Ice Box Cookies, The Lincolns, and Dickens.

Note: Bake with a large skirt, corset, and a British accent. Your cookies will taste better.

Maybe it’s just pure coincidence, but within a few weeks of beginning rehearsals for Dicken’s “A Christmas Carol,” I have also dived into a book on the Lincolns, and discovered the glory of icebox cookies. It seems there’s a time warp happening and I’m tuning in the 1800s…

Icebox cookies. The first time I heard this name I wasn’t sure what to think….Sounds old fashioned? Is this a complicated process? Does it involve ice? To answer my own questions: it is indeed old fashioned, simple, and you might say it involves ice.

As one of my favorite New England authors once said. Simplify Simplify Simplify. (Name that guy!!) With 9 shows a week of caroling and wearing early Victorian period costumes, I need something quick and easy to whip up for the holiday season and these cookies fit the bill.

Ice box Cookies– a type of cookie with the dough formed and chilled before being sliced for baking; also called refrigerator cookie. Yeah, that’s right. Put it in the fridge and bake when it’s convenient!

The History: I love a little bit of history and am thoroughly enjoying reading “The Lincolns: A Portrait of A Marriage” as I eagerly await the release of the film this week. Lincoln’s favorite dessert was Apple Pie; but, I’m guessing Mary Todd Lincoln had a nice Icebox, and I like to imagine, she too, baked icebox cookies at some point along the road to the white house. As I gear up for performances of A Christmas Carol (first published in 1843 right around the time Lincoln was running for Congress) I am also hoping icebox cookies were being made by those who could afford fresh ice in London. With the advent of electric iceboxes, or refrigerators, in the early 1900s, people were able to prepare more foods with the luxury of refrigerating before hand. Icebox cakes and cookies started appearing in cookbooks and became very popular. We now know them as refrigerator cookies.

So Thank You Ice Box! Here’s the first Icebox cookie of the season, Butterscotch Cinnamon Ice Box Cookies, adapted from “Rosie’s Bakery All-Butter Fresh Cream Sugar-Packed No Holds-Barred Baking Book” by Judy Rosenberg. So incredibly simple and delicious.

Check out my Pinterest and this link from Martha Stewart for more icebox ideas.

*Note: Bake with a large skirt and corset and adopt a British accent. Your cookies will taste better this way.

Mix Ingredients.

Form dough into log and refrigerate. Remove and slice.

Bake until golden brown.

[gmc_recipe 1179]

Do you have a favorite icebox cookie recipe?