Old Fashioned Ice Box Cookies…They’re a Cinch!

With dough on standby in the ice box, you can make this many in about 10 minutes...gotta love it!

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.

Just slice these up ever so quickly....

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.

Decorate, I used chopped dried cranberries and sugar, and bake!

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 egg
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!


30 thoughts on “Old Fashioned Ice Box Cookies…They’re a Cinch!

  1. Looks like a great recipe, Betsy. Thanks for posting it! I think I’ll give them a try.

    And by the way, there’s nothing wrong with being just out of college in 1972. 🙂 Just ask your hubby. 🙂


    • Hey Nancy! I hope you will try these, they are so good. And of course I wasn’t insinuating that there was a thing wrong with being just out of college in 1972…just clarifying that the publish date of the cookbook and my arrival in the the big city were different dates. I’d be just as proud to have been just out of college in ’62 or ’72 as in ’82, or before that or after that…for that matter! 😉


  2. I love ice box cookies. Make ’em, roll ’em, and leave ’em in the fridge. When you’re ready, slice a few — or a lot — and bake ’em. You can be serving warm cookies to unexpected guests within 20 minutes of their arrival.


    • That truly is the beauty of the ice box cookie…so convenient and so good. I’d forgotten about this recipe because I hadn’t made them in a few years. Now I feel kinda secure knowing I have something in the fridge!


  3. Icebox cookies are indeed an old favourite, Betsey. I actually freeze any type of cookie dough that has a good portion of butter in it…the butter makes it easier to cut. I like your festive decorations on them too.


    • Hi Kay, and thanks so much for stopping by! You are most welcome for the recipe. These are good and rich little morsels, and perfect for last minute somethings to take to a party. They keep a couple of days in an airtight container after being baked, too. Am coming to visit you in just a minute!


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    • Wow! Thank you so much, Sharyn…that’s really awesome! And congrats to you on being nominated. It will be after the holiday before I can respond, as I’m a bit over-committed right now with family events during the next week, but I am so very honored and I really look forward to seeing your post! Cheers to you! ~Betsy


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  8. Thank you for posting the ice box cookie recipe. I have made them every Christmas for years. My maternal grandmother, Nannie Kim, shared this recipe with my mom, and then mom passed it on to me. My family loves the Nannie Kim cookies. I make them and before I know it they are all eaten. Several years ago, I misplaced my recipe, and have made the cookies from memory. Needless to say, they were not the same delicious cookies. When
    I searched your site, I saw your recipe and I knew it was Nannie Kim’s recipe. This year I will make real Nannie Kim cookies. THere are lots of similar ice box cookie recipes, but the one you posted is the best. Thank you, now I can pass this family recipe on to my children and grandchildren. Merry Christmas,


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