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Valentine's Day Heart Cookies

Valentine's Day Heart Cookies

Valentine's Day Heart Cookies

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These cute cut out cookies are so easy to make and so much fun to decorate! Great for gifting, sharing, and memory making with kids!

Wednesday February 10, 2021

(5 stars from 1 review)

Butter Eggs Flour Milk Shortening Sugar Vanilla Extract

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Today we are going back to basics with these easy roll out sugar cookies! Using a heart shape cookie cutter and some pink icing, these are so fun and festive! I had so much fun making and decorating these Valentine's cookies! These cookies also make a great little gift; who could resist a soft, sweet, pretty cookie like this? Kids love to get involved and help with the cookie cutters and decorating; and if we're being honest so do most adults I know!

a stack of heart shaped sugar cookies with pink frosting

Though I think decorating is the most fun part of these cookies, they are also delicious plain! My husband scooped a few off the tray before they were even done cooling and couldn't stop eating them! You can decorate them with whatever you like - I chose to use a simple icing sugar, corn syrup, vanilla and milk mixture, but a homemade buttercream, egg white royal icing, or even something store-bought will do the trick.

These cookies are a dream to make; only one bowl is required. The dough is not too sticky, and it rolls out beautifully. The end result is absolutely delicious. Win-win!

top down view of many heart shaped valentines day cookies, hearts with pink frosting

What are the ingredients in Valentine's Day Heart Cookies?

These cookies are made with very basic ingredients that you probably already have at home

  • butter and shortening - an equal amount of both helps give that delicious buttery taste without the tendency to spread too much
  • sugar - white granulated sugar works best in this recipe
  • egg - makes the cookies a bit softer and helps them hold together
  • milk - to help make the dough smoother and cookies softer
  • flour - a staple ingredient in most cookies
  • baking powder, salt, vanilla - small additives that help texture and flavor of the cookies

How do I make Valentines Day Heart Cookies?

Step 1: Make the dough by creaming together the butter and shortening until light and fluffy, then beat in the sugar, baking powder, and salt. Beat in the egg, vanilla, and milk until completely combined. Stir in the flour in 3-4 separate additions.

Step 2: Place the dough, covered, in the fridge for at least 3 hours and up to 3 days. I usually do overnight so that I can bake at any time the next day.

Step 3: Preheat the oven to 375 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 

a progress photo of dough being rolled and cookie cutters being used

Step 4: On a lightly floured surface, roll out your dough until it is 1/4 inch thick. Press cookie cutters into dough, then carefully transfer cut cookies to the prepared baking sheet

Step 5: Bake in preheated oven for 7-9 minutes, or until cookies are lightly golden on the bottom

Step 6: Allow cookies to cool completely before icing them.

Do I have to chill the dough?

This recipe was specifically meant to be chilled. It helps the cookies keep their shape when baking, which is important when you are trying to get a particular shape of cookie! It also makes it easier to roll, since the dough will be less sticky after it has been in the fridge a while. Sometimes the best things in life are worth waiting for ;)

a close up of a heart shaped cookie with pink frosting

What are the Ingredients in the icing?

I made a very simple eggless royal icing to decorate my cookies using:

  • powdered sugar - this is the main ingredient in the icing
  • corn syrup - this help give the cookies icing a glossy look (I used golden because I was dying my icing pink but the clear variety is best if you want to get a pale color or a white icing)
  • vanilla extract - I like the taste of vanilla extract the best but lemon, almond, or any other extract you'd like is fine 
  • milk - I use 1% milk as my liquid component for this icing because I find it helps keep the icing slightly soft after it has set, and it tastes better than using water!
  • food coloring - I use gel colors because I find them the most concentrated and the least likely to ruin my icing consistencies

How do you make the icing for the sugar cookies?

While the icing itself is not complicated to make, there are a few things you need to know if you want to have success:

Step 1: Place roughly half the icing sugar in a large bowl, then add the corn syrup, vanilla extract, and some of the milk to the bowl and mix with a sturdy spatula or wooden spoon until everything is uniform. As tempting as it is, do not use electric beaters a because they can cause air to get trapped in the icing and you'll have a bubbly surface.

Step 2: Slowly add the rest of the powdered sugar into the bowl until a thick pasty icing is formed. This will be the icing used to outline the cookies, or if you want to keep it simple you can spread this consistency of icing on your cookies with a butter knife. It should have the texture of toothpaste - you can adjust the texture either way by using more milk or more icing sugar.

thick pink royal icing in a bowl

Step 3: Add in your food coloring if you would like to use it - I usually dip a fork into my pot of gel coloring, then swipe through the icing and I find that is enough, but you can use as much or as little as you'd like to get your desired color

Step 4: Once you are happy with your color, remove about 1/3 cup of the icing and put it in a piping bag fitted with a small round tip. I have had the best success using Wilton #3 to outline my cookies

outline icing in a piping bag fitted with a small round tip

Step 4: Slowly add the rest of the milk to the remaining icing in the bowl until the icing flows off the spatula in small ribbons which disappear into the rest of the icing relatively quickly once they make contact. (see photo). This is what is called the "flood" icing - it is what is used to fill the inside of your outlined cookie.

pink flood icing flowing into a bowl

Step 5: Put your flood icing into a squeeze bottle to make it really easy to fill the inside of the cookies. If you don't have a squeeze bottle an additional piping bag with a small hole will work too.

