These Heart Sugar Cookies are the perfect treat for Valentine's Day, an anniversary, or any day when you want to show someone that you love them. They are beautiful, fun to make, and taste so delicious.
I learned to make this cookie recipe when my husband and I got married, as it is one of my husband’s favorite cookies. Enough said. That’s what we do for love, right? A batch of these heart cookies is the perfect treat to make for your special Valentine.
Eventually, he started to help me make them. And you know what? I started to like making them even more. Now he was doing something for me because he loves me. (And probably because he really likes these cookies!)
Now we have our kids help us make them. They have fun cutting out the cookies, and frosting them has become a family event. Of course, my husband is the best at decorating the cookies because he has years of experience since he helped his mom decorate them as he was growing up, but I have to say, our kids are catching up to him!
They might be a little heavy-handed with the frosting and sprinkles, but they are getting more creative each time we make them. This is why I love Tried and True Recipes that are handed down from generation to generation. They bring us together, and we have fun as a family. A cookie from my daughter is the perfect cookie as far as I'm concerned!
- Room Temperature Butter
- Crisco Vegetable Shortening
- Eggs, at Room Temperature
- Anise Oil ( ¼ teaspoon of Anise Oil is equivalent to 1 teaspoon of Anise Extract ) - If you don't like the taste of Anise, which tastes like licorice, you can replace it with Almond Extract or Vanilla Extract instead.
- Powdered Sugar (Confectioner's Sugar)
- Baking Soda
- Cake Flour
- All-Purpose Flour
- Icing Food Coloring
- Festive Sprinkles
For the Frosting
- Powdered Sugar
- Softened Butter
- Anise Oil or Almond Extract
- You may use more sugar and/or milk depending on the frosting consistency you like.
You can also forgo frosting and dip the cookies in melted chocolate if desired - I have another recipe for sugar cookies dipped in chocolate.
- Different Sizes of Heart-Shaped Cookie Cutters
- A Stand Mixer with a Paddle Attachment or a Handheld Electric Mixer
- A Large Bowl
- A Medium Bowl and Several Small Bowls - The medium-sized bowl is to make the icing, and then it will be split into a few smaller bowls to mix different colors.
- A Cookie Sheet
- A Wire Rack
- An Icing Spatula
How to Make Them
Cream the butter and the shortening until smooth in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the eggs, beating after each one.
Add the anise oil and mix well. You can use almond or vanilla extract instead if you don't like the taste of licorice.
Now, add the dry ingredients beginning with the confectioner's sugar. Add the powdered sugar slowly. Then, add the salt and baking soda. Add both of the flours, a little at a time to make sure that it doesn't spray everywhere. Use a rubber spatula to scrape the bottom of the bowl to make sure that everything gets mixed in well.
Place the dough in a smaller bowl and cover it tightly with plastic wrap. Chill the dough overnight or for at least 3 hours.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator and preheat your oven to 350°F.
Cover your cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.
Generously cover your working area with flour. Divide the dough into balls, about the size of a baseball, and place them back in the bowl. Take out one dough ball at a time to work with. This will keep the dough from getting too sticky. If you are working with kids and anticipate that it might take a little longer to get the cookies cut out, you can put half of the dough back into the fridge while you are working.
Flour your rolling pin and roll out the first dough ball to about ¼ inch thickness. Cut out shapes using a heart-shaped cookie cutter, keeping the cutters as close to each other as you can so you use up as much of the dough as possible. If there is any extra dough, roll it up in a ball, roll it out again, and cut out more cookies. You can also use a smaller heart cookie cutter to cut out the center of the cookies as well as make some tiny cookies in a cute heart shape.
Place the shapes on your prepared cookie sheet. (It helps to use a floured spatula to get them off of the counter and onto the cookie sheet.) Bake at 350°F for 10-12 minutes until the edges are beginning to turn a nice golden brown color.
Let them cool slightly on the cookie sheet on top of a wire rack.
For best results, let the cookies cool completely before frosting them.
How to Make Cookie Icing
To make the frosting, combine the powdered sugar, softened butter, and milk in a mixing bowl. Mix well until it is smooth. You can use a hand mixer if it is easier for you. If the icing is too thick, add more milk, one tablespoon at a time.
If you prefer the icing to be thicker, add more powdered sugar. Mix until you get your desired frosting consistency.
Divide the icing into smaller bowls and add a few drops of food coloring into each small bowl, mixing with a spoon until the color is the color you desire. You can make different shades of pink using red food coloring or my swirling raspberry jam or raspberry preserves with icing.
Frost the cookies with a butter knife or an icing spatula, and top with sprinkles. Let the icing harden, and enjoy!
