Why not indulge yourself with these brittle and crumbly cookies with their robust butter flavor. Explore the easy way to bake these with my icebox butter cookie recipe at home. I am going to share my tips and tricks from my baking club experiences.
What are Icebox Cookies?
Icebox cookies are also known as refrigerator cookies. Because the cookie dough is formed into a log or long cylinder shape, refrigerated to chill and then sliced to be baked into a round shape.
5 Tips to Create the Crumbly Texture
The most important point of this butter cookie recipe is to avoid forming gluten as much as we can.
1. Choose the Right Ingredients
Basically basic icebox butter cookie recipe calls for only 4 ingredients – flour, butter, sugar, and egg. The key to making the cookie successfully is to choose the right ingredients.
Flour is an essential ingredient for homemade sweets. Though there are many different types of flour and you may be wondering which type to choose. I use Nisshin Violet Komugiko Flour because this flour contains a lesser amount of protein (7.5%) and is suitable for making sweets. If you are interested, read more about different types of flour and uses.
The type of sugar you use for making cookies also makes a difference in the texture. Caster sugar will make a crunchy texture whereas powdered sugar will make a moist and soft textured cookie. I used caster sugar for the crunchy texture.
I recommend to use unsalted butter. Because salt contained in butter increases the glutenous activity in flour and it will affect the cookie texture.
Also, I add almond flour and ground vanilla. Adding almond flour to the basic ingredients makes this cookie texture extra crumbly and adds a delicious almond flavour too. I use ground vanilla instead of vanilla essence because it creates a freckled appearance.
2. Precise Measurement
Measure all ingredients precisely. This was my home ec teacher’s mantra and she told us over and over again. So I have an electric kitchen scale and I especially use it when I bake. However, when I originally posted this basic cookie recipe, I received many requests for the measurements to be in “cups”.
How to Measure Ingredients Precisely with Cups?
If you don’t have a kitchen scale, and want to use cups, this is what you need to do. You spoon flour, sugar or almond flour into your measuring cup, then use the back of a knife to level off the top of the cup.
3. How to Make the Cookie Dough
I used to use a stand mixer. Leaving the unsalted butter in room temperature then beat it with the stand mixer to aerate. Though, I learned that in that way, the cookie dough loses its butter flavor. To keep the butter flavor and also to not create gluten, we can use a food processor to combine all ingredients. With this method, you can save time as there is no need to soften the butter and also avoid over mixing the dough. The step by step photos 1-3 show this.
4. Refrigerate the Cookie Dough Overnight
This step is important for the same reason; lowering gluten’s viscoelastic property. Same as when we make Tempura batter, we use chilled water. After all the ingredients are combined, wrap the dough with cling wrap and rest it in the refrigerator for at least one hour, if possible, overnight.
Another special tip that the Japanese would do is to use a sushi mat to keep the perfectly round shape. If you just rest the dough horizontally, the cylinder shape will be distorted by gravity. So I use a sushi mat to keep it upright in the fridge as the step by step photos 7 and 8 indicates
5. Use Silicone Baking Mat
Use Silpat Silicone Baking Mat. Because of its mesh material, the oil escapes through the holes which makes the cookies more crispy. It also prevents the cookie dough from spreading out while being baked in the oven. It is reusable too, so that’s a bonus.
Can be the Cookie Dough be Stored in the Freezer?
When all the ingredients are combined in the food processor, if you are not going to bake it on the following day, you can shape the dough, wrap with cling wrap and then place in a ziplock bag and store in the freezer. It will keep for about 2 months. Thaw in the fridge before you bake.
Same Tips for Other Cookies
You can certainly use the 5 crumbly texture cookie tips for the following cookie recipes.
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Basic Butter Cookie
- 1stick/115g unsalted butter (small cubed)
- 1/2cup/115g caster sugar
- 1/50g medium egg (beaten)
- 2cups/250g Cake Flour *1
- 1/2cup/60g Almond flour
- 1/2 tsp ground vanilla *2
- a pinch of salt *3
With a Food Processor
- Place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse till the butter and flours are mixed and become a crumbly texture.
- Place the dough onto a sheet of cling wrap.
- Wrap the dough with cling wrap and shape the dough into a long cylinder shape 1.5 inch/4cm in diameter. *5
- Roll the cookie dough with a bamboo sushi mat and rest the dough in fridge at least 1 hour. *6
- Start to preheat the oven to 374°F/190°C. *7
- After the dough is rested at least one hour in fridge, remove the cling wrap and roll the dough on the granulated sugar. *8 step by step photo no9.
- Slice the cookie dough 0.2inch/5mm thick. *9
- Lay the sliced cookie dough on a silicone mat placed oven tray and bake in 356°F/180°C , middle rack for about 18 minutes. *10
- Cool cookies on a cooling rack.
With Stand Mixer
- Soften the butter in room temperature in a mixing bowl of a stand mixer.
- Add sugar and beat with whisking attachment.
- Add egg into the bowl and mix in three different times. *11
- Sift and add the flour into the bowl. Change the attachment to the beater attachment and combine the cookie dough.
- From this point same as the food processor process.
- If you don’t have both food processor, use the stand mixer process and manually beat and combine ingredients.
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