Valentine’s Day Sugar Cookies Recipe

February 11, 2016

These sugar cookies may be intended for Cupid, but you’ll want to bust out this trusty recipe all year round (the dough really holds its shape). Plus, baking and decorating these vanilla-almond treats is fun for the whole family! 

Valentine’s Day Sugar Cookies

Yield: 15 cookies
Active Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours


For the cookies
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon butter, softened
1/2 cup unbleached sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

For the icing
2 pounds powdered sugar
5 pasteurized egg whites
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon lemon extract
Water, as needed
1 or 2 natural red/pink food dye packets


Make the cookies
Place butter and sugar in bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment and beat for 6 to 8 minutes. It should be creamy and pale in color. Add egg, vanilla, and almond extract, and beat for 2 to 3 minutes to combine. Add flour and beat until the mixture comes together to form a dough.

Roll the dough out between two sheets of parchment paper to a 1/4-inch thickness. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour, until firm.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees and line two baking trays with parchment paper. Remove dough from oven and cut cookies out using heart-shaped cookie cutters. Bake in oven 7 to 9 minutes until edges start to become golden. Allow to cool.

Make the icing
Place the powdered sugar, egg whites, cream of tartar, and lemon extract in the bowl of the stand mixer and whip on high for 7 minutes, until frosting has gone from gray to pure white in color, becomes fluffy, and stiffens. Divide into separate bowls and color with varying amounts of red dye to create different shades of pink.

Fill piping bag fitted with a fine-tip nozzle with icing. (Or cut corner off a zip-top bag.) Pipe around the edges of the cookies.

One tablespoon at a time, stir water into colored icings to create slightly thinner consistency. Use thinned icing to fill in cookies. Let icing dry completely before serving. 

Photo credit: Paul Delmont

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Merce Muse

Thrive Market Food Editor

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