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Valentine Sugar Cookies

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These Valentine Sugar Cookies could not be more perfect for Valentine’s Day! They are soft, thick and chewy plus have a light almond flavor to them which is my all time FAVORITE taste in a sugar cookie, plus topped with sprinkles! Based off of my Classic Cut Out Sugar Cookie and Sugar Cookie Bars, these festive Valentine Cookies are delicious with a simple glaze or my Vanilla Buttercream recipe.

This recipe makes a lot of X’s and O’s so you might want to think about giving some away and then perhaps playing a friendly game of tic tac toe…or just eat them.  Either way is fine by me.

Use Cold, Salted Butter

I know this may seem like a little controversial, but I LOVE using not only cold butter, but salted butter for these cookies. My recipe doesn’t call for salt, so I like using salted butter. Also, using a stand mixer to cream cold butter with sugar helps the dough maintain its stability so you can roll it out immediately without having to refrigerate it first.

If you only have room temperature butter for this recipe, you can definitely make this as written, but you might want to refrigerate the sugar cookie dough before rolling and cutting, just to make your life a little easier.

Almond Extract: To Add or Not to Add?

While I am a firm believer in always using Almond extract for any and all sugar cookies, there are people out there who strongly disagree with me. If you are one of these people, simply replace the almond extract with more vanilla extract and complete the recipe as written below.

Want more Valentine Treat Ideas? Try these recipes: Valentine’s Day Brownies, Valentine’s Slice and Bake Cookies, Valentine’s Day Cream Puffs, Nutella Deviled Strawberries, Cheesecake Brownies.

You can find these at various places, but Walmart or Michaels is generally a good place to find these, especially around February. Here is a link for a heart cookie cutter. Here is a link to the X&O cookie cutters.

For variations for different shapes of Valentine Sugar Cookies, this is a fun set I’m dying to get.

Do I Have to Chill the Dough Before Cutting and Baking?

Yes and No. The two main reasons to chill a cookie dough you would cut out include (1) helping the cookies maintain their shape during the baking process and (2) to make it easier to cut out. Gingerbread cookies are a great example of this. The dough is much wetter, so you would want to wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for a good hour before rolling and cutting.

For these sugar cookies, the dough is quite easy to work with right out of the bowl because I use COLD butter. So, you can cut your Valentine shapes out immediately and then freeze for 5 to 7 minutes before baking. This will help keep their shape.

How to Make Valentine Sugar Cookies

If you are a cookie making pro, you will fly right through these directions! For the increments and full directions, scroll to the bottom of this post to view the recipe card.

In a small bowl, stir flour and baking powder together. Set aside. Cream cold, salted butter and sugar together. Stir in egg and both extracts. Slowly incorporate dry ingredients.

Roll Out Dough + Cut

Freeze + Bake

Place baking sheet with cut cookies in the freezer for 5-7 minutes, then bake. Cool on baking sheet for a few minutes, then remove to cooling racks.

After the cookies are baked and cooled, you can glaze or frost them. I love both ways, so I’ve included information about both.

Icing & Frosting: What’s the Difference?

American’s are much more familiar with frosting, so let me start there. Frosting is a thick, pipeable topping you can use for cakes and cookies. My Vanilla Frosting and Chocolate Frosting (sometimes called buttercream) is simply powdered sugar mixed with softened butter, vanilla extract and milk or cream. Sometimes different extracts or flavoring agents, like cocoa, is added to make different kinds and flavors.

Icing is thinner in consistency and is made from powdered sugar, vanilla extract and milk, cream or even water. In Canada and most of Europe, powdered sugar is actually called icing sugar. You can glaze these Valentine sugar cookies with an icing for a smooth finish that looks really pretty.

Making Icing

In a small bowl, stir powdered sugar, milk, vanilla and red food coloring together until glaze is smooth and runny. Dip each cookie into the glaze, let it drip, then place onto a cooling rack to drip dry.

Making Frosting

I suggest heading over to my full post about making frosting to get a full recipe and details. This is a great resource. I obviously dyed half of the frosting pink and kept the other half white. Then used a disposable piping bag and snipped both ends for an easy way to decorate. A Ziploc bag works just as well.

Sprinkles Optional

Once each cookie is dipped in glaze or topped with frosting, be sure to add on sprinkles immediately before it has a chance to dry to ensure the sprinkles stick! If you want to skip the sprinkles entirely, the cookies look really classy; just make sure to use a toothpick to pop the air bubbles on the icing. Because we were adding on some of these fun festive sprinkles, there was no need to pop any air bubbles before hand. Allow to dry 1-2 hours if using the icing.

Storing Cookies to Keep Them Soft

These sugar cookies will stay soft and tasty for up to 5 days when stored at room temperature, covered in an airtight container. Topping the cookies with frosting or icing actually helps to seal in the moisture of the cookie, lengthening its shelf life.

You can also cover and refrigerate for up to 10 days. The edges may get a little crispy in the fridge, but it certainly does help keep them fresh.

Love Sugar Cookies? Try Some Variations:

Anyways, these are the perfect cookies for Valentine’s Day. Make a few dozen now and wait for the compliments to roll in cause they certainly will!

