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Vanilla Bean Icebox Butter Cookies

These old-fashioned Vanilla Bean Icebox Butter Cookies are a crowd-pleasing and easy Christmas cookie to add to your festive baking or any cookie exchange or tray! Enjoy these delicious butter cookies plain, or decorate them however you wish for the holidays!

Closeup view of stacked Vanilla Bean Icebox Butter Cookies on a red and white towel

These Vanilla Bean Icebox Butter Cookies are a delicious, melt-in-your-mouth cookie perfect for making ahead and having ready in either the refrigerator or freezer. Slice and bake up in just minutes.

I love to roll the cookies in toasted chopped nuts or festive sprinkles and colored sugar. Honestly, I love this is such a simple cookie recipe you can customize however you wish!

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are these called ‘icebox’ cookies?

Because you leave the dough overnight in the refrigerator – before we had electricity in our homes, people had iceboxes to keep things cool instead. The National Museum of American history explains more.

How to you make sure you get perfectly round cookies?

Try to stand the dough log up in a glass in the refrigerator as you chill them so you don’t get a flat side where the dough has rested before hardening up. If you don’t have the space, when the dough is starting to harden roll it on the countertop to make it round again before returning it to the fridge.

Can you freeze unbaked icebox cookies?

Absolutely! Wrap the unbaked logs in plastic wrap and a layer or foil, or in an airtight freezer container. They keep for about 1 month. Let them sit on the counter for 15 minutes before slicing and baking.

Stack of icebox cookies decorated with sparkle sugar and different colors of icing.

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Closeup view of stacked Vanilla Bean Icebox Butter Cookies on a red and white towel

Vanilla Bean Icebox Butter Cookies

These old-fashioned Vanilla Bean Icebox Butter Cookies are a crowd-pleasing and easy Christmas cookie to add to your festive baking or any cookie exchange or tray! Enjoy these delicious butter cookies plain, or decorate them however you wish for the holidays!
5 from 3 votes
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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Chilling Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 23 minutes
Servings: 36 servings
Author: Stephanie Wilson

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar light brown
  • 2 vanilla beans split and seeds removed (or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

Instructions

  • In a stand mixer or with an electric mixer, cream butter, sugar, and brown sugar until fluffy.
  • Split vanilla beans lengthwise with a sharp knife and scrape seeds into the dough and then add the eggs and mix until blended.
  • Add the flour, baking soda, and salt to the dough, beating until just blended.
  • Shape dough into 4 logs (about 2 inches in diameter); wrap each log in plastic wrap and chill for 4 hours or up to 3 days. These cookies can also be frozen, unbaked, for longer storage.
  • When ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 375°. Cut each log into 1/4-inch-thick slices and place them on parchment-lined baking sheets.
  • Bake for 9 to 11 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove from baking sheets and cool on a wire rack. Decorate as desired or enjoy plain.

Notes

Optional add-ins: sprinkles, non-pareils, chopped nuts, chocolate chips, or dried fruit.

Nutrition

Calories: 115kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 23mg | Sodium: 95mg | Potassium: 18mg | Fiber: 0.3g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 171IU | Calcium: 16mg | 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

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