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To The Icebox! Er, FROM the Icebox!

IceboxCookies

I’m not sure why “icebox cookies” sound so good. Cookies that are to be baked though icebox seems to conjure up images of Fruit Joe opening up the fridge late at night to swipe a chunk of sitting dough. This habit is hourly when I have dough sitting in the fridge.

Amazed at times that I have enough to bake.

Here’s a recipe from The Stewart –¬†of the “Martha” variety. I know I say some of my recipes are easy–readers may groan–but these are…easy. And I love how well the logs of dough keep in the deep freeze. It’s nice (dare I say, comforting?) having cookie dough on hand…at any time.

My office mates are my first responders to all confections from my kitchen. I made all three varieties. I was partial to the pecan ones–they offered up the most flavor of nut-sweet-salt but many loved the chocolate ones. Now the dough with the bits of bittersweet chocolate was by far the tastiest–just like cookies and cream. And, yes, this was a dough that barely lasted in my icebox.

Icebox Butter Cookies
Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook
Makes about 5 dozen

2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 c granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons sifted all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup sanding sugar (or granulated sugar) for rolling

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and granulated sugar on medium speed until light and fluff, about 3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the egg and vanilla, and beat to combine. Add the flour and salt; mix on low speed until combined.

Turn out the dough onto a clean work surface. Divide in half and roll each piece into a log about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Wrap in parchment paper, making sure to cover ends completely, and place in empty paper-towel tubes, if using. Refrigerate until firm at least 1 hour or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350 F, with racks in the upper and lower thirds. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. Let dough stand at room temperature until soft enough to slice, about 15 minutes. Roll dough logs in sanding sugar, coating them evenly, and slice into 1/3 inch thick rounds. Place about 1 inch apart on prepared sheets. Bake, rotating sheets halfway through until golden brown around the edges, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

Icebox Chocolate-Flake Cookies Variation: Finely chop 4 oz bittersweet chocolate (3/4 cup). Sift out fine dust and discard. Follow instructions for the Icebox Butter Cookies, adding chopped chocolate along with the flour.

Icebox Chopped-Nut Cookies Variation: Finely chop 4 oz (1/2 cup) lightly toasted pecans or pistachios. Sift out fine dust and discard. Follow instructions for the Icebox Butter Cookies, adding chopped nuts along with the flour.

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