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' 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.


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    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!

  1. 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?

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

          2. 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…

          3. 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.

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