These icebox American Flag Cookies can be made up to 3 months ahead. Stick the cookie log into the freezer and slice the cookies before your next patriotic-inspired party or event. Bring them along to a Memorial Day party or 4th of July barbeque. And let’s see who will be the talk of the party?!
updated from 2011
HOW TO MAKE AMERICAN FLAG COOKIES
To make slice cookies I like to use one of two recipes. You can use my classic sugar cookie recipes (with granulated sugar, check the recipe card) or if you prefer softer bite cookies you can use my cookie dough recipe for mini tart shells (with powdered sugar).
- Room Temperature Unsalted Butter
- Granulated Sugar
- Large egg at room temperature
- Vanilla Extract
- All-purpose Flour
- Table salt
Sugar Cookie Dough
Beat room temperature butter with granulated sugar for 3 minutes, until fluffy (steps 1-4). Break an egg into a small dish, and pour in the extract. Pour the egg mixture into the butter mixture and beat on medium-high speed for a minute. Scrape down the bowl a few times (steps 5-8).
Into the butter mixture beat flour mixed with salt in three additions. Beat on low to medium-low speed until moist crumbs are formed, about one to two minutes (steps 1-4). Gather cookie dough into a disk (steps 5-7). If you have a kitchen scale weigh the cookie dough and divide it into 4 equal parts (step 8).
Divide Cookie Dough
If you don’t have a kitchen scale, form an even disk and cut the dough in half horizontally and vertically (step 1). Take one-quarter of the dough and set it aside (steps 2-3). Gather the remaining 3 cookie dough pieces into a disk (steps 4-5). Divide the disk in half (steps 6-7). At this point, you should have three cookie portions (step 8).
How To Color Cookie Dough
- It’s best to color cookie dough right after it’s been made. If you wait after you chill the cookie dough, the dough doesn’t take the color well, and cookies can bake unevenly.
- Use concentrated gel food colors. I don’t recommend liquid gel colors.
- Wear gloves.
Let’s start with the blue dough. Color the smallest portion of cookie dough with blue food color. Make a well in the dough and pour in royal blue gel food coloring. Knead the dough gently until the color is homogeneous throughout. Knead in white nonpareils (steps 4-8). Nonpareils sprinkles are optional. If you don’t have them, don’t use them.
Color one of the two larger portions with red gel food color (steps 1-7). You should have one small blue dough, red and uncolored cookie dough.
Roll Out Cookie Dough
I used ¼ inch rolling guides and an 8×8-inch template to roll out the dough. I also prefer to roll out cookie dough between two silicone mats (or one large one) or parchment sheets. Place a template under the silicone mat or parchment paper. Place uncolored cookie dough on the top. Flatten it with your hands (steps 1-3).
Roll the cookie dough, trim the sides and press the cut cookie dough piece onto areas that need more cookie dough to form an 8×8 inch square. Roll the dough again with a rolling pin. Take the template and check the size of the rolled-out cookie dough (steps 4-8). Then cover the dough with parchment or another silicone mat. Slide silicone mat with rolled-out dough onto a cutting board.
Repeat with the red cookie dough. I transferred red cookie dough onto the parchment sheet (steps 6-8). Slide the parchment with red dough onto an uncolored cookie dough square. Place cutting board with 2 cookie dough squares stacked into the fridge. Chill the dough for 15 minutes.
Shape Cookie Logs
Brush water onto the uncolored cookie dough (steps 1-3). Trim the parchment to make it easier to handle (step 4). Carefully invert the red cookie dough square onto the uncolored dough. Peel off the parchment (steps 5-8).
Place the template on the top of the stacked cookie dough squares and trim the excess. Remove template (steps 1-4).
Divide the square into two 2.5-inch strips and two 1.5-inch strips (steps 5-8).
Assemble American Flag Cookie Log
If cookie dough is too soft, chill it for 15 minutes. It’s easier to handle when slightly chilled.
Brush a 2.5-inch strip with a little bit of water. Carefully lift the second 2.5-inch strip and place it on the top of the other 2.5-inch strip. You should see a white, red, white, and red cookie dough pattern (steps 1-4).
Brush the top 2.5-inch strip with a bit of water (step 5). Carefully lift the 1.5-inch strip of cookie dough and place it onto the top of the 2.5-inch strip. Align it with the edge and repeat with the second 1.5-inch strip (steps 6-8). You should have an “L” shape profile log.