This recipe makes about 5 dozen cookies, depending on the size of your cookie cutters. You can easily make a double batch of these cookies if you need to bring cookies to a party or want to give them out to your favorite Galentines, just be sure to let your baking sheets cool in between baking the batches, so the cookies don't spread.
We usually make these cut-out cookies for Christmas, but we started making them as heart-shaped cookies for Valentine’s Day, and now we love making Valentine’s Day Cookies because the frosting colors are so pretty…the red, pink, and purple look so nice together.
My kids can get a little frosting and sprinkles happy, but that is just part of the fun. I want to share some photos of cookies that my kids decorated.
The first photo is of a few of my daughter’s cookies, and the second one is of my son’s cookie he made to look like a bear he got years ago for Christmas. He does this often when we make the cookies. It is great to see them get more creative each time we make them...and have fun together.
Cut Out Cookie Recipe Tips
- Chilling the cookie dough is a must. At least for a few hours, but even better if you can chill the dough overnight. The dough is easier to work with when it is cold.
- Once it is chilled, make dough balls (about the size of a baseball) and put them back in the bowl. Place them in the refrigerator to keep that dough chilled. (Taking one dough ball out at a time helps with keeping the dough chilled and easier to work with.)
- Flour, flour, flour your working surface, and rolling pin well. This will help prevent the dough from sticking.
- When cutting out the cookies, place the cookie cutters as close as possible so that you use up as much dough as you can.
- When you transfer the cookies to the cookie sheet, it helps to use a floured spatula to pick up each cookie and place them on the cookie sheet.
- Let your baking sheets cool in between baking the batches, so the cookies don't spread.
Using these tips should help make these cookies come out great for you. I hope you have as much fun as we do when making these cookies!
How to Store Cookies
Store cookies in an airtight container with layers of wax paper in between the cookies so that they don't stick together.
Frequently Asked Questions
Nope! If your family does not like the taste of licorice, you can use almond extract if you like the taste or vanilla extract. The substitution amounts are listed below in the recipe card.
Looking for More Cookie Recipes?
Did you make this recipe? If so, please leave a comment and rating below. I love hearing from you.
Valentine's Day Heart Cookies
- cookie cutters
- mixing bowls
- a mixer
For the Frosting
- 3 ¾ cups powdered sugar
- ½ cup butter 1 stick, softened
- 3-4 tablespoons milk
- 4 drops anise oil
- You may use more powdered sugar and/or milk depending on the frosting consistency you like.
- Cream the butter and Crisco until smooth. Add the eggs, beating after each one.2 sticks butter, 1 cup Crisco, 3 eggs
- Add the anise oil. Add the confectioner sugar slowly. Then, add the salt and baking soda.¼ teaspoon anise oil, 2 cups powdered sugar, ¾ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- Next, add the flours, a little at a time.3 cups cake flour, 2 cups all-purpose flour
- Place the dough in a bowl and cover it tightly. Chill overnight or for at least 3 hours.
- Preheat your oven to 350°F.
- Cover your cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.
- Generously cover your working area with flour. Make small balls of dough and place them back in the bowl and refrigerate. Take out one dough ball at a time to work with.
- Flour your rolling pin and roll out the dough ball to about ¼ inch thickness. Cut out shapes keeping the cutters as close to each other as you can so you use up as much of the dough as possible. If there is any extra dough, roll it up in a ball, roll it out again and cut out more cookies.
- Place the cookies on your prepared cookie sheet. (It helps to use a floured spatula to get them off of the counter and onto the cookie sheet.)
Bake the Cookies
- Bake at 350°F for 10-12 minutes.
- Let the cookies cool slightly on the cookie sheet over a wire rack.
- Cool them completely before frosting.
Make the Frosting
- To make the frosting, combine the powdered sugar, softened butter, and milk in a mixing bowl. Mix well until it is smooth. You can use a hand mixer if it is easier for you. If the icing is too thick, add more milk, one tablespoon at a time.3 ¾ cups powdered sugar, ½ cup butter, 3-4 tablespoons milk, 4 drops anise oil, You may use more powdered sugar and/or milk
- If you prefer the icing to be thicker, add more powdered sugar. Mix until you get your desired frosting consistency.
- Divide the icing into smaller bowls and add a few drops of food coloring into each small bowl, mixing with a spoon until the color is the color you desire. You can make different shades of pink using red food coloring or my swirling raspberry jam or raspberry preserves with icing.icing food coloring
Decorate the Cookies
- Frost the cookies with a butter knife or an icing spatula, and top with sprinkles. Let the icing harden, and enjoy!festive sprinkles