It’s been a long time since I packed school lunches but I still like to have a full cookie jar on the kitchen counter when school starts so I have a treat to offer my grandkids and their friends when they stop by. This is one of my favorite cookie recipes because it is so versatile and because the cookies can stand the abuse of being in a lunch sack or in a backpack that sits on the athletic field in the hot sun. I made these when my children were barely old enough to eat cookies and have added a variety of fruits and nuts to the recipe over the years. I’m so lucky to live close to my 7 and 9 year old grandkids and love to have fresh cookies for them when I see them. I have to admit the cranberries and pistachios aren’t their favorite but my mother loved them and I thought the fruit and nut combo was delicious. I added a few more kid friendly flavors at the bottom of the recipe that your kiddos might prefer.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅔ cup soft unsalted butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup finely chopped nuts and dried fruits, your choice
- Sift flour with baking powder and salt onto a sheet of waxed paper. Set aside. In a large bowl of an electric mixer beat butter until light. Gradually beat in sugar. Add egg and vanilla and continue beating until very light and fluffy.
- At low speed, beat in the flour mixture. Add chopped nuts and fruits, mixing well to combine.
- Turn out dough onto lightly floured surface. Divide in half. With hands, shape each half into a roll 7 inches long. Wrap each roll in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until firm – about 8 hours, or overnight before slicing and baking. Rolls of cookie dough may be stored in refrigerator as long as 10 days. Slice and bake as many as desired.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. With a sharp knife cut as many ⅛-inch slices as you want to bake. Rewrap rest of roll; refrigerate. Places slices, 2 inches apart, on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cool completely on wire racks.
- CHOCOLATE NUT VERSION: Melt 3 squares unsweetened chocolate over hot, not boiling water. Cool, then add to butter mixture. Then proceed as above.
- LEMON PECAN: Omit vanilla; add 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel to creamed butter mixture. Use finely chopped pecans. Proceed as above.
- ORANGE COCONUT: Omit vanilla extract. Add 1 tablespoon grated orange peel to creamed butter mixture. Omit nuts; add 3-1/2 oz. flaked coconut. Proceed as above.
If you have never made ice-box cookies I hope you give them a try. Calling them “ice box cookies” gives you an idea how long this type of recipe has been around. The McCall’s Cook Book that this recipe came from was published in 1963 and I received it as a shower gift when I was married in the early 1960′s. The pages are brown around the edges and some of them are falling out and, even after all these years, it’s one of my favorite cookbooks. These cookies are great because the dough logs can be frozen and then baked whenever you want a tray of freshly made cookies. Roll the logs in finely chopped nuts or fruits or drizzle the baked cookies with a little powdered sugar glaze if you want to fancy them up.
This post is linked to FOODIE FRIDAY at Rattlebridge Farm.
Go on over for a visit and find lots of great fall recipes.
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