Valentine’s Sugar Cookies

Flower-shaped cookies are a lovely alternative to a pricey bouquet for your sweetie on Valentine’s Day and are elegant after-dinner sweets. The versatile dough can be rolled out and cut into any desired shape. You can also omit the sugar topping and decorate them with the icing of your choice.–Tracey Zabar

LC How Sweet! Note

Few flowers, even a bouquet of stunning long stems, can stand up to the splendor and thoughtfulness contained in a batch of these tender, subtly sweet somethings known as Valentine’s sugar cookies. (They elicit the same effect any time of year, though.) It’s the difference between “Oh, how sweet, but you shouldn’t have!” and “Oh, how sweet, and I’m ridiculously giddy that you did!”

Special Equipment: Flower-shaped cookie cutter (or a different shape, if you prefer)

Valentine's Sugar Cookie Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 15 M
  • 30 M
  • Makes about 60 small cookies

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 3/4 cups flour
  • Coarse sugar, for sprinkling, whether sanding or pearl or raw

Directions

  • 1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (176°C). Line a couple of baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • 2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and granulated sugar until light and irresistibly fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until combined. Gently fold in the salt and flour just until combined.
  • 3. Roll out the dough between a couple large-ish pieces of parchment paper until it’s about 1/2-inch thick.
  • 4. Remove the top piece of parchment and, using a 1 1/2-inch flower cookie cutter (or whatever shape you prefer), cut out cookies and place them on the prepared sheets, spacing them about 2 inches apart. (If you find the dough too soft to cut with a cookie cutter, transfer the dough, still sandwiched between the parchment paper, to the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Then try again.) Sprinkle the cookies with coarse sugar.
  • 5. Bake for 10 to 13 minutes, until the edges of the cookies just begin to brown. Let the cookies cool completely on wire racks before showering them upon your sweetie.
Hungry for more? Chow down on these:

Testers Choice

Testers Choice
Testers Choice
Sofia Reino

Feb 10, 2012

I made these today with my three-year old. What a easy, simple recipe to follow for someone like myself who does not have the talent for sweets. The end result was absolutely amazing. Tasty, sweet, but not overly soft in the middle and a little crisp on the edges. The only problem I had was cutting them with cookie cutters. The dough spread between two sheets of parchment paper very well. They did spread quite a bit during baking, although the end result was fantastic.

Testers Choice
Natalie Reebel

Feb 10, 2012

What tends to keep me from baking sugar cookies is that most recipes do not allow you just to make them. You’re supposed to make the dough, refrigerate it, roll it out (which is messy), and then bake. No longer will I go through all that trouble. These are truly stress-free sugar cookies. No refrigeration, no messy rolling (the parchment paper works like a charm), and no waiting. Just make the dough and bake. The resulting cookie is crunchy with a chewy center, buttery and sweet. No baking soda or baking powder give the cookie a clean finish with no aftertaste. I baked mine about an inch apart, as they did spread a bit. This is a great go-to cookie recipe.

Testers Choice
Natasha Roetter

Feb 10, 2012

This is a fantastic, easy sugar cookie recipe. The cookies end up with a delightful crunch around the edges but have a soft center, and they aren’t too crumbly, as is the case with some sugar cookies. It takes a while to mix in all of the flour to the dough, so be patient. Additionally, the cookies should be placed at least 1 1/2 inches apart on the pan to avoid running together. Be careful to watch them, as the edges brown quickly.

Testers Choice
Kristen Kennedy

Feb 10, 2012

I've been searching for a quick, easy, tasty sugar cookie recipe, and voila! Here it is! The dough doesn't need to be prepared and chilled overnight. It doesn't contain baking soda or powder. All you're tasting and eating is flour, butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla. The texture is wonderful as well—crunchy on the edges and delightfully chewy in the center. I wanted to see if this dough would work with our cookie cutters, so I rolled it to 1/4 inch thickness and cut shapes from a 3-inch and a 2 1/4-inch cookie cutter. They cooked to perfection in a convection oven on 350°F for 8 and 7 minutes, respectively.


Comments
Comments
  1. Tracey Zabar says:

    I love you!

  2. Teresa says:

    This looks simple enough for even me to make. :) I think I’ll make these for my son and daughter-in-law for Valentine’s Day, with pink and red sugar on top.

    • Renee Schettler Rossi, LC Editor-in-Chief says:

      Sooo thoughtful, Teresa! And I can say, as a daughter-in-law, what a lovely thing it will be for her to be on the receiving end of them and not just him.

  3. Teresa says:

    Thanks, that made me feel good, now I KNOW I’m going to make these cookies.

  4. Susan says:

    I made these last night with one minor tweak; I only used the egg yolk. I love that there is no baking powder or soda in them so that they hold their shape, as one of the testers noted. They do spread just a bit, but not as much as if I’d used the whole egg. I rolled them just a bit thinner so that they’d be crunchy through and through, and they were. Perfect sugar cookie with a wonderful butter and vanilla flavor. I’ll definitely be using this recipe from now on for my holiday cut-out cookies.

