I just couldn’t let it happen!
My Friday pre-K class is learning about the theater today (what is an actor, director, props, off-stage, etc) and they will put what they learn to work by performing Little Red Riding Hood. The student who gets to play Little Red will need treats to take to Grandma’s house (and as snacks for her fellow students.) Last year we had the week’s student chef slice up some pre-packaged, store-bought cookie dough for the treats.
Well, I just couldn’t let that happen again. Not when there’s a delicious recipe like vanilla icebox cookies available. Since the dough needs to be rolled into a log and refrigerated, it’s a homemade slice-and-bake cookie!
What I like best about this cookie is its versatility. It tastes wonderful just as it is, baked into a delicate, crispy cookie full of vanilla flavor. But you can do many things with these tasty treats, such as sprinkling colored sugar over the top before baking, rolling the log in nuts before slicing, or icing the cookies with your favorite frosting recipe after they’ve cooled. It’s also easy to turn them into sandwich cookies with just a dollop of jelly, jam, Nutella, lemon curd…whatever! I liked strawberry jam between two cookies, but orange marmalade also tasted great.
Best of all, this recipe only takes a few minutes to mix-up. Then the log of dough can stay in the refrigerator for a day before baking, or hang out in the freezer for a month or two, ready to take out and bake when you need a fresh batch. (Just let it thaw in the refrigerator before slicing.)
Vanilla Icebox CookiesAdapted from Joy of Cooking by Irma S. Rombauer, Marion Rombauer Becker, and Ethan Becker
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla
(Do not preheat the oven since this dough needs to be refrigerated!)
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and beat to combine. Add the flour mixture and stir until just combined.
Dump the cookie dough onto a piece of waxed paper and shape into a log about 11-inches long. Wrap the log in the waxed paper and refrigerate for at least 4 hours until firm.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Slice the dough into circles just a bit less 1/4-inch thick. Place them on the baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the cookies are lightly browned. Remove the cookies from the oven and let stand on the baking sheets for 1 or 2 minutes, and then place them on a rack to cool.