During the summer every day is a cookie day, and the best kind for my family are the cookies that are sturdy enough to go into back packs and picnic baskets and are easy to grab a handful of as they are on their way out the door. Old fashioned ice box cookies meet all the requirements, and nobody gets tired of them because there are so many delicious variations that use basically the same recipe. Only the goodies added to the dough change depending on the kind of cookie you are hungry for. The dough is formed into logs that can go into the fridge or freezer so fresh cookies are available on almost a moment’s notice.
My cookies look especially chocolatey because I used chocolate that was left over after I dipped strawberries. I never toss out any leftover chocolate…I put it on a square of waxed paper and let it harden, then store it in a plastic bag until I have enough to use in another recipe. I had 8 ounces, enough for these cookies, so chopped it up and added it to the dough. There were lots of little slivers that made the dough look very chocolatey. Chocolate chips would make a light colored dough.
You can add just about any dried fruits, chopped nuts, M&M’s, various flavors of chips like cinnamon, butterscotch, peanut butter, or mint, and grated lemon or orange rind. These cookies are also know as “ice-box” cookies, which lets us know that similar recipes have been around since the 1800’s when refrigeration consisted of a big block of ice in a wood box. Here are a few variations of this classic cookie you might enjoy. Click on the picture to go to the recipe.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅔ cup soft unsalted butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate, chopped or 1 cup chocolate chips
- Sift flour with baking powder and salt onto a sheet of waxed paper. Set aside. In a large bowl of an electric mixer beat butter until light. Gradually beat in sugar. Add egg and vanilla and continue beating until very light and fluffy.
- At low speed, beat in the flour mixture. Add chopped nuts and chocolate, mixing well to combine.
- Turn out dough onto lightly floured surface. Divide in half. With hands, shape each half into a roll 7 inches long. Wrap each roll in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until firm - about 8 hours, or overnight before slicing and baking. Rolls of cookie dough may be stored in refrigerator as long as 10 days. Slice and bake as many as desired.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. With a sharp knife cut as many ¼-inch slices as you want to bake. Rewrap rest of roll; refrigerate. Places slices, 2 inches apart, on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cool completely on wire racks.