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 or take it over the top and turn these into windowpane cookies.–Renee Schettler Rossi

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!” 

A pink bowl filled with flower-shaped sugar cookies topped with decorating sugar.
4.85 / 13 votes
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.
David Leite
Servings60 cookies
Calories45 kcal
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time30 minutes


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


  • 2 sticks (8 oz) 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 all purpose flour
  • Coarse sugar, for sprinkling, whether sanding or pearl or raw


  • 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.
One Sweet Cookie

Adapted From

One Sweet Cookie

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Serving: 1 cookieCalories: 45 kcalCarbohydrates: 10 gProtein: 1 gFat: 1 gSaturated Fat: 1 gMonounsaturated Fat: 1 gTrans Fat: 1 gCholesterol: 3 mgSodium: 21 mgFiber: 1 gSugar: 6 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2011 Tracey Zabar. Photo © 2011 Ellen Silverman. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

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.

About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 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…

  2. 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. 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.

      1. 5 stars
        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.

  3. 5 stars
    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.