Friday, December 16, 2011

Magic in the Ice Box

Ice box cookies have been around since the 1920s, when ice boxes became widely available. These old fashion treats are always welcome in your freezer, to pull out when something special is desired, like during the holidays. All you do is slice off as many cookies as you'd like and bake them up. Nothing could be easier! One of my favorite ice box cookies are "Lacy Nut Cookies." These cookies spread like mad and remind me of delicate stained glass. They are very oily, so I recommend letting them completely cool before serving. While they are warm, you can roll them around the handle of a wooden spoon, you can cut them with cookie cutters, and, when cool, you can dip or drizzle them with melted chocolate. Let your imagination soar! In addition, these delicate beauties add a welcome crunch to ice cream!

(I had to add a meringue mushroom, this one smudged with cocoa to add a "rustic" effect! They're so cute!)

Lacy Nut Cookies

Makes about 4 dozen


1 cup plus 5 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup corn syrup
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups chopped nuts (almonds, blanched hazelnuts, or pecans)


In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until fluffy. With the mixer running, add the corn syrup. Turn speed to low. Add flour; mix to combine. Add nuts; mix to combine. 

Place an approximately 12"x16" piece of parchment on a work surface. Spoon dough across the middle of the parchment. Fold the parchment over the dough, and using a ruler to slide evenly, press and roll the dough into a log. Freeze at least 30 minutes before baking.

Remove parchment from the log. Slice into 1/2"-thick rounds. Place rounds on a baking sheet, 4 at a time, 3 1/2" apart. Bake until golden and lacy, about 12 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Bake or freeze the remaining dough. Store cookies in an airtight container up to 2 weeks.

Adapted from Crafts and Keepsakes for the Holidays, by Martha Stewart Living.

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