Cherry Icebox Cookies are slice-and-bake cookies made with maraschino cherries and chopped almonds for a nutty crunch. Be sure to check out more cookie recipes, too!
What are Icebox Cookies?
Icebox cookies are also known as refrigerator cookies or slice-and-bake cookies. The buttery dough is rolled into a log and stored in the refrigerator (an icebox) until firm. Once firm, the dough is cut into rounds and baked. Easy as can be!
Cherries: You will use both the maraschino cherry juice and the cherries in this Cherry Icebox Cookie recipe.
Almond Extract: The nutty flavor of the almond extract is perfect for these cookies, which contain almonds. If you don’t have any almond extract on hand, you could use vanilla extract.
Cream of Tartar: Cream of tartar is not a cream at all, but a powdery acid. It can be found in the baking aisle, near the spices, in your local grocery store.
Rolling the Dough
Since these Cherry Icebox Cookies are slice-and-bake cookies, the dough is rolled into logs of dough. Then, the dough is chilled and sliced when ready to bake. To roll the dough into the log, first, place the dough onto a sheet of parchment paper. Roll it out into 2, 8-inch logs of dough.
Next, fold the parchment paper over one of the dough logs. Press down on the bottom half of the paper to hold it in place. Then, use your other hand to gently press the top half of the paper in between the dough and the parchment paper, making a crease in the parchment paper along the dough log. Finally, wrap the dough in plastic wrap, rolling to seal. Repeat with the other dough log.
Do I Have to Chill the Dough?
Once you have the dough rolled into a cylinder and wrapped in plastic wrap, place the dough in the refrigerator to chill for a couple of hours. Yes, you really should chill the dough for the best results. When you chill cookie dough, it solidifies the fat.
Then, when you are ready to bake the cherry icebox cookies, the chilled dough takes longer to melt and remains solid longer, meaning the cookies spread less. Chilling cookie dough gives you a softer texture and even more flavor. Plus, you can chill the dough for up to 3 days in the refrigerator, so it’s a great way to get a head start on the cookies.
Can I Make Cherry Icebox Cookies Without Almonds?
Sure! These cookies would be delicious with or without the nuts. Or, you could try the cookies with a different kind of nut like walnuts.
How to Freeze Cherry Icebox Cookies
You can freeze these cookies before you bake them (freeze the dough) or after you have baked the cookies. To freeze the dough, simply wrap the logs of dough in a couple more layers of plastic wrap. They will last in the freezer for up to 3 months. When ready to bake, simply let the dough thaw a bit in the refrigerator before cutting.
If you want to freeze the baked cookies, let them cool completely. Then, freeze the baked cookies in a freezer-safe container. When ready to enjoy, remove the cookies from the freezer and let them thaw before enjoying.
Cherry Icebox Cookies
- 1 cup (2 sticks / 227 g) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 ¼ cups (250 g) granulated sugar
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- ¼ cup maraschino cherry juice (You'll see the jar listed below, use ¼ cup from the jar.)
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
- 3 ¼ cups (406 g) all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 jar (10 ounces) maraschino cherries, quartered (about ½ cup)
- ½ cup (71.5 g) almonds, finely chopped
- In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, add butter and sugar. Mix until light and creamy. (You could also use a handheld mixer.)
- Add the egg, cherry juice, and almond extract. Mix until incorporated.
- In a separate bowl add flour, baking soda, and cream of tartar. Whisk together to combine.
- With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, 1 cup at a time, until combined.
- Gently fold in the cherries and the almonds.
- Add dough to a sheet of parchment paper and roll into 2, 8-inch rolls. Wrap in plastic wrap and seal the ends. Place the dough in the refrigerator to chill for about 2 hours, or until firm.
- When ready, preheat the oven to 375°F and line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Remove the dough from the refrigerator and place each roll on a cutting board.
- Slice each dough log into ¼-inch cookies and place cookies onto the prepared baking sheets about 2 inches apart.
- Bake 7-9 minutes, or until edges are slightly browned.
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