This icebox cookies recipe is gonna be a family favorite. These old fashioned icebox cookies are so delicious, easy to make, budget-friendly, and perfect for anyone who enjoys a fruity cookie. Buttery, fruity, and sweet, these icebox cookies go great with a cup of tea! Make these ice box cookies just because, for a get together, special occasion, or as a gift! Everyone will love these ice box cookies, they will quickly become a family favorite.

Icebox Cookies Recipe- cookies on a tray and counter with icing on top of them- Kids Activities Blog
Old fashioned icebox cookies were the original refrigerated cookie dough, before store-bought cookie dough was even a thing!

Icebox Cookies

There’s no better way to make the house cozy on a winter day than by baking some old fashioned icebox cookies! If you’re a sucker for a buttery, chewy, and flavorful cookie, have I got a recipe for you…

You can’t go wrong with a cookie recipe that calls for basic pantry and fridge ingredients. It’s perfect for those impromptu baking sessions with kids, when you’re just about out of everything and need to get to the grocery store! And the best part is, you can make this dough ahead of time and only bake cookies when you have time or are ready.

Icebox Cookies Recipe

Yields: 38-42

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10-12 minutes

Icebox Cookie Supplies- Kids Activities Blog- all purpose flour, baking powder, salt, unsalted butter, granulated sugar, egg, vanilla extract, dried cranberries, grated orange peel, chopped walnuts, powdered sugar, milk or cream- kids activities blog
Old fashioned icebox cookies are made from basic pantry staples, making them the perfect go-to cookie recipe for an impromptu baking session!

Supplies Needed To Make These Delicious Icebox Cookies Recipe

Glaze, optional

Instructions

Step 1

Step 1- Ice box Cookies- Softened butter and granulated sugar in a glass bowl, being mixed by a hand mixer and a silicone spatula.
Beat butter and sugar until fluffy

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.

Step 2

Step 2- Ice box Cookies-Old fashioned icebox cookie dough, softened butter, sugar, egg, and vanilla, in a glass bowl, being mixed by a hand mixer.

In another large bowl, beat butter and sugar until fluffy. Another term would be to make “cream butter” or just beat until everything looks fluffy…kind of like frosting.

Step 3

Step 3- Ice box Cookies-Adding flour into the butter and sugar mixture to make old fashioned icebox cookies.
Add flour a little at a time, so that you can make your dough the perfect consistency.

Beat in egg and extract until well combined.

Step 3.5- Ice box Cookies-Mixed icebox cookie dough, ready for the fruit and nuts to be added.
Look at that beautiful old fashioned icebox cookie dough! I don’t know about you, but I am ready for some cookies!

Step 4

Gradually add flour mixture and beat until well combined.

Step 4- Ice box Cookies-Old fashioned icebox cookie dough in a glass bowl, with chopped dried cranberries, chopped walnuts, and grated orange zest.
Now for the fun part…add some color and flavor to your old fashioned icebox cookie dough!

Step 5

Fold in dried cranberries and orange peel.

Step 5- Ice box Cookies-Rolling the old fashioned icebox cookie dough into logs, and wrapping the logs in plastic wrap to refrigerate.
Form the dough into a log, similar to the rolls of refrigerated cookie dough you can get at the store!

Step 6

Divide dough in half and roll into a log.

Step 7

Chop walnuts, if using, and spread evenly onto parchment paper.

Step 8

Add dough log on top of walnuts and coat the edges.

Step 9

Cover dough log with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1-2 hours or until firm enough to cut.

Step 10

Remove from refrigerator.

Step 10- Ice box Cookies-Slicing the logs of old fashioned icebox cookie dough into cookies, and placing them on a lined cookie sheet, to bake.
When you are ready to bake, slice your cookies, and place them on to a lined cookie sheet. Silpat liners are the best!

Step 11

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Step 12

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.

Step 12- Ice box Cookies-Baked old fashioned icebox cookies on a metal trivet, drizzled with glaze.
There you have it! An incredibly easy cookie recipe that you can make as a last minute treat, after school snack, or thoughtful gift for a loved one, any time of the year!

Step 13

Slice cookies about 1/8 inch thick and place on prepared baking sheet.

Step 14

Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden. 

Step 14- Ice box Cookies-Closeup of baked old fashioned icebox cookies with icing.
How amazing does that creamy icing look? YUM!

Step 15

Remove from oven onto wire rack to cool. 

Step 16

Mix glaze if using and drizzle over cooled cookies.

Step 17

Store in airtight container.

Step 17- Ice box Cookies-Platter of old fashioned icebox cookies with icing, next to two mugs of hot cocoa with marshmallows.
This icebox cookie recipe makes it so easy to surprise your kids with freshly baked cookies when they get off the bus!

