cookies/ Dessert/ Valentine's Day

Valentine’s Day Cookies (Heart Cookies)

10 February 2022 By Aleksandra

These Valentine’s Day cookies are soft, delicious, and really easy to make. These heart cookies are soft cut-out sugar cookies frosted with pink-colored cream cheese frosting. They’re great to make for the other half and also fun to make with kids! These cookies are not only pretty but also taste fabulous.

Valentines's Day Cookies with pink frosting on a light blue backgroung.

Why I love this recipe

  • these cookies are really easy to make
  • they look super pretty without much effort
  • they are not overly sweet – the frosting uses half of the sugar amount than most recipes call for but it’s still nice and thick
  • the cookie dough is easy to work with
  • there is no long chilling time! you just need to flatten your dough and chill it in the freezer for just 15 minutes and you’re ready to go!
  • the cookies are so wonderfully soft – there are no crispy edges, they are really super soft and not chewy
  • the cookies hold their shape, you can also cut out any other shape from the dough
  • these cookies, even frosted, keep really well, you can make them even 1 whole day ahead and they will be perfect!

I’m really sure you will love this recipe!

A stack of heart-shaped cookies with pink frosting.

Below you will find information about the ingredients and how to prepare the recipe. For the measurements and detailed instructions scroll down to the printable recipe card.

Ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need to make sugar cookies:

Labeled ingredients for sugar cookies.

This is a basic sugar cookie recipe but with the addition of cream cheese. This is really a secret ingredient that makes sugar cookies soft.

Vanilla extract and almond extract are necessary to add some flavor to the cookies so that they don’t taste just like pure sugar. You can omit almond extract if you don’t like its taste but I really haven’t added much so the cookies don’t have that weird flavor when you add too much of it.

Salt is necessary so that the cookies don’t taste flat.

Here’s what you need for the frosting:

Labeled ingredients for cream cheese frosting for cookies.

This frosting is something between cream cheese frosting and buttercream frosting. There is less cream cheese added than in regular cream cheese frosting. A small amount of cream cheese makes this frosting thick, creamy, and soft. The frosting will harden after about 1-2 hours, but only its outer part. It will still be soft and creamy in the middle.

Gel red food coloring is of course optional but necessary if you want pink-colored frosting. You can add a small amount of red color to get light pink color, add more for a darker pink, and when you add even more you’ll get a red frosting.

How to make these cookies step by step

Make the cream cheese sugar cookie dough

Creamed sugar and butter in a metal bowl.

STEP 1: Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter with sugar on medium speed until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes.

STEP 2: Add cream cheese and beat until combined.

Egg and vanilla in a bowl with sugar batter.

STEP 3: Add egg, vanilla extract, salt, almond extract, and baking powder.

STEP 4: Beat for 1-2 minutes or until well combined. Scrape the batter from the sides of the bowl with a spatula halfway through.

Sugar cookie dough in a bowl. Sugar cookie dough wrapped in plastic foil.

STEP 5: Add the flour and mix at low speed until it’s incorporated. Don’t mix for too long. The cookie dough will be sticky.

STEP 6: Scrape the dough out of the bowl with a spatula and place it on a large piece of plastic foil. Wrap the dough in foil, flatten it out (about 1/2-inch or 1.5 cm thick) and place in the freezer for about 15 minutes or until cold and easy to roll out. You can also chill the dough in the fridge but it will take longer (flatten it into a very thin disk and chill for about an hour or longer).

While the dough is chilling, you can make the frosting.

Make the frosting

Powdered sugar and butter in a white bowl.

STEP 7: Add soft butter and powdered sugar into a medium bowl.

STEP 8: Beat with a mixer until well-combined. The mixture will be very crumbly at first.

This is important: please mix the butter with sugar FIRST, then add cream cheese, otherwise, the frosting will be too runny and you will need to add more sugar to it.

Creamed powdered sugar and butter in a bowl. Cream cheese frosting in a bowl.

STEP 9: It should form a thick paste.

STEP 10: Add soft cream cheese, vanilla, and salt, and beat until combined. Now your frosting is ready.

Bake the cookies

Hearts are being cut out of sugar cookie dough. Cookie hearts on a baking sheet.

STEP 11: Divide the dough in half, put one half in the fridge and roll out the second half of the dough on a silicone rolling mat (or a counter) lightly sprinkled with flour into a thickness of 1/5-1/4 of an inch (5-7mm) (I like thick cookies). Cut out cookies with a heart cutter. Reroll the scraps and repeat with the remaining dough.

STEP 12: Place the cookies on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Baked heart-shaped sugar cookies. Frosting in different colors. A cookie is being frosted.

