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Slice & Bake cookies….Grandma has been making these for centuries (well, maybe decades). She called them “Ice Box Cookies”. The cookie dough is shaped into rolls, refrigerated or frozen. Wrapped tightly, they will keep frozen for 2 months or refrigerated, for a week to 10 days. They are ready for “drop-in” company on a short notice or fresh homemade cookies anytime! And did I mention this also saves money?! Our “blast-from-the-past" this month also features a fun treat for the children, “Emma’s Holly” cookies!

Basic Ice Box Cookies

 

1 lb. (4 sticks) butter, softened

2 cups granulated sugar

1 large egg

6 cups all-purpose flour

1 Tbsp. vanilla

Pinch salt

 

Cream butter and sugar, add egg, flour and salt. With lightly floured hands, shape into rolls, wrap in plastic wrap and chill until firm, several hours or overnight. Preheat oven to 350º.  Cut rolls into slices, about ¼ inch thick, place on greased cookie sheets about 2 inches apart and bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from cookie sheets and place on wire racks to cool completely.

 

Variations:    Chocolate Cookies: Add ¼ cup Hershey’s baking cocoa plus an additional 2 Tbsp. sugar  and use 5 cups of flour instead of 6 cups.

 

Butterscotch Cookies: Same as basic recipe except substitute light brown sugar, packed, instead of granulated.

Ice Box Pecan Cookies

 

1¾ cups sifted all-purpose flour

12 Tbsp. butter, softened

2/3 cup granulated sugar

1 large egg

1¼ tsp. vanilla

¾ cup finely chopped pecans, divided

 

Sift the flour into a bowl and set aside.  Cream butter and sugar; beat in egg and vanilla. With a wooden spoon, gradually stir in the flour, mixing until no trace of the flour is showing. Stir ¼ cup of the pecans into the cookie batter. Divide the dough in half and form each into a roll about 6 inches long. Roll each roll into the remaining pecans. Wrap each roll in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Preheat oven to 350º. Cut each roll into about 18 slices (about 1/3-inch thick or thicker if you wish). Place 2-inches apart on greased cookie sheets. And bake 12 to 15 minutes till nicely browned.  Remove from baking sheets and place on cooling rack to cool completely.

 

Variation: Substitute very finely chopped Walnuts for the pecans.

Chocolate Chip Ice Box Cookies

 

1½ cups all-purpose flour

½ tsp. each baking powder and salt

1 cup butter, softened

1 cup light brown sugar, packed

½ cup granulated sugar

1 large egg

1½ tsp. vanilla

1 cup mini-size chocolate chips

1 cup finely chopped pecans

 

Combine flour, baking powder and salt; set aside. Cream butter and sugars; beat in egg and vanilla till light & fluffy. With a spoon, stir in flour mixture, chocolate chips and pecans, just till blended. With floured hands, shape into 2, 8-inch rolls. If dough is too soft, chill slightly before rolling. Wrap each roll in plastic wrap and chill several hours or overnight. Preheat oven to 375º. Cut rolls into ¼ inch slices and bake on ungreased cookie sheets for 8 to 10 minutes. Cool on wire rack. Makes about 5 dozen.

Peanut Butter Ice Box Cookies

 

2½ cups all-purpose flour

1 Tbsp. baking powder

½ tsp. salt

½ tsp. ground cinnamon

2 cups peanut butter, smooth or chunky

1 cup butter, softened

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup light brown sugar, packed

2 large eggs

2 tsp. vanilla

 

 Combine flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon; set aside. Cream peanut butter, butter and sugars. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until light and fluffy.  Stir in flour mixture just until blended. Shape in 3, 8-inch rolls (if dough is too soft, chill lightly before rolling). Wrap each roll in plastic wrap and chill several hours or overnight. Preheat oven to 375º. Cut rolls in ¼ slices and bake on ungreased cookie sheets for 10 to 12 minutes.

Makes about 8 dozen.

Emma’s Holly Cookies

 

30 large marshmallows

½ cup butter

1 tsp. vanilla

2 tsp. green food coloring

3½ cups corn flake cereal

Red hots candy

 

Combine the marshmallow, butter, vanilla and food color in top of a double boiler. Heat over boiling water, stirring frequently until the marshmallows and butter are melted. Carefully, adding gradually, stir in corn flakes. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto waxed paper in circles to look like small wreaths.  Decorate randomly with little groups of 3 red hearts. Makes about 30 pieces.

 

Decorating Idea: Can make into one large wreath and use as an edible centerpiece!

When cutting cookie dough rolls, use dental floss and rotate dough as you cut for nice round slices.
 
Don't overlook "sanding sugar".  It's course sugar, sold at Michaels Crafts and William Sanoma kitchen shops.  It comes in colors as well as white and makes your sugar cookies sparkle.
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December 2011
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