How to decorate the cookies with outline and flood icing:

I am going to explain exactly how I decorated my cookies with the two consistencies of icing from above:

Step 1: Using the thicker icing in the piping bag, trace along the perimeter of the cookie, about 1/4 inch from the edge of the cookie. 

heart shaped cookie with pink icing outline

Step 2: Using the "flooding" icing in the squeeze bottle, squeeze some icing into the center of the cookie and allow it to flow toward the edges

heart cookie with pink icing being squeezed into center

Step 3: Using a skewer, toothpick, or other utensil (my husband prefers a spoon), gently guide the icing to the edges.

heart cookie being frosted with pink royal icing

Step 4: Allow cookies to dry flat, uncovered for 8-12 hours, or overnight, until the icing is set completely set.

a finished heart cookie newly frosted

Tips and tricks to make the best cut-out cookies:

  • Cream the butter and shortening really well on a high speed; the more air you introduce the less likely the cookies are to spread in the oven
  • Be careful with the amount of flour - don't scoop and pack it into the measuring cup otherwise you will have too much; spoon the flour into the measuring cup and then level it off
  • Try and roll the dough evenly; it matters more that your thickness is consistent rather than the absolute thickness of the cookie (I use this roller and LOVE it for maintaining equal thickness)
  • Use as little flour as possible when rolling your dough; too much will make the cookies dry and pasty
  • If you want a simple filled cookie design like I have, get yourself a pack of heart cookie cutters with many sizes (I use this one), then right before baking you can make a shallow impression of a one-size-smaller heart on the cookie that will be useful for tracing with your icing.
  • Let the cookies cool on the tray for 5-10 minutes; then transfer them to a rack to finish cooling completely - do not attempt to put icing on them until they are completely cooled!
  • Try and use the cookie cutters as efficiently as possible. the less times you re-roll the dough the better the cookies will be (and the easier the dough is to handle!)
  • Dough will be stiff after chilling, I usually flatten it with my hands at first to help start the rolling process
  • Using a thin spatula can help lift and transfer the cookies from the floured surface to the baking sheet

Valentine's Day Heart Cookies

(5 stars from 1 review)

50 SHARES

By: Natalie Kollee
Yield: 24 cookies
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 20 minutes

Ingredients

For the Cookies:
  • 1/3 cup shortening
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg, slightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour (plus more for rolling)
For the icing:
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar (divided)
  • 1 tablespoon corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup of milk (divided)
  • food coloring (optional)

Directions

For the Cookies:

1.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and shortening until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes, then beat in the sugar, baking powder, and salt.

2.

Beat in the egg, vanilla, and milk until completely combined, then finally stir in the flour in 3-4 separate additions.

3.

Cover dough and refrigerate at least 3 hours, or up tp 3 days.

4.

Once dough has been chilled, preheat oven to 375 F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper

5.

On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough to roughly 1/4 inch thick, then use heart shaped cookie cutters to cut out the cookies.

6.

Carefully transfer the cookies to the prepared baking sheet, then bake in preheated oven for 7-9 minutes, or until bottom is just starting to turn golden

7.

Allow to cool completely before adding icing

For the icing:

1.

In a large bowl, combine about half the powdered sugar with corn syrup, vanilla, and 1/4 cup of milk and stir until thoroughly combined

2.

Slowly add in the remaining powdered sugar until a thick toothpaste consistency is formed

3.

Add food coloring, if desired (this icing is done if you want to spread it on with a knife - otherwise continue with the rest of the steps)

4.

Remove about 1/3 cup of the icing and place into piping bag fitted with small round tip

5.

Add remaining milk to the rest of the icing about 1/2 a tablespoon at a time until it flows off the spatula in thin ribbons

6.

Transfer the thinner icing to a squeeze bottle

7.

Outline cookies with the thicker icing, then squeeze some of the thinner icing into the center and guide to the outside using a toothpick

8.

Allow the cookies to dry uncovered on a flat surface for about 12 hours or until completely set.


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What Others Have Said


Leanne
Monday February 22, 2021

LOVED these cookies!!! I thought they would last much longer, but were eaten all too quickly.

Natalie
Tuesday February 23, 2021

I know the feeling! So happy you liked them!!


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Natalie Kollee

Hi I’m Natalie. I live in Ontario, Canada with my husband, daughter and our cat. Since I was little, I have always enjoyed discovering new recipes and sharing food with loved ones. When I’m not in the kitchen you’ll probably find me crocheting, reading, or crafting.


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