Customizable Icebox Christmas Cookies offer your family a variety of Christmas cookie options all from one cookies dough recipe!
Festive and fun Icebox Christmas Cookies all start with one super simple cookie dough! This customizable dough will help you turn out a variety of holiday-worthy cookies in the time it takes most people to make just one!
SAME DOUGH, DIFFERENT COOKIES
I honestly love baking Christmas cookies, but I don’t always have the time to make a ton of different types! This recipe will help you turn out four types of icebox cookies in record time!
OTHER RECIPES TO SERVE WITH ICEBOX CHRISTMAS COOKIES
- Nutella Hot Chocolate – This rich and creamy hot chocolate recipe is a favorite of mine and goes perfectly with fresh baked cookies!
- Homemade Eggnog – No holiday party is complete without a glass of eggnog to help ring in the season!
- Coquito – For more adult gatherings this holiday season, try this Puerto Rican “eggnog” cocktail!
Basic Dough: For this simple base dough you will need all-purpose flour, baking powder, white sugar, brown sugar, and salt from the pantry. You will also need to grab vanilla extract, softened butter, and an egg. I love to top these classic sugar cookies with sprinkles!
Peppermint Bark: For this variation, you will add peppermint extract, crushed peppermint candies, and white chocolate chips to the basic dough.
Pistachio: The pistachio icebox cookie does require the substitution of almond extract in place of the vanilla in the basic bough recipe. You’ll also need chopped pistachios and green food coloring.
Toffee: Simply add in Heath toffee baking bits for perfect toffee icebox cookies.
HOW TO MAKE ICEBOX COOKIES
STEP ONE: Start by getting out a stand-mixer and attaching the paddle tool. Cream the softened butter until it is light and fluffy and then add in the white and brown sugar. Continue to mix the butter and sugar until it is well incorporated. Next, add in the vanilla (or almond if you are making pistachio cookies) and the egg and mix it until it is well blended.
STEP TWO: In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Gradually add the flour mixture into the butter mixture. Be sure to mix the dough between each addition until the flour mixture is fully incorporated. Finally, add any flavor specific mix-ins gently at a low speed.
STEP THREE: Once the Icebox Christmas Cookie dough is complete, lay out a piece of wax paper on a flat surface. Scoop the dough into the center of the wax paper and use it to help roll the dough. You want to create a log that is round and approximately 2 inches in diameter. Once the cookie dough log has taken its shape, wrap it in the wax paper and refrigerate it for at least an hour.
STEP FOUR: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Slice the icebox cookie dough logs into 1/4-inch slices. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the cookie dough slices on it with a couple of inches between each cookie.
STEP FIVE: Bake the cookies for 10-14 minutes or until they are golden brown around the edges and set in the center. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and allow the cookies to cool on it for 2-3 minutes. Lastly, remove the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely before enjoying!
TIPS FOR SUCCESS
- This Icebox Christmas Cookie dough can be refrigerated over night which makes it a great make-ahead dessert option for the holidays!
- You can split each batch of dough in half to create two cookie types from one batch! Just remember that the pistachio cookie dough does has an ingredient variation in the basic dough recipe.
MORE FLAVORS TO TRY
From the base sugar cookie dough, you can create SO many different flavor options for your cookies. I’ve included pistachio, peppermint bark, and toffee but here are some other options to bake up.
- Sprinkle – Roll the chilled cookie dough log in sprinkles or sanding sugar before slicing. Use rainbow or choose holiday themed sprinkles to fit the occasion.
- Chocolate Pretzel – Stir 1/2 cup chocolate chips (I like the minis for this recipe) alongwith 1/2 cup crushed pretzels into the finished cookie dough.
- Mocha – Add 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder to the dry ingredients and 1 teaspoon instant coffee to the wet ingredients.
- Tropical – Stir 1/2 cup finely chopped dried pineapple and 1/2 cup toaste coconut flakes into the finish cookie dough. You can even add 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract in with the vanilla extract if you like.
WHAT ARE ICEBOX COOKIES?
There is a super simple explanation for the term “icebox cookies.” They are simply cookies made from a log of refrigerated cookie dough. Since these old fashioned icebox cookies have been around a very long time, they predate modern appliances! That’s why you may also hear these cookies referred to as “refrigerator cookies.” Whatever you prefer to call it, this icebox cookies recipe is essentially a better version of a roll of store-bought cookie dough.
CAN YOU FREEZE ICEBOX COOKIE DOUGH?
Prepared cookie dough can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. If you don’t plan on using it within those first 5 days you should definitely freeze it! Just tightly wrap the cookie dough log in plastic wrap and place the wrapped log into an airtight freezer bag. Frozen Icebox Christmas Cookies dough will last for up to 6 months in the freezer. When you are ready to slice and bake the dough, allow it to sit out until it is soft enough to cut through. You can place still frozen dough directly in the oven, but be sure to add a little extra baking time to compensate.
OTHER HOLIDAY COOKIE AND DESSERT RECIPES
- Chocolate Chip Snowball Cookies
- Chocolate Peppermint Cookies
- Cranberry Orange Dessert Dip
- Brownie Batter Dip
- Christmas Crack
- Sugar Cookies
Basic Cookie Dough
- 1 cup Heath toffee bits
- Place butter in a large mixing bowl and beat for 1 minute until fluffy and pale. Add in the sugar and brown sugar and mix until well incorporated. Add in the egg and vanilla and mix to combine.
- In a medium mixing bowl, stir together and flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in 2 additions, mixing after each until just combined.
- Lay a piece of waxed paper on a flat surface. Scoop the cookie dough onto the center of the paper. Use the paper to form the dough into a log about 2 inches in diameter.
- Wrap the waxed paper around the cookie dough log and chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour (up to overnight – see note).
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- Unroll the cookie dough and cut the log into 1/4-inch slices. (You should get about 36 cookies total.) Place the dough slices on the prepared baking sheet about 2-inches apart.
- Bake for 10-14 minutes until the bottom edges are just starting to turn golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Add the peppermint extract in when you add the vanilla extract. Stir in the crushed peppermints and white chocolate chips once the cookie dough is mixed together. Proceed as directed.
- Add in the almond extract instead of vanilla extract. Add the green food coloring once the dry ingredients have been mixed in. You can add more or less color to reach your desired shade. Stir in the chopped pistachios once the cookie dough is mixed together. Proceed as directed.
- Stir in the toffee bits once the cookie dough is mixed together. Proceed as directed.
- Nutrition is for basic cookie dough with no mix-ins.
- You can chill the cookie dough in a fridge for up to 5 days if wrapped in plastic wrap.
- You can split the base dough in half and make two flavors from one batch.