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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.
Valentine Sugar Cookie Basics
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.
Finding Valentine-Shaped Cookie Cutters
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.
Make the Sugar Cookie Dough
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.
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.
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.
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:
- Lemon Sugar Cookies
- Copycat Swig Sugar Cookies
- Classic Sugar Cookies (scoop and bake sugar cookies)
- Soft Frosted Sugar Cookies
- Lemon Sour Cream Sugar Cookies
- Pumpkin Sugar Cookies
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
for the cookies:
- 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.
- Freeze 5-7 minutes, then bake 10-12 minutes. Cool 3 minutes on baking sheet, then remove to cooling racks.
- In a small bowl, stir all glaze ingredients together until smooth and runny.
- 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.