I love slice-and-bake cookies, also called icebox cookies, for a few reasons. First, you can make the dough ahead of time and toss it in the fridge or freezer until you want to bake them. Second, if you want cookies that look fancy, but don’t want to spend hours intricately decorating them with royal icing, these still look professional by simply drizzling or dipping in some chocolate and sprinkling with chopped nuts or candy. And third – bite-sized, crisp, buttery, melt-in-your-mouth cookies? Yes please!
I store my slice-and-bake cookies wrapped in parchment paper. I like using parchment paper because I find that it helps me roll the logs out more smoothly than when I wrap them in cling wrap. If I want to freeze them for longer than a couple days, I’ll wrap them tightly in cling wrap to preserve the freshness.
Slice-and-bake cookies will keep for several days in the fridge, and months in the freezer. If you are going to freeze them for longer than a couple weeks, I suggest also putting them into a large freezer bag to make sure they don’t pick up any funky freezer smells.
When you are ready to bake your cookies, just slice them about ¼″ thick with a long, sharp, non-serrated knife. It’s best if your dough log is chilled when you slice them, so they don’t lose their shape. I typically allow my frozen dough to defrost in the fridge for a few hours, since frozen dough can be more difficult to cut.
If your logs have developed a flat bottom while being stored, just let the logs defrost a tiny bit at room temperature, re-roll, and pop them back in the fridge.
- Dip or drizzle in chocolate melts
- Dip or drizzle in tempered chocolate
- Dip or drizzle in icing glaze
- Dip or drizzle in royal icing
- Dip or drizzle in caramel
- Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar, sprinkles, or candy before baking
- Top with chopped candy, nuts, dried fruit, sprinkles, cookie crumbles, or sea salt
When I was recipe testing, I made my friends tasting boxes of all the different cookies I was working on. Being my friend has some advantages!
Are these technically shortbread or sugar cookies?
They’re kind of both. It’s fine to call these either “decorated sugar cookies” or “decorated shortbread cookies.” But I’m going to refer to any of my cookie recipes that can used as a base for cookie decorating as “shortbread sugar cookies.”
- 2 parts flour to 1 part fat
- No eggs
- No leavening agent
- Dense and crispy
- 3 parts flour to 2 parts fat
- Contains eggs
- Contains a leavening agent
- Light and Chewy
All of my shortbread sugar cookie recipes don’t rise or spread, can be used for cookie decorating, have egg, but no leavening agent, and have a 2 ¼ parts flour to 1 part fat. Which makes them fall somewhere between a shortbread and a sugar cookie. They’re both shortbread and sugar cookies, and neither shortbread or sugar cookies, at the same time. They’re Shrodinger’s cookies!
All of my shortbread sugar cookie recipes can be used for slice-and-bake cookies as well!