Valentine’s Sugar Cookies

Valentine’s sugar cookies are perfect—soft in the center, slightly crisp at the edges, and sweet but not too sweet through and through. Heart-shaped and perfect for Valentine’s Day, Christmas, Easter, and random days when cookie cravings steamroll you.

A pink bowl filled with flower-shaped sugar cookies topped with decorating sugar

Flower-shaped cookies. What a lovely alternative to a pricey bouquet for your sweetie on Valentine’s Day. The versatile sugar cookie dough can be rolled out and cut into any desired shape for any time of year and turns out what folks are calling “crunchy with a chewy center, buttery and sweet” and “truly stress-free cookies.” You could opt to omit the sugar topping and decorate them with the icing of your choice.–Renee Schettler

What's even better than flowers for Valentine's Day?

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 little somethings known as Valentine’s sugar cookies. They elicit the same response no matter what time of year you bake and share them. 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!” 

Valentine's Sugar Cookie

  • Quick Glance
  • (7)
  • 15 M
  • 30 M
  • Makes 60 small cookies
4.9/5 - 7 reviews
Print RecipeBuy the One Sweet Cookie cookbook

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



Preheat the oven to 350°F (176°C). Line a couple baking sheets with parchment paper.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and granulated sugars until light and irresistibly fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until combined. Using a spatula, gently fold in the salt and flour just until combined.

Roll the dough between a couple of pieces of parchment paper until it’s about 1/2 inch thick.

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.

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. Originally published February 10, 2012.

Print RecipeBuy the One Sweet Cookie cookbook

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Recipe Testers' Tips

I made these today with my three-year-old. What a easy, simple recipe to follow for someone like myself who does not have a talent for sweets. The end result was absolutely amazing. Tasty, sweet, not overly soft in the middle, and a little crisp on the edges.

The dough spread between 2 sheets of parchment paper very well. They did spread quite a bit during baking, although the end result was fantastic.

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.

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.

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.


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  1. The cookies came out good. I did add in 1 tbsp of milk towards the end cause the dough was not molding together. That did the trick and they were delicious.

    1. Hi Emily,

      Thanks for drawing our attention to this missing information. This recipe should call for all purpose flour, and 227 grams of butter. We have updated the recipe to show the metric weights and type of flour. Happy baking!


  2. Really liked this recipe but I had to make a substitute for the butter with the butter-flavored Crisco. I got minimal spread and pulled the cookies out before the edges browned because that’s what I wanted to do. I think for me it was right at 10 minutes. I probably would do it again and chill the dough before baking if I was using Crisco again. (They had to be dairy free) I’m giving 5 stars because even with my changes we all thoroughly like these cookies.

  3. So I just instagrammed my iteration of these beautifully simple cookies. I have to sub Earthbalance (dairy allergy) and subbed one cup of spelt flour for AP, a few drops of orange blossom water, too. Added red & white sanding sugar. Also rolled a bit thinner than 1/2″ (practically a biscuit!) – mine are delightfully crispy and light golden brown. I do love how simple this is and good for impatient bakers! <3

    1. Kendra, it depends on what you’re measuring. In this recipe, as you can see in the ingredient list, 8 ounces butter equals 1 cup. And for liquid measures, 8 fluid ounces equates to 1 cup. But this is applicable only when measuring by volume. If you measure by weight, then the number of ounces in a cup depends on the relative density of the ingredient and is going to vary widely from one ingredient to another. I hope this helps.

  4. Hello! So, i’m curious as to how these might come out if I don’t add egg. is there a drastic effect?

    1. Oh gosh, NewbieChef, I can’t say because we didn’t test the recipe without an egg. I really worry that yes, there would be a drastic effect. The egg provides several roles, not the least of them being to act as a sort of glue to help hold everything together. Baking is such a precise science, I wouldn’t risk making it without the egg as I think you’d probably end up wasting your ingredients (and butter is so expensive these days!). I’d love to help you find a different recipe that will work for you. So I guess you’re seeking something that’s egg-free and a cookie…?

  5. I whiped it to a light fluffy batter, used powdered sugar 2 egg yolks instead of 1 egg and refrigerated it for 30 mins, dropped and flattened it with a little tea cup dipped in coarse sugar and almond bits and they turned out perfect! Thanks for the recipe!

    1. You’re very welcome, Anna! Although we didn’t test chilling the dough overnight, so I can’t say for absolute certain, I think it would be fine if you made the dough ahead and chilled it overnight. You’ll just need to let it soften a little at room temperature prior to baking. I asked a colleague of mine who is a baking maven to weigh in on this comment, too, but I wanted to get back to you right away and let you know that I think it’s safe. Good luck and please let us know how it goes!

    1. Hi Kelly, you should be fine using coconut oil. I haven’t tried this particular recipe with it so I’m curious to hear how they turn out. Please let us know!

  6. 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.

    1. 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?

  7. 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!

    1. 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.

      1. 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!

            1. 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…

              1. 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. 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.

    1. 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…

  9. 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. :)

      1. 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!!!

        1. 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 :)

        2. 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.

  10. 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.

    1. 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.

  11. 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.

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