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What could be more fun than homemade heart shaped cookies for Valentine’s Day decorated to mimick conversation heart candies? Grow-ups and kids alike love these cookies.
These cookies bring back memories from my childhood when we shared and gifted those chalk-like (😂😉) conversation heart candies with friends and sweethearts. Spoiler alert! Our cookies are soooo much better!
Decorated Sugar Cookies
While I’m not a very good cookie decorator, I can roll out and bake a delicious sugar cookie, and now so can you! This recipe was based on my Cut-Out Sugar Cookie Recipe I’ve been making for ages. This is a GREAT sugar cookie recipe that’s easy to make, tastes fantastic and holds its shape when baked.
The printable recipe card includes detailed instructions so you can have great success too. I’ve also included my favorite recipe for sweet sugar cookie icing that’s tasty, easy and quick, and it sets up completely so you can stack the cookies once dried!
For the cookie dough:
- unsalted butter at room temperature
- block cream cheese at room temperature
- granulated sugar
- one large egg
- vanilla extract
- all-purpose flour
- baking powder
- table salt
For the sugar cookie icing:
- powdered sugar
- milk or water
- light corn syrup
- almond extract or vanilla extract
- table salt
- pastel and red food coloring like AmeriColor soft gel colors (affiliate link)
- a small batch of Royal Icing for the lettering
- rolling pin (affiliate link to my favorite for rolling dough into an even thickness)
- parchment paper or a silicone mat
- cookie sheets
- heart-shaped cookie cutter (affiliate link)
- Piping bags or icing decorating bottles (affiliate link)
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How to make Heart Shaped Cookies
1. First, make the cookie dough
Beat the butter and cream cheese together with a mixer until blended. Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and blend again.
In a separate bowl whisk the flour, baking powder and salt. Add half the flour mixture to the butter and sugar. Blend on low until incorporated. Add the remaining flour and blend until combined.
Gather the dough into a ball and cut in half. Press half into a round and wrap in a plastic wrap. Repeat with the remaining half of the dough. Refrigerate the two disks for at least 8 hours or up to three days.
2. Next, roll out the dough and cut into a heart shape
Remove one disk from the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature for 15 to 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
Roll the dough to 1/4-inch thickness on a well floured piece of parchment paper. Cut the dough into heart shapes and place 2-inches apart on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat until the pan is full.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes (depending on the size) or until lightly browned around the bottom edges. For best results, don’t over-bake! Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely before icing.
3. Make the sugar cookie icing and decorate
Combine the powdered sugar, milk, corn syrup, almond extract and a pinch of salt in a bowl. Stir with a fork until blended. Add a teaspoon of water or more powdered sugar as needed to achieve the desired consistency.
Divide the icing into separate bowls and tint as desired. Cover with plastic wrap until ready to use.
Scoop icing into a decorating bottle or piping bag. Pipe a single line around the inside edge of the cookie. Continue with the other cookies allowing the outline to dry for a few minutes before filling in with remaining icing.
While the icing is still wet decorate with sprinkles or colored sugar as desired.
Allow the cookie icing to set completely before storing or place the cookies in the fridge to expedite the process.
4. For writing text on cookies
Once the sugar cookie icing is set make a small batch of royal icing to use for writing text. For this I use Wilton Meringue Powder and Wilton’s recipe for Royal Icing. You can find meringue powder at Michael’s Craft Stores, Wal-Mart, purchase it directly from Wilton or find it in some well stocked grocery stores.
Tint the royal icing dark red for bold lettering.
Decorate Heart Shaped Cookies with Sprinkles
Cookies make a great dessert for any occasion or holiday. Christmas and Valentine’s Day seem to be the most popular holidays for cut-out sugar cookies.
Heart shaped cookies can be decorated any way you like. Simply ice the cookies in pretty pastel colors and leave them plain or add sprinkles or colored sugar decorations.
Storing and freezing Heart Shaped Cookies
Once the icing is completely set you can store these cookies in an airtight container in layers separated by wax paper. These cookies will keep for up to 5 days at room temperature.
For longer storage feel free to keep the cookies in the refrigerator well sealed in an airtight container.