STEP 13: Bake the cookies in batches at 350°F (180°C) for about 9 minutes. For the next batch use a cold baking sheet. The cookies should be pale and soft. Leave them on the baking sheet for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool down (they need to be completely cooled before you start frosting them).

Decorate the cookies

STEP 14: Divide the frosting between smaller bowls if you want to have different frosting colors.

Add enough food coloring to the frosting to achieve your desired color (add 2-3 drops of gel at a time).

Frost the cookies with the frosting. They taste best after about 30 minutes when the cookies soften a bit more from the frosting.

Enjoy!

Heart cookie with frosting and a piece missing is being held in a hand.

Storage

These cookies keep really well, store them in a tightly closed container for up to 5 days.

You can also store cookies with frosting – they will be a little softer but if you make thicker cookies like mine, they won’t get too soft. They are really perfect the next day. I place them on a baking sheet and wrap it tightly with plastic foil in order to not destroy the frosting design. If you will only spread the frosting on cookies, it will be fine, just a more detailed design may get squashed.

More Valentine’s Day desserts you may like

Heart-shaped Valentine's day cookies on a light blue/grey background.

Did you make this recipe? RATE THE RECIPE or tell me in the COMMENTS how you liked it! You can also add a photo of your dish. It would make me very happy and will help other readers. Thank you!!

Valentine’s Day Cookies (Heart Cookies)

These Valentine’s Day cookies are soft, delicious, and really easy to make. These heart cookies are soft cut out sugar cookies frosted with pink-colored cream cheese frosting. They’re great to make for the other half and also fun to make with kids! These cookies are not only pretty but also taste fabulous.
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Heart-shaped Valentine's day cookied with pink frosting.
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Prep Time 36 minutes
Cook Time 9 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 48 cookies
Calories 122kcal
Author Aleksandra

Ingredients

for the cookies:

  • 3/4 cup butter (175g) soft
  • 1 cup granulated sugar (200g)
  • 2 ounces cream cheese (60g) soft
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 cups flour (375g) spooned and leveled

for the frosting:

  • 1/2 cup butter (115g) soft
  • 2 cups powdered sugar (240g)
  • 4 ounces cream cheese (60g) soft
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • red gel food coloring

Instructions

Make cookies:

  • Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter with sugar on medium speed until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes.
  • Add cream cheese and beat until combined.
  • Add egg, vanilla extract, salt, almond extract, and baking powder. Beat for 1-2 minutes or until well combined. Scrape the batter from the sides of the bowl with a spatula halfway through.
  • Add the flour and mix at low speed until it’s incorporated. Don’t mix for too long. The cookie dough will be sticky.
  • Scrape the dough out of the bowl with a spatula and place on a large piece of plastic foil. Wrap the dough in foil, flatten it out (about 1/2-inch or 1.5 cm thick) and place in the freezer for about 15 minutes or until cold and easy to roll out. You can also chill the dough in the fridge but it will take longer (flatten it into a very thin disk and chill for about an hour or longer).
  • Divide the dough in half, put one half in the fridge and roll out the second half of the dough on a silicone rolling mat (or a counter) lightly sprinkled with flour into a thickness of 1/5-1/4 of an inch (5-7mm) (I like thick cookies). Cut out cookies with a heart cutter. Reroll the scraps and repeat with the remaining dough.
  • Place the cookies on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Bake the cookies in batches at 350°F (180°C) for about 9 minutes. For the next batch use a cold baking sheet. The cookies should be pale and soft. Leave them on the baking sheet for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool down (they need to be completely cooled before you start frosting them).

Make the frosting:

  • Add soft butter and powdered sugar into a medium bowl. Beat with a mixer until well-combined. The mixture will be very crumbly at first but then it should form a thick paste.
  • Add soft cream cheese, vanilla, and salt, and beat until combined. Divide the frosting between smaller bowls if you want to have different frosting colors.
  • Add enough food coloring to the frosting to achieve your desired color (add 2-3 drops of gel at a time).
  • Frost the cookies with the frosting. They taste best after about 30 minutes when the cookies soften a bit more from the frosting.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

  • These cookies, even frosted, keep really well, you can make them even 1 whole day ahead and they will be perfect.
  • To correctly measure the flour, you need to: Fluff the flour by stirring it in the bag/flour container with a spoon. Spoon the flour and sprinkle it into your measuring cup. Sweep off the excess flour with the back of a knife. 1 cup of flour can weigh 120-150g, depending on how you’re filling your cup. Don’t scoop the flour directly into the measuring cup, which can compact it! 1 cup of flour in my recipes weighs 125g.
  • Calories = 1 cookie (1/48 of the recipe). This is only an estimate!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Diet Vegetarian
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