April 24, 2010

Glazed Baby Carrots

Time for a special-occasion side dish...

Glazed baby carrots are scrumptious. Tender, juicy mini carrots dripping with brown sugar and vanilla sweetness...what could be better? Aside from a quadruple chocolate cake, I'm not sure.

I once saw a recipe for glazed carrots that included lemon zest in the ingredient list. It's a great idea! The flavor you get from combining soft, cooked carrots with a little lemony zest is beyond description. So you'll have to try this recipe to experience it for yourself.

There's a good bit of sugariness in this side dish, but it's sugar on top of fiber, vitamins, and other carroty goodness, so as far as nutrition goes, it's several steps removed from the quadruple chocolate cake (which is sugar on top of sugar on top of, you know). That's not to say glazed baby carrots should be treated as a dessert. It's an excellent dish to serve beside mashed potatoes and a roast, or some similar items served up for a special occasion.

Glazed Baby Carrots
Estimated preparation time: 30 - 45 minutes
Serves: 8 - 10 (side dish)

  • 2 pounds baby-cut carrots (two 16 oz bags)
  • Water (for cooking carrots)
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Zest of one small lemon (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 1/2 teaspoon imitation vanilla extract (use more if desired)

  1. Place carrots in a medium saucepan, and cover them with water. 
  2. Bring to a boil, then simmer until carrots are tender but not completely done. (The carrots will continue to cook when the other ingredients are added and until they're "glazed" with the sugary mixture.)
  3. Drain the water from the pot.
  4. Add the brown sugar and butter and stir well.
  5. Heat until the mixture bubbles, stirring often.
  6. Stir in lemon zest and vanilla extract.
  7. Cook on low heat for about 10 minutes, until the carrots appear to have a glaze.
  8. Serve with some of the sweet liquid.