Starting to feel that teensy bit of panic set in? Trying NOT to look at the calendar and realize that the holidays start NEXT WEEK? Thinking over all that was on your “To Do” list and is rapidly moving to the “No Way” list? I’m with you.
While I have been diligently making things for gifts and yes, buying a few little items as well, I’m beginning to realize that I haven’t really wrapped anything, and that some of those goodies I wanted to make are just too time consuming to contemplate at this juncture. Exit the supposedly “easy” and enter the “effortless”…at least by comparison! This post and my next will feature recipes for some things I made over the last two nights that make terrific quick gifts, good fun and great eating.
Today’s recipe is for old fashioned ice box cookies from one of those little regional jewels, the 1972 Decatur Junior Service League’s Cotton Country Cooking Cookbook (this would be Decatur, Alabama, not Decatur, Georgia). My mom gave me this cookbook when I first moved to Atlanta after college (not 1972 BTW), and there are several recipes I use repeatedly from it…this being one of them. If you’ve never made an icebox cookie you really should try these. They are rich little cookies with a butterscotch-like taste to them (I use pecans for the nuts) and the dough can be made ahead and frozen for up to a month, then just pull them out as needed, slice, decorate with fruit or sugars if you like, and bake. I still have 3 logs wrapped and frozen, ready to pull out and make fresh homemade cookies for giving or sharing at a moment’s notice….and needless to say, they are WAY better than most of those you find in your grocers’ fridge case. For gift giving, bag them and tie with decorative raffia or ribbon, or just put them on a pretty plate. Easy peasey.
Here’s the exact recipe as it’s printed in the cookbook, along with a fine comment from the woman to whom the recipe is attributed, Mrs. Billy W. Payne.
Aunt Anne’s Ice Box Cookies
1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups flour
1 cup nuts, chopped
Cream butter and sugars. Add egg and flavoring and mix until well blended. Add sifted dry ingredients and nuts and mix together with hands. Shape into rolls, wrap in waxed paper and refrigerate until ready to bake. Slice thin and bake on greased cookie sheet 8-10 minutes at 350 degrees. Watch closely. Makes about 6 1/2 dozen rich cookies. Freezes well.
For an “I don’t know what to do now” day, slice the cookies frozen or refrigerated. Place on greased cookie sheet. Put colored sugars, cut raisins, cinnamon and sugar, etc., in muffin tins and let all the children decorate a pan of cookies. Have broom handy!