Altagracia Cookies

This post was written by Catholic Cuisine contributor, Charlotte from Waltzing Matilda

Legend says that the pious daughter of a rich merchant asked him to bring her a portrait of Our Lady of Altagracia from Santo Domingo, but no one had heard of that title. The merchant, staying overnight at a friend's house in Higuey, described his problem as they sat outdoors after dinner. An old man with a long beard, who just happened to be passing by, pulled a rolled up painting from his bindle, gave it to the merchant, and said, "This is what you are looking for." It was the Virgin of Altagracia. They gave the old man a place to stay for the night, but by dawn he was gone, not to be seen again. The merchant placed the image on their mantle, but it repeatedly disappeared only to be found outside. They finally returned it to the church. 

In the picture book, A Gift of Gracias, by Julie Lavarez, a connection is made between this special feast day and oranges. These Orange Carrot Cookies would be a delightful treat for the Feast of Our Lady of Altagracia, coming up on January 21st, especially paired with a reading of the book. You can find the original recipe over at Dawn's blog, By Sun and Candlelight. I made a few changes that I will post here. Just FYI, these are soft, almost muffin-top like cookies, not crispy or crunchy cookies.

Altagracia Cookies

1 egg, room temperature
1/2 C. unsalted butter, softened
1/2 - 3/4 C. sugar (I used less.)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
the zest of 1/2 an orange (about 1 Tbl.)
1 C. mashed, cooked carrots
2 C. all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
(sugar sprinkles, optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine baking powder and flour and set aside. Cream the egg, butter, sugar and vanilla. Add carrots and zest and mix well. Slowly incorporate flour mixture being careful not to over mix. Drop by tablespoons onto parchment covered cookie sheets. Add sugar sprinkles if desired. Bake 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven and let cookies cool on a wire rack. 
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  1. I wonder if these could be made with honey and a mixture of coconut and almond flour instead of wheat flour?


    1. My only concern would be that they are already soft cookies, not crunchy, and the honey might make them too soft. But go ahead and let me know if it works.