The recipe prices will vary based on fluctuating grocery costs. Please use what is posted as a guide.
These Old Fashioned Icebox Cookies are classic Christmas cookies that you can make ahead of time and slice and bake when you’re ready to serve or gift them.
It costs approximately $6.26 to make these cookies. The recipe makes about 42 cookies. That works out to cost around $0.14 per cookie.
We have a trick up our sleeve we pull out to help us during the height of the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. Our secret is to make a batch of these Old Fashioned Icebox Cookies before the season starts and store them in the freezer until we are ready to use them. Doing this gives us slice-and-go cookies at a moment’s notice when we do not have a lot of extra time.
These cookies get their classic name because the dough is chilled in the fridge until it is firm. They are full of the classic holiday flavors of orange, cranberries, and walnuts in a sweet buttery cookie form.
This vintage recipe, or Old Fashioned Ice Box cookies, is a family favorite you will make yearly.
Ingredients & Estimated Cost:
- 3 cups all-purpose flour – $0.27
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder – $0.03
- ½ teaspoon salt – $0.01
- 1 cup unsalted butter – $1.76
- 1 cup granulated sugar – $0.17
- 1 large egg – $0.23
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract – $0.34
- 1 cup dried cranberries – $1.49
- 1 large navel orange – $0.75
- ½ cup walnuts – $0.82
- 1 cup powdered sugar – $0.38
- 1 Tablespoon milk – $0.01
To find out more about how we price our recipes, check out Budget Recipes Explained.
How To Make Icebox Cookies
- First, mix the flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.
- Then beat the butter and sugar together in another bowl until light and fluffy.
- Next, beat in the egg and vanilla extract until well combined. Then, slowly add in the flour mixture and beat for about one minute.
- Fold in the dried cranberries and orange peel before dividing the dough in half and rolling it into two logs.
- Next, chop the walnuts and spread them evenly onto the parchment paper.
- Then, add a dough log on top of the walnuts and roll to coat the edges. Cover the dough log with plastic wrap and refrigerate for one to two hours.
- When ready, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line the baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Slice the cookies about ⅛ inch thick and place them on prepared baking sheets. Bake for ten to twelve minutes.
- Finally, while the cookies are cooling on a wire rack, mix the glaze and drizzle over the cooled cookies before serving.
***For complete recipe instructions, see the recipe card below.
Recipe Variations and Substitutions
- Instead of cranberries and orange zest, use dried cherries and chopped dark chocolate or mini chocolate chips.
- You can also use lemon zest and chopped white chocolate.
- Alternatively, you can leave them plain without any add-ins and roll the dough in festive sprinkles.
SERVE: You can keep the dough wrapped in the refrigerator for up to one week. Serve the cookies at room temperature.
STORE: Baked cookies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for 4-5 days.
FREEZE: Wrap the dough in two layers of plastic wrap and foil. Freeze the dough for up to 4 months.
DEFROST: Defrost the dough at room temperature for an hour before slicing and baking or for a few hours in the refrigerator.
The dough is placed in the fridge to chill until firm before slicing the dough log into cookie slices for baking. Back in the day, a fridge was known as an ice box, hence the name of the cookies. Think of it like a tube of cookie dough you buy at the store to slice and bake, but better!
Simply roll half of the dough into a long log shape. You can see our pictures of this step in the instructions section. The cookies will flatten slightly when baking, so they will lose some of their round shapes. However, we have read that placing the wrapped dough inside a split-open cardboard paper towel tube to chill in the fridge will help the dough retain a round shape and result in round cookies when you slice the dough.
Get Kids Involved
Ages 2-3: Guide your child’s hands as you help them chop the walnuts in a bag. They can also practice counting skills by counting the number of cookies they place on the baking sheets for baking.
Ages 4-5: Ask your child to pre-measure the ingredients and add them to the bowl when needed.
Ages 6-8: After teaching your child how to roll the dough in the walnuts, let them complete this task. You can then show them how to slice the dough when it is time.
Ages 9-11: Supervise them while they prepare the entire recipe. Remember to have them read it twice before beginning the recipe.
Ages 12+: Let them prepare the entire recipe, unsupervised, while you do the happy dance in the corner!
At just about $0.14 per cookie, this is an extremely cost-effective cookie you can make and share with friends without breaking the bank.
More Christmas Recipes
- Gingerbread Cheesecake Dip
- Peppermint Dip
- Chocolate Mint Cookies
- Peppermint Patty Candy
- Dulce De Leche Cookies
- Christmas Fudge
- Gingerbread Cookie Bars
- Crockpot Candy
- Homemade Peanut Brittle
- Peppermint Pie – Candy Cane Pie
Old Fashioned Icebox Cookies
- mixing bowls
- handheld mixer
- Measuring cups and spoons
- baking sheets
- wire rack
- rubber spatula
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup chopped dried cranberries
- ¼ cup grated orange peel from 1 large navel orange
- ½ CUP Chopped walnuts
FOR THE GLAZE:
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 Tablespoon milk or cream
MAKE COOKIE DOUGH:
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
- In another large bowl, beat butter and sugar until fluffy, about 1-2 minutes.
- Beat in egg and vanilla extract until well combined, about 30 seconds.
- Gradually add flour mixture and beat until well combined and no flour pockets remain, about 1 minute.
- Fold in dried cranberries and orange peel.
- Divide dough in half and roll into two logs.
COVER DOUGH WITH WALNUTS:
- Chop walnuts and spread them evenly onto the parchment paper.
- Add a dough log on top of the walnuts and roll to coat the edges.
- Cover the dough log with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1-2 hours or until firm enough to cut.
- Remove the dough from the refrigerator.
PREP OVEN AND BAKING SHEETS:
- Move the oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.
- Slice cookies about ⅛ inch thick and place on prepared baking sheets.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden.
- Remove the cookies from the oven and move them to wire racks to cool about 45 minutes.
- Mix glaze and drizzle over cooled cookies.
- Store cookies in an airtight container.