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A Valentine’s Treat that is a Simple Feat

I knew I wanted to make some cookie for Valentines Day, and I thought some heart shaped sugar cookies would do the trick. What better way to say, “I love you”, than with a heart shaped cookie? It was late January when I set out to find some heart shaped cookie cutters, so I figured that it would be easy to find some heart shaped cookie cutters at the mall. I went to 4 different kitchen supply stores and nothing. Finally, Crate & Barrel came through with a 3-piece set. I guess marketing hasn’t gotten the jump on Valentine’s Day like it has on Christmas.

For some reason, I always think rolled cookies are a lot of work, but they really aren’t that much extra effort. The really cool thing is that most other people also think they are a lot of work, so when you present them with a heart shaped cookie made with different colored dough, they really think the cookies are extra special.

This recipe calls for what I thought was a lot of food coloring—up to 1/2 teaspoon—but unless I added 1/4 teaspoon or more, the color was just too pale. I also found that it’s nearly impossible to have too much sanding sugar; a couple different colors really add a nice touch.

These are the first cookies I have listed on the site that do not have any leavening, so they have a nice shortbread consistency. This recipe is also has a pretty short list of ingredients, so you are almost guaranteed to have them on hand. I made these cookies twice in the last 2 weeks, and both my kids and my wife’s co-workers really enjoyed them. Use coarse sanding sugar as it adds a little crunch to the texture of the cookie.

Below are some of the highlights of making this simple, but delicious sugar cookies.

Ingredients for making Valentine Sugar Cookies.

Beat 1 cup of room temperature butter until fluffy.

Sift 3/4 cup of powdered sugar to remove lumps.

Use a whisk to gently mix 2 1/4 cups of flour with the sugar.

Slowly add about half of the sugar and flour into the butter.

Add 1 teaspoon of vanilla to the dough and then finish adding the flour and sugar mixture.

Form the dough into a ball and split in half. Return half of the dough to mixer and mix in 1/2 teaspoon of red food coloring.

Roll the uncolored dough until 1/4 inch thick. Repeat for the colored dough.

Cut out large and small heart shapes, cutting the small shapes from the insides of the larger cutouts.

Assemble the cookies on a silpat baking mat using contrasting colored dough, gently pinching them together at the seams.

Sprinkle the tops of the cookies with red and pink sanding sugars.

Bake for 13 minutes in 350°F oven until edges just begin to brown. Remove from oven, let rest on sheet one minute, and then transfer to cooling racks.

The recipe pictured above, with detailed instructions and complete photo gallery can be found on the Valentine Sugar Cookie recipe page.