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Old Fashioned Ice Box Cookie Recipe


A traditional Spice cookie that has the flavors of the season. This is an old recipe used by my family for at least 80 years.

Not sure who created the recipe, but I bake these cookies every Christmas! I made a few changes as you can see to the recipe. Most of us don’t cook with Lard any longer!

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Old Fashioned Ice Box Cookie Recipe 1 Picture


  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 Cup Lard (I use Vegetable Oil or Canola Oil)
  • 1 Cup Butter
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1 Teaspoon Nutmeg
  • 1 Teaspoon Cloves
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 6 1/2 Cups Flour
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 2-3 Tablespoons Hot Water
  • 1 Cup Chopped Walnuts


Adapted from


Step 1

1. Cream together the Butter, Oil and Sugars in a very large bowl

2. Beat in the Eggs

3. Stir in the Baking Soda, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Cloves and Salt

5. Add the Flour 1 Cup at a time, and stir well

6. Add the Hot Water to moisten the batter just a bit

7. Now stir in the Walnuts

8. Roll and shape dough into desired length (I usually go with 2 1/2 inches wide by 12 inch long rolls, you should get about 4 rolls) then wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours or overnight. You can keep the dough in the refrigerator for several days if you want to make the dough ahead of time.

9. When ready to bake, Preheat oven to 375 degrees, slice the dough into 1/2 inch slices, then place on an nongreased cookie sheet

10. Bake the cookies until the edges are golden brown, about 15 minutes

11. Cool on brown paper (I use a cookie cooling rack)

~makes about 80 cookies

Note: any unused dough or cookie slices should be kept in the refrigerator until they go directly in the oven. The cold dough is easier to slice and helps the cookie retain it’s shape.

For you you youngsters out there, “Icebox” is an old term referring to an old style refrigerator of sorts. Before homes had electricity they would have an Icebox, usually made of wood that had blocks of ice in it, to keep food items cold. Once the refrigerator was developed, some people still called their refrigerator “the Ice box”.

So the recipe name “Old Fashioned Ice Box Cookies” refers to the fact that you refrigerate the cookie dough before baking and since this is a very old recipe, they still referred to the fridge as an Ice Box.

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