Old-Time Cookery: Icebox Cookies

“These cookies barely keep, especially if there are several men and a gaggling of children about the place.”

Photos of food are tricky, so I took a picture of the recipe instead!  These are from a relatively old cookbook containing even older recipes and lots of interesting stories and poetry.  We cookies made them twice already because they are so good, especially with freshly ground flour, but I am sure they turn out well with whatever flour you use.  Incidentally, they are called icebox cookies because the dough goes into the fridge for a while before being baked, preferably over night.

Old-favorite Icebox Cookies


  • 2 cups flour, sifted
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


Mix flour, baking powder and salt in one bowl, and cream the remaining ingredients in another.  Add flour mix to wet mix 1 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition.

Divide dough into two portions and roll into a log 1 1/2 inch in diameter.  Roll each in wax paper and place in the fridge over night, or until firm enough to slice.

country mothers cookbook
Jane Watson Hopping: The Country Mothers Cookbook

Before baking, preheat oven to 425 F (220 C).  Take dough out of the fridge and slice into 1/8-inch thick slices, or thicker if you like that better.  Arrange on an ungreased baking sheet and bake for about 5 minutes, watching the baking time carefully, especially if you slice them thin.  I sliced them closer to half an inch thick and they took a minute or so longer.

When done, use spatula to remove cookies from baking sheet with a spatula, and place on rack or brown paper to cool.

It says in the recipe that this makes about 8 dozen cookies, but the way I sliced them, it made between 30 and 40.

And here is one of the poems from the book:

Best of All

Of all good gifts that the Lord lets fall,
Is not silence the best of all?

The deep, sweet hush when the song is closed,
And every sound but a voiceless ghost;

And every sigh, as we listening leant,
A breathless quiet of vast content?

The laughs we laughed have a purer ring
With but their memories echoing;

And the joys we voiced, and the words we said,
Seem so dearer for being dead.

So of all good gifts that the Lord lets fall,
Is not silence the best of all?

James Whitcomb Riley

Author: Anne

~ In the right order of nature, the flesh is subject to the spirit and not the reverse. ~ The Cloud of Unknowing

3 thoughts on “Old-Time Cookery: Icebox Cookies”

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