These cookies freeze best before they’re decorated. You can make and bake the cookies then freeze up to 3 months before you need the.
You can freeze them after they’re iced but the color may bleed a little.
Heart Shaped Cookies
- rolling pin
- parchment paper
- piping bags or decorating squeeze bottles
For the cookie dough:
- 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature (226g)
- 1 ounce cream cheese room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar (222g)
- 1 large egg room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 cups all-purpose flour (389g)
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon table salt
For the easy sugar cookie icing:
- 4 cups powdered sugar (480g)
- ¼ cup milk or water (2oz)
- 4 teaspoons light corn syrup
- ¼ teaspoon almond extract or vanilla
- pinch of salt
Easy royal icing for text:
- 1 ¼ cups powdered sugar (160g)
- 1 ½ tablespoons warm water
- 1 tablespoon meringue powder
To prepare the cookie dough:
- In a large mixing bowl beat butter and cream cheese together with an electric mixer until well blended. Add the sugar and beat again until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla extract and blend again until combined.
- In a small bowl whisk together the flour, the baking powder and salt. Add half the flour mixture to the butter and sugar and blend on low until incorporated. Add the remaining flour mixture and blend until a soft dough forms.
- Gather the dough into a ball and cut in half. Press one ball into a 1/2-inch thick round and cover completely in plastic wrap. Repeat with the remaining half of the dough. Refrigerate the two discs for at least 8 hours or up to two days.
- When ready to bake remove one disk of cookie dough from the refrigerator and rest at room temperature for 15-20 minutes for easier rolling.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- Roll out the dough on a well floured large piece of parchment paper to 1/4-inch thick. Using a cookie cutter cut the dough into the desired shapes and place 2-inches apart on a cool baking pan. Repeat until the pan is full. Gather any dough scraps, form into a disk, cover and refrigerate.
- Bake the cookies for 8 to 10 minutes (depending on the size and thickness) or until lightly browned on the bottom. For best results, do not over-bake! Cool on the pan for 2-3 minutes then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Repeat with the remaining dough and scraps.
To prepare the sugar cookie icing:
- Combine the ingredients in a bowl and blend with a fork or whisk until combined. Add additional powder sugar, water or milk as needed for desired thickness.
- Divide the icing into smaller bowls and tint with food color as desired. Cover icing with plastic wrap if not immediately used.
- Scoop icing into a decorating bottle or piping bag. Pipe a single line around the inside edge of the cookie. Continue with the other cookies allowing the outline to dry for a few minutes before filling in with remaining icing.
- While the icing is wet decorate with sprinkles or colored sugar as desired.
Royal icing for piping text:
- Beat the royal icing ingredients together using a hand mixer set on high speed for 5 minutes. Add a few drops of water to thin or a little powdered sugar until desired consistency is achieved. Tint the icing with red food color, blend, then scoop into a piping bag with a small round tip. Pipe text as desired.
- Allow the icing to set completely before storing.
- The sugar cookie icing is easily into smaller portions. If using multi-colored icings, I recommend making one-forth of the recipe at a time adding food color as desired. It take seconds to make the icing and is much easier than dividing it up and keeping it from drying out.
- The icing sets up in a few hours so the cookies can be stacked between pieces of wax paper and stored in an airtight container.
- If the dough starts to split or crack when rolling it’s a little too cold. Let it rest another minute and try again.
- After rolling scraps a few times, the extras may become a little too soft to use. Place the scraps of dough in the refrigerator for a few minutes before rolling again.
- Don’t put unbaked cookies on a hot cookie sheet as it will cause them to spread.
- DO NOT OVER-BAKE! The bottoms should be lightly browned and just starting to show color around the edges.
- Baking time will vary depending on the size and width of the cookies.
- Baked, cooled cookies can be frozen for up to 3 months.
- Store cookies at room temperature for up to 5 days. Cookies can be stored in the refrigerator for longer storage.
More great cookie ideas
Chocolate Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies – who can resist the classic combination of raspberries and chocolate?! This little chocolate cookie boasts plenty of chocolate flavor and a fun little heart shaped thumbprint filled with seedless raspberry jam.View this Recipe