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Easy Christmas Icebox Cookies (Slice and Bake Cookies)

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These Christmas Icebox Cookies are slice and bake cookies that are incredibly easy to make, festive with colors of the season, and delicious with a vanilla buttery crumb. With sparkling edges, these holiday treats should definitely be on your Christmas cookie list!

Side view of red and white Christmas Icebox Cookies tied with a red and white cord on a white cake stand.

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Whether you’re making treats for gifting, a Christmas cookie platter, a Holiday Cookie Exchange party, or a quick treat that’s just plain delicious, I think you’ll love these!

What I Love About Icebox Cookies

There are so many reasons to love slice and bake cookies, but here are a few of the reasons I always make icebox cookies during the holidays:

  • Few Ingredients: Cookies that only require a handful of ingredients are so helpful during the holidays. You will only need 4 ingredients for these simple cookies, plus salt and nonpareils, which is what makes them fun!
  • Easy Make Ahead Cookies: Because there are so few ingredients, you can whip up the ingredients in no time. Once rolled into logs, the dough can then be chilled or even frozen for a quick, festive Christmas cookie, ready when you are.
  • They’re Delicious: If you love the flavor of vanilla during the holidays (as I do!), these simple butter cookies with festive dashes of color are perfect for any Christmas cookie platter or holiday cookie exchange!

Slice and Bake Christmas Cookies Ingredients

You can find ingredient measurements in the recipe card at the bottom of this post, but here are the few simple pantry ingredients needed:

  • Unsalted butter: Soften the butter to room temperature, and if using salted butter, reduce the salt to 1/2 teaspoon.
  • Granulated sugar for that sweet cookie flavor
  • Vanilla extract for the holiday flavor
  • All purpose flour plus salt (see notes if you’re using “salted butter”).
  • Holiday nonpareils in any colors you like
  • Sparkling sugar for the edges of the cookie for a holiday flair.
Top view of chilled Christmas Icebox Cookie dough sliced into coins with red nonpareils on a sheet of parchment paper.

How to Make Christmas Icebox Cookies

Step-by-step instructions are also in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

Step 1: Make the dough

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and granulated sugar until creamy, 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape down the bowl as necessary, and then beat in the vanilla extract. Then, gradually add the flour and salt and mix until combined and then fold in the nonpareils.

Step 2: Shape the dough and chill

Divide the dough in half and shape each half into a 7-inch log about 2 inches thick. Wrap individually in plastic wrap; holding the ends of the plastic wrap, roll the log over a work surface to create a rounded shape. Refrigerate until firm, about 1-2 hours.

Step 3: Slice and bake the Christmas cookies

When you’re ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Then, working with one dough log at a time, cut into 1/4-inch slices. Dip the edges of the cookies in a bowl with sparkling sugar if desired, and transfer to the prepared baking sheet.

Bake until lightly golden around the edges, about 12- 15 minutes. Cool on the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. The cookies will keep stored in an airtight container for about one week.

How to Make Icebox Cookies Round

To keep your cookies round, without a flat side as they chill in the refrigerator, there are a couple of tricks I like to use.

First: I like to shape the dough into a log, and then place it on one long end of a sheet of parchment paper or wax paper. Wrap the paper around the log, leaving an overhang of several inches.

Then, take the flat side of a ruler and push it toward the dough and tightly pull the bottom of the parchment away from you as you press the ruler into the crease. This will give you a nice rounded shape. Then wrap the dough in the parchment paper for chilling.

Second: To keep the rounded shape, cut an empty paper towel roll down the center lengthwise. Refrigerate the parchment-wrapped cookie dough in the paper towel roll until firm.

To be more clear, here is a video that might be helpful:

YouTube video

More Christmas Cookies to Try

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Side view of stacked Christmas Icebox Cookies on a white cake stand with a red ribbon.
Horizontal side view of stacked Christmas Icebox Cookies with red and white greenery on a white cake plate stand.

Easy Christmas Icebox Cookies

These Christmas Icebox Cookies are slice and bake cookies that are incredibly easy to make, festive with colors of the season, and delicious with a vanilla buttery crumb. With sparkling edges, these holiday treats should definitely be on your Christmas cookie list!
5 from 3 votes
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Chilling Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 22 minutes
Servings: 24 cookies

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup unsalted butter softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup holiday nonpareils
  • 1/2 cup sparkling sugar plus more for sprinkling

Instructions

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and granulated sugar until creamy, 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape down the bowl as necessary, and then beat in the vanilla extract.
  • Gradually add the flour and salt to the bowl and mix on low speed until combined. Fold in nonpareils. The dough will be soft at this point.
  • Divide the dough in half and shape each half into a 7-inch log about 2 inches thick. Wrap individually in plastic wrap; holding the ends of the plastic wrap, roll the log over a work surface to create a rounded shape. Refrigerate until firm; about 1-2 hours.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Working with one dough log at a time, unwrap the log and slice the dough into 1/4-inch slices. Dip edges in sparkling sugar desired and transfer to the prepared baking sheet.
  • Bake until lightly golden around the edges, about 12- 15 minutes. Let cool on the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Notes

Storing: You can store these easy cookies at room temperature in an airtight container for about 1 week.

Nutrition

Calories: 143kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 98mg | Potassium: 15mg | Fiber: 0.3g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 237IU | Calcium: 4mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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Course: Cookies
Cuisine: American
Keyword: slice and bake cookies, refrigerator cookies, christmas cookies

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