Show your sweetheart how much you care with these adorable Valentine’s Day cookies! Conversation heart cookies are fun and nostalgic and are customizable with sweet and silly messages. They are delicious, easy to make, and totally unforgettable!
Don’t you just love an excuse to bake cookies? I seriously make some for every holiday and special occasion because they are a crowd pleaser, and they travel really well. I also don’t know anyone who doesn’t like ANY kind of cookie, so they really are the best dessert to bring with you. If you love cookies, then you are going to have to try these super easy and delicious No-Bake Cookies, these show stopping Meringue Cookies, and these flavorful White Chocolate Oreo Cookies.
Valentine’s Day Sugar Cookies
I’m pretty sure we all grew up with those chalky little heart Valentine’s Day candies right?! They were kind of flavorless, yet everyone always had them at the holiday because they have cute little messages on them. Well, get ready to fall in love with these cookies. They are actually delicious (so people will be so excited to eat them) and they can have personalized and adorable messages on them! They are seriously the ultimate Valentine’s day treat!
If you really want to spoil your special someone, you can make these cookies along with some cheesecake stuffed strawberries and these really easy to make red velvet brownies. If you are not confident in your piping skills and think this recipe might end in disaster, don’t worry! This is the perfect sugar cookie recipe that is still shaped like a heart and will win over your Valentine. It’s really the thought that counts right? That’s why I love these thoughtful cookies that you can write your thoughts onto!
There are two different groups of ingredients, one for the Valentine’s day sugar cookies and the other is for the icing. If you have never made royal icing before, I share all my tips in the recipe and some extras in the tip box! You will also need a heart-shaped cookie cutter, I like these ones. You can use a ziploc bag for the pastry bag if you need to, but I would recommend a piping tip. I talk more about that in the tip box below. You can find exact measurements below in the recipe card.
Sugar Cookie Ingredients
- Flour: I used all purpose flour for this recipe.
- Salt: A little salt helps to balance the sweet flavors.
- Baking Powder: This helps the cookies rise.
- Butter: If your ingredients are at room temperature then they will mix together more smoothly.
- Granulated Sugar: Granulated sugar will make this recipe sweet.
- Egg Yolks: This makes the cookie bind together really well and gives it the perfect texture.
- Sour Cream: It’s amazing! A little sour flavor really makes this cookie taste incredible, and not too sweet.
- Vanilla Extract: This will enhance the flavors of the sweet ingredients.
- Lemon Extract: This adds a fresh and bright flavor that you are going to love! You could add fresh lemon juice and zest instead.
- Powdered Sugar: Powdered sugar dissolves really smoothly and makes the frosting taste delicious and sweet.
- Meringue Powder: This will help the frosting set up to the right stiffness. You can use gelatin or cream of tartar instead, they all do the same thing. However, you will need to use a different amount, so make sure to look up the conversion before substituting.
- Water: Room temperature is best to help all of the ingredients combine.
- Gel Food Coloring: You get to choose! I like to use pastel colors, so I don’t add as much coloring. The gel works best because it doesn’t change the consistency of the frosting. Don’t use too much coloring or it will make your frosting taste bitter.
Valentine’s Day Cookies Recipe
Get ready for your new Valentine’s Day cookie tradition! This seriously is one of my new favorite things. Everyone fell in love with the cookies right away because they not only look adorable and really thoughtful, they are also super delicious! This just might be the best sugar cookie recipe I’ve made! There is nothing tricky to this recipe, it’s going to turn out great!
Make the Sugar Cookie
- Prep: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit and line 2-3 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- Whisk Dry Ingredients: In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, salt and baking powder. Set aside.
- Beat Butter and Sugar: In another medium bowl beat together the butter and sugar for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolks, sour cream and extracts and mix until just combined.
- Add Dry to Wet: Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until just barely full combined.
- Roll and Shape: This recipe does not require any chilling time for the cookie dough, so you’re ready to roll out your cookies! Split the dough into 2-3 pieces and roll them one at a time on a lightly floured surface until they are ¼ inch thick. Use a heart cookie cutter to cut out your cookies. Press the scraps together and set aside to rest for about 5 minutes. Reroll the scraps and cut more cookies until you have used up all the dough. I used a 3-inch heart and was able to get 18 cookies.
- Bake: Place the cookies on the parchment lined cookie sheets leaving 1 ½ inches between them. Bake for 6-8 minutes, rotating the pan at the 4 minute mark. I find this gives the cookies an even bake. The edges will be just set and the cookies will be very light in color and should have very minimal coloring underneath them.
