Tuesday, August 29, 2006
My Favorite Icebox Cookies
This is where I usually put the photo of a cookie that didn't make it onto my short list, but the more I thought about these simple-yet-beautiful, go-with-anything Sesame Fingers, the more I realized that they deserved a place on my list of favorites. So there you go - they made it!
I can't believe it - three chapters down, two to go! For those of us (including me) who have always equated icebox cookies with "slice 'n bake" cookies, this chapter was a revelation in more ways than one. First with the shaping - icebox cookies need not be round and in fact the square, oblong and finger shapes were always well-received. Secondly, two doughs can be arranged in a variety of ways to great effect: you can wrap one around the other, you can layer them, or you can roll them together into a pinwheel. Finally, you can shape the dough in a pan (flat or loaf) or you can even put two slices together with some filling in between.
Icebox cookies take a little more time to make because of the chilling time between mixing and baking, but you can usually mix and shape the dough a day or more ahead. It's awful nice to have those cookies in the freezer just waiting to be baked!
There were no dogs this time around. The lowest scoring cookie was actually one of my favorites - the Sesame Fingers you see pictured above. These and the other cookies with seeds were not preferred by the cookie panel, but I enjoyed them all.
So now without further ado, here are my personal favorites. The first few are in no particular order. I'll save my very favorite cookie for last...
Coconut and almond filling surrounded by a chocolate cookie. These Black and White Coconut Slices are reminiscent of an Almond Joy bar and just as sweet as they look.
These Fruitcake Icebox Cookies are beautiful and tasty. The candied cherries and pineapple are key, so use the best you can find.
One of these Peanut Butter Pillows would make an impressive and substantial dessert. Each is like a little pie - two big peanut butter cookies with a dollop of peanut butter sandwiched within.
I'm a sucker for cinnamon, so it's no surprise that I fell for these Almond Spicebox Cookies. With a super-sized helping of cinnamon, these cookies are delightfully crunchy and spicy.
And the winner by a mile (the others never stood a chance) - my very favorite Cobblestones. Crunchy and chewy, loaded with nuts and raisins, this is my idea of the perfect cookie.
Next up - rolled cookies. I have to admit, I've never really enjoyed rolling out cookie dough. I have trouble getting it rolled evenly, and depending on the dough, I've had trouble with crumbling or sticking. I just sprang for a new pastry cloth and a "sock" for my rolling pin, so we'll see if they help. With any luck, rolling cookie dough will be old hat by the time I finish the chapter!