I wish that I were young enough to not even know what a real icebox is, but I'm not. I even had a grandmother who must have used the real deal herself because she only referred to her fridge as an icebox. Her vintage electric Frigidaire was modeled after a real icebox—you had to open the main fridge door to access the tiny freezer compartment (and I mean tiny). It was cute, but terrible. The inside of the little freezer box constantly leaked water. And it would completely ice up, causing ice cube trays and boxes of frozen veggies to become wedged in for life.
Invented in that bygone era, icebox cookies are nothing more than cookies baked from a dough that's been chilled. The dough is usually rolled up into a cylinder, chilled until firm, then sliced and baked. Even after all these years, the name has stuck. That's fine with me. The name "refrigerator cookie" reminds me of unpleasant refrigerator smell.
I love icebox cookies because they're an awesome make-ahead cookie dough. If the dough is rolled into a neatly shaped cylinder, the cookies bake up perfectly round. I have a particular affection for these double chocolate icebox cookies because they're wicked chocolatey (1:2 ratio of cocoa to flour). I'll stand at the counter shoving dough into my mouth to get my chocolate fix right then and there if I'm not careful. The only thing that stops me is knowing that the baked cookie is even better: tender, slightly crisp, and with a mound of chocolate chips baked into the top.
- 1 cup (7 ounces) packed light brown sugar
- 12 tablespoons (6 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups (7 1/2 ounces) all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup (2 1/4 ounces) cocoa powder
- 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 1/2 cups mini chocolate chips
Place sugar, butter, and salt in bowl of standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Mix in egg and vanilla until combined.
Whisk flour with cocoa and baking powder in a small bowl. Reduce mixer speed to low and mix in dry mixture until completely combined.
Place dough onto a 10- by 10-inch sheet of parchment paper and roll up into a cylinder approximately 8-inches long and 2-inches diameter. Twist ends to secure and chill until firm, about 2 hours.
Adjust oven rack to upper-middle and lower-middle positions and preheat oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment. Cut dough into 1/4-inch slices and space evenly onto pans, about 12 per pan. Sprinkle chips onto cookies and press to adhere.
Bake until cookies are just set, about 12 minutes, rotating pans from top to bottom and from front to back halfway through baking. Let cookies cool on pan 5 minutes, then transfer to cooling rack to cool completely.
standing mixer fitted with paddle