These adorable Heart Sugar Cookies are easy to whip up and make the perfect Valentine’s Day treat! They’re buttery soft, not overly sweet, and decorated with a creamy cream cheese frosting and fun sprinkles. Cut them into any shape you like, for any holiday!
You know those soft frosted sugar cookies that show up in grocery stores for every holiday? These sugar cookies are kind of like those (soft texture, lots of creamy frosting) but they’re not overly sweet like the store ones can be. My mom always, always made these for Valentine’s Day when I was growing up. It wouldn’t be Valentine’s without them! I took them to countless school parties and even shared them with my dorm in college.
How to Make Perfectly Soft Sugar Cookies:
First, mix up the dough and chill it! Chilling the dough is super important with any type of cutout cookies. Form the dough into discs, and chill in the fridge for up to 24 hours before baking.
Cut out your shapes:
Next, cut out your shapes – I used a variety of sizes of heart cookie cutters to mix things up and keep it fun! My mom always made these as sandwiches – to do this, cut two hearts of the same size, then cut a heart out of the center of one with a smaller cutter. Frost the whole heart, then stack the other one on top.
You’ll end up with about 15 sugar cookie sandwiches if you go that route, and you’ll end up with about two dozen cookies if you just frost the single cookies. (This will vary some depending on the size of cookie cutters you use, of course.)
How to prevent cutout cookies from spreading:
Chill your cutout cookies once more before baking (about 8 mins in the freezer, or 15 in the fridge) to ensure they won’t spread in the oven! They should feel cold to the touch when they go into the oven.
Bake for the amount of time specified in the recipe! Any more, and you’ll over bake the cookies and they won’t be perfectly soft. They will look a bit puffy when they come out of the oven, but will settle down as they cool. Let them cool completely before frosting them, or the frosting will melt right off.
How to make frosting for sugar cookies:
This frosting is similar to the frosting I use for cakes and cupcakes – no special techniques or ingredients required! And it is the creamiest frosting ever.
You’ll just need butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla, and gel food coloring. Be sure to let the butter and cream cheese soften at room temp for a bit before mixing them together.
How to dye frosting for cookie decorating:
To dye your frosting, use this type of food coloring gel. It works much better than the little bottles you find at the grocery store. You only need a drop or two to color your frosting, so start small – using a toothpick – and add a bit at a time until desired color is reached. I saved 1/2 of the frosting and left it white to give some variation, and sprinkled all the cookies with white and gold sanding sugar sprinkles.
Frosting sugar cookies:
To frost your cookies, just use a butter knife or offset spatula to swoop the frosting on. You could also use a piping bag fitted with a small or medium star tip to make a fun textured design on your cookies. However you decorate these, just have fun with it!
I hope you make + love these! What are your plans for Valentine’s Day? This will be the first time in a few years that Grant doesn’t have to work ON Valentine’s so I’m excited to cook dinner together at home! I’m thinking this Beer Cheese Soup with Soft Pretzels or my Broccoli Cheddar Soup with Crusty No Knead Bread would be perfect. Can you tell I’m more into the creamy-cheesy-carb situation than the romantic steak dinner situation? Not sorry about it!
More Valentine’s Desserts to Love:
- Molten Chocolate Lava Cakes for Two – A decadent small-batch dessert recipe. Only 7 ingredients and about 20 minutes stand between you and these little bites of heaven!
- White Chocolate Chip and Cherry Oatmeal Cookies – Cherry and white chocolate are the perfect pairing for Valentine’s Day! Soft, crisp-edged, flavorful cookies that you might just fall in love with.
- Red Velvet Oreo Cheesecake Truffle Bars – These bars have it all – a red velvet base, a creamy oreo layer, chocolate, and more chocolate.
- Homemade Nutella Pop Tarts – Creamy nutella is stuffed inside these buttery, flaky pie crust hearts for a decadent treat!
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Valentine's Day Heart Sugar Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting
For the Cookies
- 1 cup salted butter, softened at room temperature (2 sticks, 16 tbsp, or 226 grams)
- 1 and 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 and 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp almond extract
- 1 large egg
- 2 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp cream of tartar
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp milk
For the Frosting:
- 6 tbsp salted butter, softened at room temperature
- 6 ounces full fat cream cheese Use the kind that comes in blocks
- 2 and 1/3 to 2 and 2/3 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/8 tsp salt
- red food coloring See note
- Make the cookie dough: Cream softened butter in a large mixing bowl. Add powdered sugar, vanilla, almond extract, and egg and mix until just combined. Don't over mix. Add the flour, baking soda, and cream of tartar and mix until a very crumbly dough forms, and then just begins to form larger clumps. Stop mixing, and use your hands to form the dough into 2 rough balls, making sure there isn't any flour in the bottom of the bowl that was missed (if there is some, just incorporate it with your hands). If the dough won't come together (it will look like a bowl of crumbles instead of forming clumped cookie dough), mix in the tablespoon of milk. (I always have to add this).On a lightly floured countertop, gently flatten each ball into a disc that's an inch or two thick. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge at least 2 hours, in the freezer for 40 minutes, or overnight in the fridge.
- Prep: After the dough has chilled, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
- Roll Out Dough and Cut Out Cookies: Roll out the dough, one disc at a time, to between 1/4 and 1/8 inch. If the dough is cracking, let it sit out at room temp 5-10 minutes, then try rolling again. Cut out cookies using heart cookie cutters and place on prepared cookie sheet. Place in the freezer for 5 - 10 minutes before baking. The cookies should feel pretty solid before baking. This is the best way to prevent them from spreading and losing the nice shapes you cut out. You can also chill them in the fridge for 15 - 20 minutes. Re-roll dough scraps and repeat until you've used up all the dough.
- Bake: Bake cookies for 8-9 minutes. They'll still be pretty light in color (see photo above), but the bottoms will be lightly browned and you won't make a visible dent when you gently poke the cookie with your finger. Let cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
- Make the frosting: Cream together softened butter and cream cheese until well mixed. Sift in the powdered sugar and mix. Add vanilla and mix. Add the extra 1/3 cup powdered sugar if frosting seems too thin. Divide into two and keep half white, and add a tiny amount of red food coloring gel to the other half to make pink frosting. This stuff is strong, so start with a dot on the end of a toothpick, and mix. Then, add more, a small amount at a time, until desired color is reached. Chill, covered, in the fridge while waiting for your cookies to cool.
- Serve + Store: Frost cookies once completely cooled. Add white and gold sanding sugar sprinkles if desired or dust with powdered sugar. See note about my food coloring preferences. Store cookies in airtight container at room temp for 3-4 days.
- Make ahead tips: Cookie dough can be made up to 2 months ahead and frozen. Wrap the discs tightly in plastic wrap, then place in a ziploc bag in the freezer. Thaw in the fridge overnight before using. Cookie dough can also be made a day in advance and stored in the fridge - wrapped tightly in plastic wrap. Let it set out for a few minutes before rolling it out. Frosting can be made a day in advance, as well, and kept in the fridge, covered tightly. I find that when working with thoroughly chilled frosting, using the electric mixer to mix it back up helps soften it to the right spreading consistency in a jiffy! If you're not in a hurry, you can also let it sit out at room temp until it's spreadable.
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