    • Renee Schettler Rossi, LC Editor-in-Chief says:

      We’re grateful you let us know, Susan. We’re over the moon for this recipe from Tracey Zabar…actually, we’re over the moon for the entire book. It’s one of those things we’d snatch if, heaven forbid, we had to rush out of the apartment in a hurry. Seriously.

  5. Ashley Adams says:

    My *heart* was set on the Sugar Christmas Snow Cookies for tonight’s Valentine’s baking fun, but you’ve tempted me with this recipe (you tend to do that). Very much looking forward to cutting out these little guys.

    I confess I’ve already “pinned it”. I’ve been doing that a lot lately, it turns out, with recipes I’m dying to try. Following David, with glee. :)

    • Renee Schettler Rossi, LC Editor-in-Chief says:

      Let us know, Ashley, what you think! My turn to confess…although I like the snow cookies, I am over the moon for these little lovelies. Over. The. Moon.

      • Ashley Adams says:

        The first tray wasn’t incredibly easy to cut and place, but the flavor, OH, THE FLAVOR! I’ve been eating vegan for the last two weeks for fun (sounds ridiculous for a butterfat lover like myself, but I wanted to immerse myself exclusively in vegetables for a while), and these have reminded me that butter is *magical*. I used Plugra and will tell everyone to follow suit. Dangerous, delicious bites. Yes, please!!!

        • Ashley Adams says:

          And, while I think cultivating patience is an underappreciated art, hallelujah for being able to bake these right after finishing folding in the flour! My children were especially thankful for that part of the recipe :)

        • David Leite says:

          Ashley, we couldn’t agree with you more when it comes to the flavor!

          Oh, and a tip: roll out the cookie dough between the sheet of parchment, slide the whole thing onto a cookie sheet, and refrigerate for about 20 to 30 minutes. They’ll cut cleanly.

  6. shell says:

    When posting recipes on the website, could you please, please use weight measurements as well?
    The flour amount could range between 350-385 grams, and I would greatly appreciate knowing the correct amount for this recipe.
    Thank you for sharing this recipe!
    I’m looking forward to making it.

    • Renee Schettler Rossi, LC Editor-in-Chief says:

      Shell, we’d love to always include weight measurements, but quite often the original source for the recipe did not include it. (You’ve probably noticed that some recipes include weight measures and others do not.) If a cookbook includes a weight measure, we share it with you for the very reason you suggest. Please hang in there, we’re seeing more and more authors share the weight measure…

  7. shell says:

    Dear Renee,
    Thanks for your encouraging words : ) I will…
    But in the meantime, for this specific recipe, can you suggest how much flour should be used? The smaller amount (4.5 oz. per cup), or the larger one (5 oz.)?
    I’m sorry for troubling you, but I just can’t figure it out…
    Thank you!

    • Renee Schettler Rossi, LC Editor-in-Chief says:

      No trouble at all, Shell. I’d actually split the difference and use 4.75 ounces, because while you want a tender dough, it also tends to be slightly tacky as you roll it out. If it gives you problems when trying to shimmy the cut dough onto a spatula, simply dust both with a little more flour.

      • shell says:

        Dear Renee, I finally made them, and following your recommendation, got a smooth and friendly dough to work with. They were a very pleasant snack to have around, and really enjoyed by everyone. I’d be happy to make them again. Thank you so much for your kind assistance!

        • Renee Schettler Rossi, LC Editor-in-Chief says:

          Lovely beyond words to hear, shell! Greatly appreciate you letting us know. And you’re so very welcome, it’s my pleasure.

          • Pat says:

            Can you suggest a sugar substitute that tastes great and is healthy (for a young child with juvenile diabetes). Thanks. Pat

            • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

              Hey Pat, many thanks for your query. I’m sorry, we didn’t test this recipe with any sugar substitute, so I’m hesitant to make a recommendation without actually knowing for a fact that it won’t compromise the taste or the texture of these lovely cookies. But lemme ask around and see if anyone can make a solid recommendation. If I hear anything promising, I’ll be back with you. Sorry to not be of more help…

              • Sofia Reino says:

                Hello Pat,
                Usually I substitute sugar for stevia when doing desserts for my father who is also diabetic. Stevia does not need as much as sugar for sweetening, so this being 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar, I am guesstimating 1 cup would be enough. For the coarse sugar to sprinkle at the end, my suggestion would be ground nuts or unsweetened shredded coconut mixed with stevia. Hope this helps.

  8. Jacky says:

    What if I don’t have parchment paper? Please reply asap I’m trying to make this now

    • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

      Jacky, for rolling the dough, plastic wrap or wax paper will work. For baking, try a Silpat or just nothing. Let us know how it goes…!

  9. Awww says:

    I followed the mixing directions to T and got a bowl full of very dry crumbly bits :<. I pressed them into a cookie cutter directly onto the cookie sheet since they refused to roll. They came out tough, but nicely flavored. It seems like everyone else had fine results, so maybe it was just bad luck.

    • Beth Price says:

      Awww, it does sound like a bit of bad luck. Crumbly dough and tough cookies are usually caused by lack of fat or moisture. Did you use the full 2 cups of room temperature butter and a large egg? Was it light and fluffy before you added the dry ingredients?

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