icebox cookies are possibly the easiest cookies to make in quantity for the holidays. year after year i make these and keep the logs stored in the refrigerator for several uses. what makes these so easy is that they can be done in segments. the dough needs to be prepared, rolled into logs, and then refrigerated so they can harden for the baking process. the cookies do not need to be sliced and baked immediately. if you are not sure if you will be able to bake them within 4-5 days, pop them in the freezer and allow to thaw before slicing and baking.
the gift ideas are great considering you can slice and bake, package them up, and pass out. however, wrapping the logs in wax paper, with a bow, and attaching the baking instructions allows the recipients their own time to slice and bake. i always have a few logs of icebox cookies in my fridge so i can bake my own and take them as hostess gifts or to various events. there is something about shortbread that everyone loves. a taste of buttery indulgence…
this makes two logs of dough, approximately 36 cookies. feel free to double the recipe.
1 c unsalted butter (2 sticks), room temperature
1 c confectioners’ sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
3/4 tsp kosher salt
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
1/2 cup dried blueberries
zest of 2 lemons
using an electric mixer, beat on medium to low-speed the butter, sugar, vanilla, and salt until smooth. on low-speed add the flour, mixing until dough balls form. remove bowl from the mixer and stir in the blueberries and lemon zest.
form the dough into a ball and divide in half. place each half on a floured surface. with floured hands, gently roll each into a 1 1/2 inch thick log. be sure to remove any air bubble that may be inside the log. wrap the logs tightly in wax or parchment paper and refrigerate until firm. 1-2 hours. the logs can be wrapped tightly with plastic wrap, especially if using storing the logs for longer than the 1-2 hours.
preheat oven to 350 degrees. let the dough sit out for roughly 5 minutes. using a sharp serrated knife, slice the dough about 3/8 inch thick. it may crumble ever so slightly and you can press those pieces together if necessary. arrange the slices on baking sheets, about one inch apart.
bake until lightly golden around the edges, 15-20 minutes. remove from the oven and let cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes. transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
place in airtight containers or wrap in desired packaging to pass out to friends and family…
this recipe is adapted from Martha Stewart’s ‘icebox shortbread cookies’.