According to “The Joy of Cooking” by Irma S. Rombauer, Marion Rombauer Becker and Ethan Becker (Scribner, 1997, $30), what Irma Rombauer called “icebox cookies” in the 1931 edition, were renamed “refrigerator cookies” in the ’50s by Marion Becker. But “Joy,” along with many other cookbooks, returned to the original nomenclature. Icebox harks back to a bake-from-scratch, bygone era. Somehow it seems homier. The recipe originally called for mint chocolate chips.
Yield: About 3 1/2 dozen
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
Optional: 1 1/4 teaspoons peppermint extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup sugar
Garnish: 6 ounces coating chocolate or semisweet chocolate, chopped, or mint chocolate chips
1. Whisk flour, cocoa powder, and salt in medium bowl to blend.
2. Using electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until smooth. Beat in peppermint extract (if using) and vanilla extract. Beat in sugar in 3 additions. Add egg and beat until blended. Add dry ingredients and beat just until blended (dough will be sticky).
3. Divide dough between 2 sheets of plastic wrap or wax paper. Using plastic wrap or wax paper as aid, form dough on each into 2-inch-diameter log. Refrigerate dough until well chilled, at least 2 hours.
4. Position 1 rack in center and 1 rack in top third of oven; preheat to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Unwrap cookie dough logs; roll briefly on work surface to form smooth round logs. Cut logs crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick rounds. Place rounds on prepared baking sheets, spacing 1 inch apart. Bake cookies until tops and edges are dry to touch, about 15 minutes. Transfer baking sheets with cookies to racks; cool completely.
5. Stir chocolate in top of double boiler set over simmering water until melted and smooth. Remove from over water. Chocolate should only be warm enough to melt, not hot. You can either dip half of each cookie in the white or dark chocolate (and allow to harden on a sheet of wax paper) or place melted white chocolate in a pastry bag fitted with a small, plain tip and pipe polka dots or zigzags on the top of each cooled cookie. Refrigerate cookies on baking sheets until chocolate is set, about 10 minutes. If you use coating chocolate (such as Candiquik ) it will harden at room temperature and no refrigeration is needed.
Source: Adapted from “Bon Appetit Desserts” by Barbara Fairchild