Chilled overnight before baking.
Here’s an explanation from the December 23, 1925 edition of the Port Arthur (Texas) News:
Chill the Dough
Time may be saved by preparing cookie dough in advance and keeping it in the ice box or in a cool place for future use. In this way it is possible to cook a fresh supply of cookies any day for the children. Then, too, cookie dough may be more easily and quickly rolled if it is sufficiently chilled through first. This prevents the dough from sticking to the rolling pin.
“Overnight” or “Ice Box” cookies are well named. They are mixed the night before and made into rolls which have a cross-section of about two inches.
The mixture is made as follows: Sift four cups of flour with one salt-spoon salt, one teaspoon soda and one teaspoon cream of tartar. Measure one cup of butter, two cups of brown sugar, and one cup of nut meats. Mix all ingredients together, including one teaspoon of vanilla and two unbeaten eggs. Mold into rolls. Allow the rolls to stand overnight in the ice box or other cool place. If the rolls are exposed to the air, wrap them in waxed paper. Before baking, slice off the cookies in thin slices and arrange on cookie sheets. Bake at 360 to 380 degrees Fahrenheit.
From the box of F.J. from Sun City, Arizona. Some cards suggest a family history in Missouri and Kansas.
Ice Box Cookies
2 sticks butter or oleo
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup chopped pecans
3 cups brown sugar
3-1/2 cups flour, sifted
1/2 tsp. salt
Roll into sticks and put in wax paper–refrigerate overnight.
Bake at 350 deg. for 10 minutes.
Recipe from Lois England