Tennessee Icebox Cookies
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 2 1/2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 4 ounces (about 1 cup) coarsely chopped slivered almonds
- 3 or 4 cookie sheets or jelly roll pans lined with parchment or foil (you will need to cool and reuse them)
In a bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt; stir will to mix. In the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and brown sugar together on medium speed until well mixed, about 1 minute, then beat in the vanilla. Beat in the eggs, 1 at a time, beating smooth after each addition. Scrape the bowl and beater well and beat in the flour mixture followed immediately by the almonds.
Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and shape and squeeze it into two rough cylinders, each about 10 inches long and 2 inches in diameter. Roll a piece of parchment or waxed paper around each piece of dough and tighten by pressing it in with the side of a cookie sheet or a piece of stiff cardboard. Chill the dough until firm. Or, at this stage, it can be double-wrapped in plastic, frozen, and kept for up to several weeks.
When you are ready to bake the cookies, set the racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Slice the cookies 1/4-inch thick, rotating the roll of dough often as you slice so it doesn't become squashed from the weight of the knife. Arrange the cookies on the prepared pans about 1-inch apart in all directions and bake them for about 12 to 15 minutes, until they have puffed somewhat and have become dull and are firm to the touch. Slide the papers from the pans onto racks. After the cookies have cooled, store them between sheets of parchment or waxed paper in a tin or plastic container with a tight-fitting cover.
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