Celebrating Valentine’s Day with cookies is a sweet way to enjoy the day. From colored frosting to colored sprinkles, the choices you have are many.

Making, decorating, and delivering cookies to those you love but can’t see in person yet, is a fun activity for celebrating the holiday and a great way to show how much you care. Read on to enjoy a few ideas on how you can make your Valentine’s Day special for your loved ones with homemade cookies.

THE COOKIE

You can decorate just about any type of cookie with a unique twist, but sugar cookies are the best for decorating since they can be shaped easily and offer a flat canvas for your design to come to life.

Make up a batch of your favorite sugar cookie dough that you can easily shape using heart-shaped cookie cutters in various sizes. Mix and bake according to the directions. If you do not have heart-shaped cookie cutters, just use a glass to make circle shapes. If you don’t have a favorite recipe, this one is one of our favs and doesn’t spread making it perfect for creating well-defined shapes.

Sugar Cookie Recipe

Ingredients

      • 1 cup unsalted butter softened to room temperature
      • 1 cup sugar
      • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
      • 1 large egg
      • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
      • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
      • 3/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions

      1. Combine butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a large bowl and use an electric hand mixer) and beat until creamy and well-combined.
      2. Add egg and vanilla extract and beat until completely combined.
      3. In a separate, medium-sized bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
      4. Gradually add dry ingredients into wet until completely combined.
      5. Layout a large piece of plastic wrap and transfer approximately half of the dough onto the wrap (dough will be sticky – that’s OK).
      6. Cover with clear wrap and mold into a disk.  Repeat with the remaining cookie dough in another piece of cling wrap.  Transfer dough to refrigerator and chill for at least 2-3 hours3
      7. Once the dough has finished chilling, preheat the oven to 350F (175C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Set aside.
      8. Generously dust a clean surface with flour and deposit one chilled cookie dough disk onto the surface.
      9. Lightly flour the dough and roll out to 1/8″ (for thinner, crispier cookies) or 1/4″ (for thicker, softer cookies).  Continue to add flour as needed both on top of and beneath the dough so that it doesn’t stick.
      10. Use cookie cutters to cut out shapes and use a spatula to transfer shapes to a prepared baking sheet.4
      11. Bake on 350F for 9-10 minutes, or until edges just begin to turn lightly golden brown.
      12. Allow cookies to cool completely on cookie sheet before moving and frosting.

THE FROSTING

Decorating cookies with frosting for Valentine’s Day is easier if you purchase food-coloring dyes since you will have access to multiple colors. Whip up a batch of homemade vanilla frosting or purchase a can or two of ready-made vanilla frosting at the store.

  • To create red-colored frosting, use as many drops of food coloring as it takes to get the desired shade of red. Try to contrast your cookies by using lighter colors for the decorative accents that you place on the cookies.
  • You only need a few drops of red food coloring to create a delicate or bright pink color depending on the number of drops that you use. Try decorating pink cookies with bright red accents or lettering to create a colorful appearance.
  • Pale purple food coloring adds a nice touch to decorated cookies when the frosting that covers the cookie is pink. If you haven’t purchased a set of food dyes that includes purple look on the back of the box for directions that explain how to get purple. Typically it’s a mix of a bit of red and blue food coloring.

Sugar Cookie Frosting Recipe

Ingredients

      • 3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
      • 3-4 Tablespoons milk
      • 2 Tablespoons light corn syrup
      • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
      • Food coloring (gels are great)
      • Additional candies and sprinkles for decorating optional

Instructions

      1. Combine sugar, 2 Tbs of milk, corn syrup, and vanilla extract in a medium-sized bowl and stir until combined. If frosting is too thick, add more milk, about a teaspoon at a time, until the frosting is thick but pipeable. If you accidentally add too much milk, add powdered sugar until desired texture is reached.
      2. If you are adding coloring to the frosting, divide into bowls and color as desired.
      3. Transfer frosting to a piping bag with a piping tip or place in a Ziploc bag and snip a small piece of the corner off (not as neat, but this will still work).
      4. Pipe frosting on cookies and decorate with decorative candies (see suggestions below).
      5. Allow frosting to harden before enjoying (this can take several hours and varies based on the consistency of your frosting.)

DECORATING

Once you’ve frosted your cookies, add the decorative accents as soon as possible. If you wait too long, the frosting may harden and you will find it difficult to get the decorative pieces to stick to the cookies.

Here are a few ideas for fun & edible decorative accents:

  • Brach’s Conversation Hearts
  • Pink, white, or red sprinkles or a mix of the same
  • Red M & M’s candies
  • Dried coconut pieces
  • Brach’s jellied candies (a variety of these exist)

If you have a decorating kit, you can use the decorating tube to write on top of the frosting. For Valentine’s Day, it’s fun to create ones like you’d see on the hearts we used to share as kids.  Words like:  luv you, love, be mine, or an individual’s name or initials.

Be sure to store your cookies sealed in an airtight container at room temperature to keep them fresh.

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