Looking for super simple, pretty and great recipes for this Valentine’s Day? This Homemade Valentine’s Day Cut Out Sugar Cookies are the best way to show your love this season. Give someone special a sweet delicious treat! Have fun by customizing these heart-shaped cookies with icing and adding personalized messages. So yummy and so easy to make!
With love in the air this February, you can make these decorated cutout cookies for friends, family, and those extra special loved ones in your life. This Valentine cookie recipe is also great for kids that want to share with their classmates and buddies.
Why You’ll Love These Sugar Cookies
- Soft, thick centers
- Irresistible buttery vanilla flavor
- Leave plain or flavor with extras like maple, cinnamon, and more
- Hold their shape
- Flat surface for decorating
- Stay soft for days
- Freeze beautifully
SUGAR COOKIE INGREDIENTS:
- Salted butter. Using butter gives these cookies the absolute best taste and texture! They literally melt in your mouth! I like using salted butter because it helps balance out the sweetness of these sugar cookies! You can use unsalted butter, you may just need to add a touch more sea salt!
- Granulated sugar. I bake with organic cane sugar, but regular granulated sugar works perfectly!
- Vanilla extract. I love simple flavor so i have added vanilla extract. You could substitute 1 tsp of the vanilla extract with another extract (almond, lemon, etc.) to give the sugar cookies a different flavor!
- Eggs. Make sure your eggs are fresh and at room temperature! To get them to room temperature fast, simply put them in a bowl of warm water!
- All-purpose flour. If your flour is a little lumpy you may want to sift it.
How to Make these Sugar Cookies
- Make cookie dough. You only need 7-8 ingredients. With so little ingredients, it’s important that you follow the recipe closely. Creamed butter and sugar provide the base of the cookie dough. Egg is the cookie’s structure and vanilla extract adds flavor. I almost always add a touch of almond extract for additional flavor and highly recommend that you try it too! Flour is an obvious addition, baking powder adds lift, and salt balances the sweet.
- Divide in two pieces. Smaller sections of dough are easier to roll out.
- Chill cookie dough. Without chilling, these cookie cutter sugar cookies won’t hold their shape. Chill the rolled out cookie dough for at least 1-2 hours and up to 2 days.
- Roll out cookie dough. Roll it out to 1/4 inch thick or just under 1/4 inch thick.
- Cut into shapes. Customize as per occasions like Christmas, Valentine Day’s,etc.
- Bake & cool. Depending on size, the cookies take about 8-12 minutes.
- Decorate. Customize with icing and personalized messages.
HOW TO PREVENT SUGAR COOKIES FROM SPREADING:
There are many reasons sugar cookies could spread, here are a few and how to prevent them:
- Bake cookies on parchment paper: Sometimes greasing a baking sheet can cause sugar cookies to spread. Instead, use parchment paper to prevent sticking and help the cookies keep their shape.
- Don’t let the dough get warm. Notice the dough needs to be chilled for at least 2 hours. Keep the dough cold until you put the cookies in the oven.
- Don’t overwork the dough. You can get two rounds of “rolling” from this sugar cookie recipe before the dough becomes warm and overworked. I usually do one round of cutouts, re-roll the scraps, and then use whatever is left to make a fun cookie for the kids (instead of trying to make cutouts).
- Check your oven temperature. Get a cheap thermometer to be sure your oven is “really” 350 degrees F. Not all ovens heat to the temperature they display. Know your oven. If it’s baking lower than it’s set to it could cause the cookies to spread.
- Use fresh ingredients. If your eggs or baking powder are not fresh the cookies could spread. Be sure to use fresh ingredients.
CAN YOU FREEZE SUGAR COOKIE DOUGH?
Yes! Freeze the wrapped discs of dough in an airtight, freezer-friendly container. When you’re ready, thaw the dough in the refrigerator overnight, roll and bake!
Can you FREEZE BAKED COOKIES?
If you’re baking lots of sugar cookies for the holidays or for a cookie decorating party, you can freeze the baked cookies before decorating! Store them in airtight, freezer-friendly containers. If you’re stacking the cookies, separate the layers with parchment or wax paper!
Tips for Perfect Cutout cookies:
It’s important to rest and chill the cookie dough in between mixing and rolling. This allows the proteins in the dough to relax and not be tough when you roll out the cookies. The chilling allows the butter to solidify slightly, so it’s easier to cut and transfer to the baking sheet. You want your cookies to be tender yet durable for decorating.
Cutout Sugar Cookies | Heart Sugar Cookies Recipes
2 and 1/4 cups (281g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (170g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- Cream together butter and sugar in the bowl using a hand mixer.
- Add vanilla and eggs and beat well. Then add flour, baking powder and salt and beat until combined.
- Divide dough into two equal portions. Shape each piece of dough into a round, flat disc and wrap tightly with plastic wrap.
- Chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two to four large baking sheets with parchment paper, set aside.
- Remove one sugar cookie dough disc from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for 5 minutes to soften slightly.
- Place sugar cookie dough on a floured surface and roll to ½” or ¼” thickness (thicker = softer cookies).
- Use your favorite cookie cutter shapes and cut out the dough and place them 1” apart on the prepared cookie sheets.
- Repeat until all the dough is used. You can gather and re-roll the dough scraps two additional times (3 times total).
- Bake in the preheated oven for 9-10 minutes or until cookies are puffed and just set around the edges.
- Remove and let sit on cookie sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Repeat with second disc of dough.
- The dough should not be sticky after the ingredients are mixed together. It should be soft and pliable but not sticky. It should easily be formed into two round discs. I recommend adding more flour 1 tbsp at a time until the dough is soft but not sticky.
- To decorate with sprinkles without frosting: Brush cookies with milk or cream and decorate with sprinkles before baking.
- To store: Once the frosting is hardened, store the sugar cookies in an airtight container at room temperature. If you are stacking them, I recommend separating the layers with parchment paper or wax paper.
- Freezing Instructions: Plain or decorated sugar cookies freeze well up to 3 months. Wait for the icing to set completely before layering between sheets of parchment paper in a freezer-friendly container. To thaw, thaw in the refrigerator or at room temperature.
Are you making this recipe? Then don’t forget to like and leave your comments for this recipe! I LOVE to see your creations so snap a photo and tag BlendOfSpicesbySara on Instagram with the hashtag #blendofspicesbysara