2 large carrots, peeled
1 cup raw pecans
1/2 cup cashews
1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut, plus extra for garnish (optional)
1/4 cup almond butter
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
4 ounces cream cheese or vegan cream cheese (see Cook's Note), softened
3 tablespoons pineapple juice
Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, a Silpat or parchment paper, and set aside.
Cut the carrots into large pieces and place them in a food processor fitted with the chopping disc. Pulse the carrots until finely chopped. Add the pecans, cashews, coconut, almond butter, cinnamon, ginger, salt, 2 tablespoons maple syrup and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Process until the mixture is well-combined, scraping the sides of the food processor as necessary. The mixture should be moist but not runny, and it will be ready when it starts to pull away from the sides of the food processor bowl and form a ball.
Using clean hands, form the dough into 15 equally shaped balls, approximately 1 1/4 inches in diameter. Place the balls on the lined baking sheet, then use your thumb to flatten with an indentation.
Prepare the frosting in a mixing bowl by combining the cream cheese and pineapple juice with the remaining 2 teaspoons maple syrup and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract. Beat with a hand mixer until creamy. Top each cookie with a spoonful of frosting, then sprinkle with additional shredded coconut if using. Place cookies in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours before serving, or in the freezer for 15 minutes. The cookies may be stored in the refrigerator or freezer.
For a vegan version, use a vegan cream cheese, such as Daiya Cream Cheese or Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese.