Monday, June 15, 2015

Refrigerator Spice Cookies with Almonds

Refrigerator cookies have been around somewhere after the ice box was conceived in 1802, by an inventor, surveyor, engineer and entrepreneur named Thomas Moore from Brooksville, Maryland and was granted a patent for it.   My Grandfather Will, after he retired from the Navy, worked on changing over old ice boxes to electrical refrigerators for a living.

This type of cookie is indispensable for us busy bakers and I know that's why my Grandmother Gladys liked baking them.  She had gone to work during WWII and figured out making up this dough and keeping it in the refrigerator (or freezer) made for instant gratification with a limited amount of time used.  My mother adapted her recipe and I've been baking them for years; they're one of my "cookies of choice" for mailing because of their shelf life!

Like my pie dough I make up in bulk, it's nice to have several rolls of refrigerator cookies in the freezer when the urge hits.  The dough is pretty standard and I still make up her original recipe (with a few flavor changes) using Crisco and not butter--an ingredient that was in short supply during the war.   Grandma Gladys always made a nut version, but I'll give you some substitutes that also work.

Refrigerator Spice Cookies with Almonds
1 cup shortening (I use Butter-flavored Crisco)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp. Pumpkin Pie spice
1/4 tsp. ground Cardamon
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup chopped nuts (I used sliced almonds)
2 3/4 cups King Arthur Flour all-purpose flour

In a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, cream the shortening and sugars together, scrapping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed.  While the mixer is running on medium, add the eggs, one at a time (don't expect the mixture to cream together as if you're using butter.)

Add the spices with the dry ingredients and nuts and mix on low until the dough is thoroughly combines.  Divide in half and create two rolls of dough.  Grandma always wrapped the dough in wax paper, but plastic wrap is my choice.
I also shaped the "roll" into a rectangle, but round is good also:-D  Refrigerator several hours or overnight.  (You can also place the rolls in a freezer bag and freeze the dough for later; it will keep 3-6 months.)

Preheat oven to 400F-degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Remove the rolls from the refrigerator, one at a time, and slice just about a 1/4"-thick.  Place on the parchment, spacing them about 1 1/2-2 inches apart.
Bake in the preheated oven about 6-7 minutes.  Fast, huh!  Allow to cool slightly, then, remove to a rack to cool completely before putting them in your Cookie Jar or sending them to family.

Substitute 1/2 cup cocoa, decrease flour to 2 1/4 cups & add chopped pecans.  Use 1 tsp. vanilla extract instead of spices

Add 1/2 tsp. Coconut flavor and 1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut

Add 1 T red food coloring, 2 T cocoa, 1 tsp. vanilla extract and chopped pecans for Red Velvet refrigerator cookies

Add zest of 1 lemon (orange or lime), 1 tsp. juice to dough

So many recipes can be made, but you get the picture. Enjoy!


  1. My Mom loves almond cookies so these sound like a perfect match for her!

  2. Yum, I don't know if I need to put them in the refrigerator though. My family would want them baked all at once! Lol xoxo ♥

  3. Is there something that happens by refrigerating? Something that shortens baking time? I don't think I've ever heard of these before. Your grandfather's work is intriguing...who would ever have dreamed that an ice box could be converted to a refrigerator.

  4. Vee, the dough needs to firm up to slice; mix the dough one day, bake 1,2, or 3 days later when needed. It's all a time-savong method!

  5. This sounds like a cookie I can make! and I like the extra ideas especially the lemon zest and juice.
    stamping sue

  6. I like to use plastic wrap to make fridge cookies too. It has been a while since I last baked some. These look awesome!

  7. Oh Susan...I remember my grandmother making something similar! These look marvelous! You are the best baker ever!!! Thank you, thank you for sharing!!!

  8. Beautiful cookies. Looks super yummy :)

  9. Very informative, keep posting such good articles, it really helps to know about things.