Sunday, March 9, 2014

Grandma's Ice-Box Cookies

 I remember the Ice-Box Cookies my grandmother made in the 1950s and which my mother followed up with while Bob and I were kids. Last evening Mom suggested I make a batch (I have never made them myself before).

 And here's the original recipe that my grandmother used:

 A few notes: First, Mom thinks a little cooler oven (375°) is in order. That's the temperature I baked these at (about 13 minutes). Secondly. we had no pecans so we used walnuts (I think pecans are preferable). And third, I forgot to add vanilla as Mom has noted in the right margin. Of course vanilla wasn't in the original recipe so these cookies taste more like the originals. Also, I made half a recipe (20 cookies).
 To get the dough thick enough to place onto wax paper and roll out with my hands, I added a little extra flour (about 1/4 cup). The dough should be stiff enough to work, even at room temperature.

 The resultant dough was just plopped onto waxed paper and worked with my fingers. I dusted the top as I worked so it wouldn't stick, drawing it out into a "log". This is then wrapped in the wax paper and placed in the refrigerator (i.e. "Ice Box") overnight.

 The next day the dough will be stiff and easily cut with a serrated knife. We cut the "log" into 20 sections, each being about 1/2" thick. Remember, I made half a recipe. I'd expect the full recipe to make 40 cookies.

 We baked the cookies using parchment paper placed on a cookies sheet (no clean-up required).
 These are certainly a memorable sweet treat from my childhood. Mom says the vanilla is necessary for the best taste (I can't argue with her) and pecans add the flavor I most remember (now absent). I'd make those changes when I bake them again.

 I'll give my grandmother, Helen Schmidt, full credit for this recipe (which is in her handwriting). There's nothing like cookies fresh from the oven to make a kid happy. Older ones, too.

Helen Schmidt

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