Icebox cookies are named for their ability to hang out in the freezer until you’re ready for them; one basic dough can be transformed into a whole array of holiday cookies (see below). Customize enough logs of slice-and-bake cookies to stash away for festive emergencies – the very best kind. Best of all: you can slice a few off each log and bake them together on one sheet, making an assortment of freshly baked cookies in next to no time.
1 cup (250 ml) butter, room temperature
3/4 cup (185 ml) sugar
3/4 cup (185 ml) packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp (10 ml) vanilla
3 cups (750 ml) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp (7 ml) baking powder
1/2 tsp (2 ml) salt
In another bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add to the butter mixture and stir until the dough comes together. Add additions as described below, or keep plain and decorate with sprinkles when baking.
Divide the dough into two or three pieces, shape each into a log and wrap in parchment paper, twisting each end to seal. Refrigerate until firm, or for up to a week, or freeze for up to six months.
Makes enough dough for about six dozen cookies.
On a lightly floured surface, roll a half or third of the dough into a 10-inch square.
Sprinkle with about 1/3 cup dark brown sugar and 1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts or pecans. Drizzle with 2 tbsp honey or golden syrup, and sprinkle with cinnamon. Roll up jelly-roll style, wrap in parchment, refrigerate and slice and bake as directed.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Slice the dough a quarter-inch thick and place the slices on an ungreased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 10–12 minutes, until pale golden and set. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Originally published in ParentsCanada magazine, November/December 2015.