The printable recipe is below. Have a great day, friends! 🙂

Valentine Sugar Cookies with Icing

What could be more perfect for Valentine's Day than these adorable and yummy Valentine Sugar Cookies!
servings 24 cookies
Prep Time 1 hr 50 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 2 hrs

Ingredients

for the cookies:

  • 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 cup cold, salted butter cold & cut into chunks, 2 sticks
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract

for the glaze:

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1-2 drops liquid red food coloring
  • valentine’s day sprinkles

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a small bowl stir flour and baking powder together. Set aside. Cream butter and sugar together. Stir in egg and extracts. Slowly incorporate dry ingredients.
  • Roll dough out onto floured surface to be just over 1/4" thick. Cut cookies out using X and O cookie cutters and place onto parchment paper lined baking sheet.
    xo sugar cookies on parchment paper
  • Freeze 5-7 minutes, then bake 10-12 minutes. Cool 3 minutes on baking sheet, then remove to cooling racks.
    XO cookies on cooling rack
  • In a small bowl, stir all glaze ingredients together until smooth and runny.
    pink icing in a bowl with spoon
  • Dip each cookie into the glaze and place onto cooling rack to let excess glaze drip down. Top with desired sprinkles and dry 1-2 hours.
    xo sugar cookie dipped in glaze

Notes

If you’d like to use frosting in place of the icing, use one recipe of my Vanilla Buttercream recipe found here.

Nutrition

Calories: 89kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 5mg | Sodium: 3mg | Potassium: 36mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 9IU | Calcium: 13mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Valentine Sugar Cookies

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29 Responses
    1. Lauren

      These are the ones I used: http://www.amazon.com/Fox-Run-Alphabet-Number-Cookie/dp/B000U6AKYK/ref=sr_1_2?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1422687655&sr=1-2&keywords=fox+run+alphabet+cutters

  1. Jim H

    Hi Lauren-Really like the X’s and O’s you used. Quick search is not turning up cookie cutters you used. Do you have a source/link for these? Thanks!

    1. Lauren

      I got them from a local cake shop, but I found them online here: http://www.amazon.com/Fox-Run-Alphabet-Number-Cookie/dp/B000U6AKYK/ref=sr_1_2?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1422687655&sr=1-2&keywords=fox+run+alphabet+cutters

  2. Gina

    Oh my- I’m giggling. My baby brother loved Raffi & would sing that song all the time when he was little.

    Love the cookies – funny enough- I posted similar (but definitely not as cute) x’s & o’s cookies today too. You know what they say about like minds…..

  3. Jeff

    This past week has been amazing here in Oregon, makes it hard not to feign illness to try to leave work early. Even then my manager knows me well enough that she doesn’t believe me.

  4. Crystal Maurizi

    Thank you for your website and the emails. I really look forward to the email I get from you! A ray of sunshine a midst the junk and spam! I enjoy trying the new recipes. Even though my kids are all grown I appreciate all that you post.

    Thanks again!

  5. Karen @ On the Banks of Salt Creek

    Yes, there weather in OR has been dryer than normal….which begs the question, When will the rain come? Because you know that we always get our rain.
    I loved last summer so much. If only every summer could be like that.

    These cookies look delightful. And fun.

  6. Erin

    Hi Lauren, may I ask you where you got your cookie cutters? The only ones that I can find are very wide & I like how much narrower yours are.

    Thanks

  7. Angelyn @ Everyday Desserts

    the weather over here on the east coast has been anything but mild unfortunately! but omg, your cookies! these look fabulous!

  8. Mary

    The cookies are sooo cute!!! Always on the hunt for something fun for my grandchildren. And, Angelyn is right. The weather out east here has been cruel but every day is another closer to spring. Raffi….the best. My youngest grew up listening to him. Laura I wish you knew how much I appreciate all your recipes. They are simple to make and always taste impressive. I have MS so the ease in preparing the meal and your great directions mean so much to me. Do you have any cookbooks? I would be honored to have one in my kitchen. Take care and, again, thanks…from the bottom of our tummies!!!

  9. Francesca

    Hey Lauren! I was wondering if the consistency of the batter was okay for a cookie press. And if not, what would you recommend to tweak it as such. Thank you kindly~

    1. Lauren

      It’s too thick for a cookie press. Maybe try adding in an egg yolk or two? I haven’t tried using a cookie press, so that might not work!! If in doubt google spritz cookie recipe. That should point you in the right direction!

  10. Another Christina

    5 stars
    Thank you so much for these! We had premade dough from a school fundraiser bUT the glaze and sprinkles method was fairly simple and our cookies look great. Much better than my past bungled tries that look like a four year old made them. 🙂 The tiny heart sprinkles made this a must do and I found some on Amazon. I will def do this again.

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  14. Dee

    5 stars
    Made these for my sugar cookie w/frosting husband on Valentine’s Day. We both love them! Thought it was kinda weird to use chilled butter to cream w/sugar but it was perfect! There was no required chilling time in the frig. Just roll, cut and bake. No sticking to my silicone mat. There were delicious. And the glaze was easy to make and use. Best sugar cookie recipe ever!

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    1. Lauren

      That was a typo, taken from my vanilla bean cookies! If you’d like to add in a vanilla bean, just scrape out the beans and add in with the extracts.

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