You make the dough. (I use Martha Stewart's Icebox Butter Cookies from her Baking Handbook. Here are a variety of Icebox Cookie recipes you could try: Icebox Shortbread, Lemon Icebox Cookies, Oatmeal Icebox Cookies, Striped Icebox Cookies, and Icebox Molasses Cookies. ) Then, roll it out to about 1.5 inches in diameter. Cover in plastic wrap and then in parchment paper. Most recipes make several rolls. (#1 reason!)
Freeze whatever you don't want to bake that day. Depending on the icebox cookie recipe, they can freeze anywhere from 3 weeks to 3 months! (#2 reason!!!)
Then when you need a treat fast for company or your own family, simple pull out a roll and let it defrost 15 minutes or so. Roll the cookie dough roll in sanding sugar, sugar, or brown sugar.
Slice and bake according to the recipe. They are excellent tasting cookies (#3 reason), even after my usual modifications (less sugar and exchanging some whole wheat flour for some all-purpose flour). I always like to add other flavors: toasted pecans, dried fruit--whatever you have on hand.
We brought out a dough roll a few days ago for visiting cousins and will be bringing out another one tomorrow for visiting friends. Talk about a relief when you already have fifteen other things to think about!
the sleepy time gal