- Cool and Frost: Let the Valentine’s Day cookies cool on the pan for 2 minutes for the shape to set before transferring to a cooling rack. You can now store them, or frost them once they have had time to cool.
Make the Royal Icing
- Mix: Using an electric mixer with the whisk attachment, mix the powdered sugar and meringue powder together on low.
- Add water: Add 4-5 tablespoons of water and mix together on high speed for about 1 minute. The icing should be pretty stiff. Add additional water 1 tablespoon at a time until the icing is about the consistency of soft serve ice cream and forms soft peaks. Reserve ⅓ cup, roughly, of icing and cover tightly with plastic wrap. This will be for the lettering on the cookies.
- Add Color: With the remaining icing, add additional water 1-2 teaspoons at a time until when the whisk is raised the icing drips back into the bowl and the lines of icing take about 10 seconds to melt back into the icing. This is the thin icing that will be used to fill, or flood, your cookies. Separate into small bowls and tint the icing your chosen colors, I chose to use a pastel color pallet of pink, blue, yellow, and purple. Color the reserved stiff frosting red or black for lettering. Now you are ready to ice your Valentine’s Day cookies.
Valentine’s Day Cookie Decorating
- Fill Bag: When ready to ice your Valentine’s day cookies, fill your piping bags with the icing colors and tie off the ends to prevent the icing from overflowing out the top of the bags. Avoid filing them more than ½-⅔ full. Snip the end of the bag just barely, leaving a very small hole to pipe from.
- Line and Flood: Use light pressure to trace the outside of the heart, not letting the tip of the bag touch the cookie unless it’s to start or stop piping. Once the outline has been piped, use stronger pressure to fill the center of the cookie. It doesn’t have to be perfect, use a toothpick or a scribe tool to swirl the icing around until all the holes are filled. Let it set and the icing will melt into itself and smooth out. Set aside and let it crust over, at least an hour.
- Add Lettering: Snip the very end of the bag of the stiffer frosting for the lettering. Once the base icing has formed a crust, pipe your chosen words onto the cookies. Let the cookies sit overnight or 24 hours to fully dry. They should be uncovered at room temperature. Once the icing is completely dry the cookies can be stacked and stored in an airtight container for up to 7 days.
Piping Tips for Valentine’s Day Cookies
You don’t have to be a pro at piping to end up with super cute Valentine’s Day cookies. If you haven’t ever piped a cookie before, these tips are for you! I will share some of my secrets to help you get the perfect cookies every time.
- Piping Tip: For these cookies you can either use a very small piping tip, a #1, #1.5, or #2, or you can use a piping bag with the very end snipped off. If you use just a piping bag, snip the very tiniest amount off and test by squeezing a little icing out. If it’s not big enough, cut another tiny bit off the bag until you get the right size. It should be small enough to make a clean line and not curl around the tip of the bag, but not wide enough to pool out of the bag on its own. It’s always best to start very small and work up instead of cutting big and having to get another bag.
- How to Pipe: Avoid piping right on the edge of the cookie. Once you fill the center with icing, if the outline is piped too close to the edge, the icing can spill over the side of the cookie. If you have never watched anyone ice a cookie with royal icing, now is the time to hop on Youtube for some really helpful tips!
Tips for Making Valentine’s Day Cookies
These Valentine’s Day cookies are more than adorable, they are super tasty too! The sugar cookie bottom is so tasty, and the royal icing can be whatever flavor you like. Here are some more tips to help you when you go to bake them.
- Don’t Overbake: Don’t over bake the cookies. They should have minimal coloring on the bottom and the tops will be just barely matte.
- Flavor the Icing: Add what flavoring you would like to the icing, just be aware that if the flavoring has any color it will change the color of it.
- Keep Icing From Drying Out: Royal icing likes to start drying and forms a crust very quickly. When you are not using a bowl or piping bag, use damp paper towels and plastic wrap to cover them. Wrap bowls in plastic wrap between use and cover the tips of piping bags with a damp paper towel to prevent them from crusting over between using different colors.
- Let Icing Fully dry: Let the iced cookies sit out overnight to allow the icing to fully set before serving them. Don’t cover them with plastic wrap or place them in a covered container, otherwise the icing will take much longer to set. The icing prevents the cookie from drying out.
These Valentine’s Day cookies are great for making ahead! They last about a week before they get too dry to eat, and they taste just as yummy. Here are some tips for storing your leftovers.
- On the Counter: Once the icing is completely dry the cookies can be stacked and stored in an airtight container for up to 7 days.
- In the Freezer: Unfrosted cookies can be stored in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let them thaw completely before icing.
- Storing Icing: Leftover icing can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks. Mix well before using.