Use a ruler to adjust the sides, keeping them straight. Avoid using your fingers for the best result. They can cause dents in the cookie dough. Cover with a food wrap and chill for 15 minutes (steps 1-4).
Shape blue cookie dough into a log of 8 inches (step 1). Roll it out to ½ inch thick and a little over 2- inches wide (step 2). Cut the dough in half. Brush one strip with some water and carefully lay the second piece of blue dough on the top (steps 3-8).
Trim one side and measure 1-inch with a ruler. Trim the excess dough. You should have a 1-inch by 1-inch by 8- inch blue log (steps 1-6). Chill for 10 minutes. It’s easier to handle.
Final Colored Cookie Log Assembly
I noticed my dough wasn’t straight enough, so I trimmed it with a knife before adding the blue layer (steps 1-2). Brush the cookie dough with a bit of water (step 3). Carefully lift the blue layer and place it onto the red-white log, in the open section. Use rulers to push the blue log into place, keeping the edges straight and avoiding making the dents in the cookie dough (steps 5-7). Cover cookie log well with food wrap and freeze for one to two hours (step 8).
If you are not making the cookies right away, double wrap the frozen log into food wrap and place it into a freezer-safe Ziploc bag. Freeze for up to 3 months.
Slice American Flag Cookies
Place a frozen cookie log onto a cutting board and remove the food wrap. If you find the cookie dough too hard to cut, let it sit for 5 minutes. Trim the long edge as needed (steps 1-3). Trim the ends (step 4).
Use a ruler and divide the log into ¼ inch pieces—slice American flag cookies with a sharp knife.
Transfer chilled cookies onto a baking sheet lined with parchment or a perforated mat.
Bake in the preheated oven at 375F (190C) for 10 minutes. Let cool before storing. Baked cookies can also be frozen.
Learn more about How To Freeze Cookies.
Store baked cookies in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. Or freeze for up to 3 months. How To Freeze Cookies.
- Color dough right after it’s made. It takes on color better.
- Use concentrated gel colors. Don’t use liquid colors
- Color Cookie dough right after it’s made.
- Use gloves.
Step-by-step recipe tutorial on how to make American Flag Icebox Cookies.
Recipe makes about 25-30 cookies.
- 2 sticks room temperature unsalted butter (226grams)
- 3/4-1cup cup granulated sugar, (150-200grams)
- 1 egg large egg
- 1-2 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 3 cups all-purpose flour (430 grams)
- 1/4 tsp Salt
On medium-high speed cream butter (2 sticks, 226grams) and sugar (3/4 cup to 1 cup, 150 grams to 200grams) for 3 minutes. Beat in one whole egg and 1 to 2 teaspoons of Vanilla Extract. Beat for a minute. Scrape down the bowl a few times.
Sift flour and salt into a bowl.
Gradually in 3 additions beat the flour mixture into the butter mixture. Beat on medium-low speed. Beat until thick moist crumbs are formed. Gather dough together and shape it into a disk.
Divide freshly made cookie dough into 4 equal parts. Take one part and set it aside. Press the remaining 3 parts together to form a disk and cut it in half.
Color the smallest piece of cookie dough with a blue gel food coloring. And one of the larger pieces with gel food color. You should have blue, red and uncolored pieces of cookie dough.
Roll white and red cookie dough into an 8×8-inch square. Chill. Brush white dough with some water. Layer red dough onto the white. Divide the 8×8-inch white/red cookie square into strips: two strips of 2.5-inch, and two strips of 1.5-inch.
Layer one 2.5-inch strip on top of the second 2.5-inch strip. Then layer both 1.5-inch strips of red/white dough onto the 2.5-inch log, aligning the left edges. Cover and chill for 15 minutes.
Shape blue dough into an 8-inch log. Roll it out 1/2 inch thick, to a little over 2 inches wide. Cut it in half lengthwise and stack to form a log of 1-inch by 1-inch by 8-inch. Trim the sides with a knife to form this log size. Chill for 10 minutes.
Layer blue log into a cavity on red/white log.
Cover well and freeze for 1-2 hours.
For detailed instructions refer to the blog post with a step-by-step tutorial.
Slice cookie to 1/4 inch thick. Bake in the preheated oven at 375F (190C) for 10 minutes. Cool and store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
This post was originally published on June 21st, 2011. On May 28th, 2022 I updated this recipe post with new step-by-step picture and written text.