Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Happy Baking

Almost 2 days of baking and my cookie boxes are complete...whew! I made nine different cookies and a new candy called Brigadeiros, a Brazilian confection that is a cross between a truffle and fudge.
Some cookies are familiar ones I've made in the last few months--Red Velvet Triple C Cookies, Cardamon~Cranberry Crescents, and Pecan Tassies, but then I always like to try some new ones and this year I made up a Chocolate~Pistachio Ice Box Cookies with Orange Buttercream.

My Grandma Gladys introduced me to Ice Box Cookies which which got their name after the late 1800s, when the first ice boxes appeared.  These cookies were mixed up, formed in a roll, then, sliced and baked later.  Very convenient for the busy housewife.  I love them because they can be made up ahead of time, stored in the refrigerator or freezer and baked when needed.  I think Grandma Gladys started making these when she went to work after my mother and uncle went to school.  Anyway, ice box cookies are great on their own, but with a buttercream, ganache, or even Dulce de leche spread in between to make a sandwich cookie, it's even better.

Pistaschio Chocolate Ice Box Cookies with Orange Buttercream
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 tsp. Kosher salt
1/2 cup finely ground Pistaschios

1/2 cup Dutch-processed cocoa
2 large egg yolks
4 cups King Arthur all-purpose flour

In a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, cream the butter and confectioners' sugar for 3-5 minutes.  Add the salt and the pistachios and mix to blend.  Add the egg yolks, one at a time and beat well after each one.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix again.
Add the flour and mix on medium until the dough comes together.
 Divide the dough in half and drop dough on a piece of plastic wrap.  Form dough into a roll--I did mine in a square, but it could have been round too.

 I made the roll 1 1/2-inches x 1 1/2-inches, but again, it's your choice.

Chill dough at least 3-4 hours, but you can also place these rolls in a freezer bag and store them up to 6 months.

To Bake:  Preheat oven to 375F-degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
Slice cookies 1/4-inch thick and place about  1 1/2 to 2 inches apart.  Bake until they look set, which for me was 8 minutes.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool 5 minutes on the baking sheet.  Transfer to a rack and cool completely.

Orange Buttercream
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 tsp. grated orange zest
2-3 T fresh orange juice

In the stand mixer, using the whisk attachment, cream the butter and confectioners' sugar thoroughly.  Add the orange zest  Add the orange juice, one tablespoon at a time until the mixture is light and fluffy.
Use an off-set spatula to spread on the bottom of the cookie, then, top with a second cookie.
These not only taste fantastic, but they're a pretty additional to my Christmas box.  Lucky family and friends will receive their boxes tomorrow.  One more thing checked off the list.  Enjoy!


  1. OMG! I be Santa goes to your house first with all of those goodies!

  2. I like the idea of orange buttercream. all your cookies look delicious and I know they taste good from when we used to get together in good ole CT.
    stamping sue

  3. My goodness! I wish I had all that accomplished! It looks delicious!

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  5. YUMMO! These look amazing, Susan. Lovely box and lovely stories of cookie traditions. :) A true labor of love, my friend...Happy Holidays!

    P.S. How do I get on your "cookie tin posse" list? ;)

  6. Your Christmas box of cookies is incredible!! And very definitely a true labor of love because I know how very busy you are getting ready for Ari and Matt's visit. Love and hugs, Barb

  7. Actually, Santa will have to get some new cookies as these all were sent. Ari has his order in for Giant Molasses Cookies and Chocolate Chip. My life will not be the same with a house full of men!! Happy Baking to All! XOXO

  8. Will you tell us about the Brazilian treat sometime too? I'm intrigued. Hugs to Matt and Ari! Tobi

  9. Absolutely, Tobi! I'll post the recipe if I have a chance later. XOXO

  10. What a delightful looking box of goodies! Those recipients are lucky indeed! You got a lot done in your baking spree! My cold has slowed me down, but I am pleased to have gotten 3 kinds of cookies made!

  11. My Dearest friend

    I have just sat down with a humph~! Tired having had a full day of baking and children. You would be proud of or gingerbread houses. I will blog them when I get a chance. What an aray of cookies you have made...

    My in laws are here for the holidays and the kids and Andrew are enjoying the long Summer days. Its about to storm and I see lightning not too far off.

    I hope you are well. A kiss for the little King and princess when you see them for me.

    Love you

  12. abundance.

    merry christmasing! x

  13. Hope you had a wonderful Christmas! We are heading west to see the Grandbabies. Will say hi to Addie....

  14. Susan, Happy New Year to you. Hope I am not too late.