Icebox cookies are some of my faves this time of year. There’s no two ways about it figuratively speaking. But literally speaking, there’s two ways about it. Dueling ways. Cranberry Orange vs. Rosemary Orange ways.

Cranberry Orange is the safe pick. It’s tart but sweet. Spiked with citrus. A flavor that’s so familiar it’s comforting. Dueling for attention is Rosemary Orange—the underdog. It’s savory but sweet. Also spiked with citrus. But a flavor that’s so unfamiliar your husband turns his nose up at the thought of it. He wont even sneak the cookie dough that often earns him a slap on the hand. That is until the Christmas miracle of all miracles happened. He relented and tried one. Can you guess what he said? Something every woman loves to hear—You’re right. These ARE good. I may or may not have said something like—I told you so.

Go forth and duel with the familiar and unfamiliar this season. Can I recommend you start with these?

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Icebox Cookies

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  • Yield: about 4 dozen 1x


  • 2 1/4 c. all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 c. unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 1/2 c. confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp. orange zest
  • 1/4 c. dried cranberries, finely chopped OR 1 tsp. rosemary, finely chopped
  • coarse sugar


  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour and salt. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugars together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks and vanilla and mix until combined. Reduce mixer speed to low, slowly adding in the flour mixture as well as the orange zest and cranberries OR rosemary until just combined.
  2. Divide dough in two. Place on individual sheets of plastic wrap. Roll into logs, about 10 inches long. Place in freezer for 5 minutes to firm up. Remove and roll logs in coarse sugar until coated. Return to freezer for 30 minutes or refrigerator for 2 hours.
  3. Preheat oven to 325°. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or a Silpat. Using a sharp knife, slice dough into 1/4? cookies (or slightly thicker). Bake for 12–15 minutes or until edges just start to golden.
  4. Allow cookies to cool for 3 minutes on the baking sheet. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up to a week. Leftover dough can be stored in freezer. Slice with a sharp knife and bake frozen, adding 2-5 minutes to the baking time.
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Recipe adapted from America’s Test Kitchen.


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