Iced Carrot Cookies . . . and unusual connections

Q. What does a furniture store, a cooking blog and Kirstie Alley all have in common?
A. Aunt Joan's Carrot Cookies.

     A few years ago we were in Traditions Furniture Store in Wichita; they happened to be hosting an afternoon reception that afternoon. The cookie platters were enticing and we were both tempted to sample a few. Although they were all good, we especially liked the frosted carrot cookies. During a conversation with Dayna Rosencutter (a longtime employee at the store), we discovered they were made by Joan Smith and since she happened to be on the premises, we even met her; later she shared her recipe.
     In a recent note from Joan, regarding this recipe, this is what she said, “I found it in ‘The Wichita Jr. League’ cookbook in the early 70s. Robin Van Huss (my niece and Traditions store owner) is a close friend of Kirstie Alley (Wichita Celebrity) [and of recent Dancing with the Stars fame] and I became a friend of Kirstie thru Robin.  One day, Kirstie mentioned to me the wonderful cookies her late mother used to bake - had cooked carrots and orange icing. I located the recipe a baked them for her.  She was so thrilled. Every time she comes to Wichita, I bake the 'Carrot Cookies'."

Carrot Cookies with Orange Icing
1 cup shortening
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 cup cooked, mashed carrots (cold)
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla

1.     Preheat oven to 350°.
2.     Cream shortening with sugar, add egg and other ingredients in order given above.
3.     Drop by teaspoonful onto greased baking sheet.  Bake 12 to 15 minutes.

3 tablespoons softened butter
2 to 3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
3 to 6 tablespoons orange juice 
Grated orange peel

1.     Mix together butter, powdered sugar, orange juice and grated peel to icing consistency. 
2.     Put on cookies while still warm.

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