Tag Archives: Swedish ice box cookies

Spring 2020

I’m here and I’m okay.  I guess you are there at your place and I hope you are okay, too.

Today I

  • made a half-hearted attempt to do my “classical stretching” with Miranda Esmonde-White on PBS,
  • thought about and talked with Tom about who and what I am grateful for,
  • did 55 minutes of stretching exercises in the living room (because we don’t feel secure using the condo gym now),
  • completed a desultory ten minutes of  focused/deep-breathing meditation or whatever ( I am so bad at this),
  • walked a couple of miles in the cool and sunny early afternoon,
  • and made a loaf of Irish brown soda bread.

Irish brown soda bread

The easy, quick, and tasty recipe I use comes from Cook’s Illustrated, but there are many other recipes available from The Fanny Farmer Baking Book to King Arthur Flour and Food Network online. I was going link to the recipe or write it out below, but, since one can’t access the recipe without registering on the Cook’s Illustrated site, I decided I may not have a clear right to do that. So, when this mess is all over, maybe we can break (this) bread together.

What I really want to write about today

It’s my mother’s stainless steel mixing bowl I am thinking about today.  I don’t know whether or not my parents received the Revere Ware mixing bowl set for their wedding or at some time later. I do know that I have used this bowl all of my life, since I could first stir anything.  I first learned the difference between beating, mixing, and folding within this bowl. In this bowl we took turns beating the eggs for the angel food birthday cakes that we loved. My brothers and I used this bowl when we made cookies on summer days (see Swedish Ice Box Cookies).

my mother’s stainless steel mixing bowl

I used the bowl again today to make the Irish brown soda bread to brighten up our self-isolating dinner tonight. The bowl worked perfectly, as it always does, and the loaf looks good.

Irish brown soda bread

What I want to think about today

Every day, I think about my mother and father and I think about how lucky my brothers and I are to have known them and felt their practical love and kindliness. Today, particularly, I am thinking of them because of the current world crisis we are sharing in. If my parents were here now, I believe they would face the challenges with practicality and kindliness. I hoist my slice of bread high with gratitude and hope.



Swedish Ice Box Cookies

My mother, Audrey, originally got the recipe for Swedish ice box cookies from her friend, Mathilde. The two of them were friends since kindergarten (circa 1921, by my reckoning) and through the years mom got several of our family’s favorite recipes from Mathilde. This recipe’s name shows its own age: It has been a long time since that kitchen machine was called an “ice box.”

My brothers and I baked and ate our share of chocolate chip, peanut butter, and oatmeal raisin cookies, but I think these cookies might have been our favorites. Like so many of my mother’s recipes ( see New Orleans Pralines ) Swedish ice box cookies are easy, but delicious. Here’s the recipe from my mom’s index card:

Swedish Ice Box Cookies*


1 C. white sugar

1 C. brown sugar

1 C. shortening (my mom used margarine, I use butter)

2 eggs added to above

Add to above

1t. salt

1t. soda

½ c. nuts (Mom and I use pecans)

2 T. hot water

Flour to stiffen—about 3 cups

Bake 10 – 12 min. in 375° oven

May be dropped on cookie sheet immediately after mixing & baked. Or form half into a roll & held in refrig. Several days – Large recipe—-Usually I make half a recipe.

I hope you enjoy making and eating these easy cookies. I wish I were eating them with my mom and dad and brothers. I wish I had some on a plate next to my tea and computer on this rainy afternoon, far in time and place from Milford, MI. So, if you make these cookies, I hope you have someone dear to share them with.

No photos: I don’t usually make cookies anymore (because my husband and I want to eat them–all of them–but we are trying to hold the line).

*I think my brothers and I called them Swedish nut cookies.