huge piece, which you don’t always need!  Stay tuned for more adventures in the kitchen with a new group of petits chefs next week!

41 thoughts on “Les petits chefs – Week 5”

  1. Do you teach Foods Classes? Are you a school teacher, or is this a weekly class after school for kids? I teach public school full time and do this every day. About 240 students every 2 days though my classes. I teach 12-15 year olds how to cook and bake. I write about it often, too. (GREAT pics, by the way!) I am sure the students would have been “nuts” over these cookies (excuse the pun!)
    In grade 7, we do Breakfasts and nutritious snacks. Grad 8 is all about the baking. With the grade 9’s we do supper meals. Always nutritious, delicious, and economical. That is my mantra. From scratch. I started a Nutritious Lunch Project and have received a ton of publicity for it as it is a rare thing in the school systems these day – which I am sure you are aware of. I have a Catering Club after school on Tuesdays from 3-4:30 where anyone can come, regularly or drop-in, cooking class students or not, and we just cook or bake whatever we have planned the week before for our own enjoyment. The next night, I have another session, same students, or different, and we prepare the nutritious lunch served and sold that Friday. That money pays for the Catering Club activities. I usually have about 20 students out every night. I have 20 core students, but there are always 4-5 different kids I haven’t seen before – and some that come now and then, too. The stories they tell about food and cooking and family life are precious.
    Thanks for sharing your class.

  2. Congrats to the petit chefs and you for giving them the chance to cook. They did such a good job, too. And the cookies look fantastic, even to this non-carrot-cake person. Loved Valerie’s comment as well. You can impact a whole family this way — how great to hear.

  3. These sound and look delicious. My kids love carrot cake and this is a version I can probably sneak into their lunch boxes.

  4. Love staring at all of this little hands getting busy! Did you start this program, Mardi? How amazing for them…and what the heck is up with that pre-set portion pan? Loving that…think I need to own one as my cookies always come out a little willy nilly. Great recipe!

    • We all love the little hands! Yes, I started this with the little guys – the Grades 7 and 8 had a cooking club last year and will again this term with a top Toronto chef whose son goes to our school. Mine, well it’s just with Mlle Michels, but the boys seem ok with that. The pans are from the dollar store, if you can believe!

  5. I can’t say enough how fantastic Les Petits Chefs are! These inside-out cookies carrot cake cookies look soooo good (I love the pans, too) and I just happen to have all the ingredients on hand . . . 😎

  6. I love this series! I can’t wait until our niece and nephew get a few years older so that we can bake with them! Seeing those little hands creating something so yummy is adorable!

  7. Yay! Petits chefs! You know, you might actually get me to like children one of these days.

    Is it wrong that I want to grab that bowl of cream cheese and honey and eat it with a spoon? (Obviously goes without saying that I also want to eat every single one of these cookies, what a fabulous idea to have them in a cookie form)

  8. I would love one of these now but more than that I’m intrigued by the markings on the pan; what are those circles for? Do they help with more even heating on the bottom or something much more magical?

  9. Fabulous cookies. My nephew is asking me to teach him how to bake this summer vacation. This would be a great recipe, except that he may not want to see the carrots. This nephew of mine is very picky. Thanks for the recipe.

  10. those look yummy – after break, i am definitely going to make them with the girls. i’ve never seen those imprinted baking sheets before – it’s a great idea for kids who always seem to want to cram the cookies together (like my children . . .). are you cooking any more with the little chefs?


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.