CAN YOU FREEZE ICEBOX COOKIES? 

Old fashioned icebox cookie dough will keep for up to five days unbaked in the fridge. If you aren’t going to use it up within that amount of time, wrap your log of cookie dough tightly in plastic wrap, then place it in a freezer bag. It will last in the freezer for up to 6 months. Allow the dough to thaw in your fridge when you are ready to slice the cookies and bake!

Ice box Cookies- White background, closeup of old fashioned icebox cookies with icing.
Feel free to switch this old fashioned icebox cookies recipe up if you don’t like orange zest, cranberries, or nuts!

WHAT IF YOU DON’T LIKE ORANGE ZEST, DRIED CRANBERRIES OR ARE ALLERGIC TO NUTS? 

The cool thing about this recipe is that you are free to tailor it however you see fit! Don’t like orange zest? Get rid of it! Substitute it with lemon zest if you want and make lemon icebox cookies. Not a fan of dried cranberries? Try cherries! Allergic to nuts, or just don’t like them? Omit them, or replace with a nut you prefer, as long as there is no allergy. Or you can just go with my baking secret… when in doubt, replace with chocolate! *giggle* You can also split your dough, and make a couple of smaller logs of varied flavors!

Ice box Cookies- Platter of old fashioned icebox cookies with two mugs of hot cocoa.
You only have to switch a couple of key ingredients to make gluten free old fashioned icebox cookies!

GLUTEN FREE OLD FASHIONED ICEBOX COOKIES RECIPE 

Do you have a gluten sensitivity or allergy? No worries! Its super easy to make this a gluten free icebox cookie recipe! To start, swap out the regular all-purpose flour for gluten free flour

Next, make sure that the rest of your ingredients are gluten free, especially your baking powder and vanilla extract. If you’re dried cranberries and chopped walnuts have trace amounts of wheat exposure, you can always omit them and replace with gluten free chocolate chips

How To Store Your Baked Ice Box Cookies

Once your ice box cookies are baked and cooled, store them in an airtight container like a Tupperware. You can even keep them in a zip lock baggy as well. Here are some of our favorite airtight containers for cookies that will keep your ice box cookies fresh:

Yield: 38-48 Cookies

Old Fashioned Icebox Cookies Recipe

Old Fashioned Icebox Cookies Recipe

Thanks to the convenience of this old fashioned icebox cookies recipe, you can prep the dough ahead of the time, and have fresh baked cookies ready to go the next time you have company!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Active Time 12 minutes
Total Time 22 minutes

Materials

  • Cookies:
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped dried cranberries
  • ¼ cup (from 1) grated orange peel
  • Chopped walnuts, optional
  • Glaze (optional):
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon milk or cream

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
  2. In another large bowl, beat butter and sugar until fluffy.
  3. Beat in egg and extract until well combined.
  4. Gradually add flour mixture and beat until well combined.
  5. Fold in dried cranberries and orange peel.
  6. Divide dough in half and roll into a log.
  7. Chop walnuts, if using, and spread evenly onto parchment paper.
  8. Add dough log on top of walnuts and coat the edges.
  9. Cover dough log with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1-2 hours or until firm enough to cut.
  10. Remove from refrigerator.
  11. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  12. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
  13. Slice cookies about 1/8 inch thick and place on prepared baking sheet.
  14. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden. 
  15. Remove from oven onto wire rack to cool. 
  16. Mix glaze if using and drizzle over cooled cookies.
  17. Store in airtight container.

Can I Substitute Brown Sugar For The White Sugar In These Ice Box Cookies Recipe?

Technically you can, however, understand that it will change the cookies. Brown sugar (and dark brown sugar) has more moisture and will add it making a chewier texture.

Why Are They Called Ice Box Cookies?

Because fridges used to be cooled by ice. And people were able to make this ice box cookie recipe ahead of time, put them in their “ice box” and bake them later. So they were called “ice box” cookies. Basically, they’re called refrigerator cookies, but with an antiquated name.

Can I use Margarine Instead of 2 Cup Butter In This Ice Box Cookie Recipe?

While you can technically use margarine or even shortening in your ice box cookies instead of butter, the cookies are going to spread out and be less crisp. Margarine gives a softer cookie and shortening will make a soft and spongy flavor. Butter gives a crunchier cookie with better flavor.

What hot drink are you going to serve up with your old fashioned homemade icebox cookies? Might I suggest our delicious homemade hot cocoa? It’s the perfect combination! 

How did your ice box cookies turn out? What goodies did you put in your icebox cookies? We’d love to hear from you!



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