Sugar Cookie Hearts

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Heart Shaped Cookies2Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching and you might be on the search for a treat to bring to work, school, church, the neighbors, etc.  If you’re looking to impress, these are the choice for you!  Would you believe me if I told you that these cookies are extremely easy to decorate?  It only takes 3 colors of royal icing (red, white and pink) in 3 squeeze bottles and a handful of toothpicks.  An off-set spatula to spread the icing is also helpful.

Royal Icing Squeeze Bottles

I saw these cute hearts originally on Karen’s Cookie blog.  Karen’s Cookies is my latest favorite discovery.  I’ve bought a few baking items from her store and plan to purchase more in the future.  She recently started a blog to share photos of her delicious creations, including these cookies.

To create the marble hearts, you simply flood the cookie with the royal icing and then quickly dot the background with another color.  While it’s still wet, run a toothpick through the dots and they magically become hearts!  Below is a quick photo tutorial on how to create the marble hearts on the cookies…

Heart Cookies Steps

…and then a few photos on how to create the tie-dyed look.

Heart Cookie Swirl

Again, just make sure you are working one or two cookies at a time so that the icing is still wet.  This causes the different colors to set into each other for flat results.  A few more helpful hints?  It helps to keep the bottles tipped upside down in glasses so they are ready to go.  Additionally, keep paper towels nearby to wipe your toothpick(s) after each use. For more detailed instructions, visit Karen’s Cookie blog.

Heart Shaped Cookies3I am now a fan of the royal icing recipe provided by Karen’s Cookies and her sugar cookie recipe.  Although, I do still like the original royal icing I used and will continue to use both.  You’ll be very proud of yourself after making these cookies.  And, you’ll have a hard time eating them since they’re so pretty!

Sugar Cookies

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Sugar Cookies

These sugar cookies hold their own when baked, and hold up a excellent taste as well!

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup superfine sugar (or granulated sugar processed in food processor for 30 seconds)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract, optional
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, sugar and salt at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg yolk and beat until fully incorporated. Mix in the whole egg, vanilla and optional almond extract. Beat until full mixed. Add the flour, then beat at low speed just until combined. Be careful to not over-mix. Divide the dough in half and wrap in plastic wrap. Store in fridge until firm, at least one hour and up to 2 days.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. On a floured work surface, roll the dough to 1/4-inch thick, sprinkling with additional flour as needed to prevent sticking. Use cookies cutters to cut into shapes and place on parchment or silicone-lined pans. Bake until cookies appear dry on the surface and are light golden brown on the edges, about 10 minutes (or a few more for larger cookies). Let sit for 2 minutes before removing from cookie sheets. Allow to cool completely on cooling racks before decorating.

Source: Karen’s Cookies

Royal Icing 2

Total Time: 20 minutes

Royal Icing 2

This royal icing is easy to whip together and easy to make your cookies looking fabulous!

  • 3 tablespoons meringue powder
  • 4 cups (1 lb) powdered sugar
  • 6+ tablespoons water
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract, optional

Beat all ingredients together until stiff peaks form (about 10 minutes). Divide into separate containers, depending on how many colors you plan to use. Mix in food coloring. Add water to thin each color out so that when it runs off the spoon it quickly dissolves back into the remaining icing within 10 seconds. Add powdered sugar if need to thicken. Pour into squeeze bottles and decorate cookies.

Source: Karen’s Cookies




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  1. I love your cookies! so cute! Where did you get the bottles that you used to decorate? That’s a really good idea for royal icing!

  2. These are GORGEOUS and I love the picture tutorial. It will help those of us who aren’t so adept with the royal icing. 🙂

  3. Gorgeous, Nikki!! So so pretty!

  4. These cookies look so beautiful! I definitely am going to try some of Karen’s techniques since they look fairly easy. Thanks for sharing!

  5. These are so beautiful! Do you outline and flood the cookie with the royal icing at the same consistancy or do you thin it to flood? What kind of food coloring do you use? I’ve never used royal icing before, and these seem like great cookies to start with! Have a happy Monday!

  6. Such a great job! I absolutely love the trail of hearts and the swirly valentine vortex 🙂

  7. Marg Sandiford says:

    These hearts are great! I used this technique on leaf shaped cookies in fall colours and they turned out really well

  8. Gorgeous! I love the swirls. I want to make cute cookies like these! 🙂

  9. These are so cute!!! I can’t wait to try them! 🙂 I love decorating sugar cookies, but it takes me such a long time that I can’t do it too often! haha


  10. I did my first cookies with the flood technique yesterday and it worked out great. I love your designs!

  11. So cute! I’ve been nervous about using royal icing in the past, but this one has me convinced–off to get squeeze bottle I go!

  12. These are adorable! This time of year really brings out some of the cutest dessert recipes. We had another blogger friend who shared her Text Message cookies with us recently. So fun! You can see that cute recipe here:

    Thanks as always for the great recipes.

  13. That’s perfect! I’ve been trying to figure out how to bring super frilly royal icing decorated sugar cookies to the office potluck on Monday after being out of town all weekend. This is the answer because I don’t have to wait until the icing dries before adding detail like I would for most royal icing decorations!

  14. These cookies are beautiful and look as if you spent HOURS decorating! I love that you demonstrated your techniques!

  15. These are beautiful, Nik. Can’t wait to try them!

  16. I wondered how you did those beautiful patterns on the cookies! Thanks for sharing all the info!!! Love them! Beth Ann

  17. This is my first time making royal icing and I couldn’t find merengue powder. I asked the clerk at the grocery store and they told me to get cream of tartar. Is that right? Or where else could I possibly look for merengue powder? Thanks 🙂

  18. I made these with my 10 year old girls for their classes at school. They had so much fun with it, their 7 and 5 year old brothers joined in the fun! They’re not as professional looking, but they’re still beautiful. The best part is, everyone, including mom, had fun with the icing. I got it a little thin, so it ran a little bit, but adding more powdered sugar helped. Also, I was able to find everything I needed except the super fine sugar at Wal-Mart. The one near me has the cake decorating materials near the greeting cards, not in the baking aisle, FYI! Thanks for sharing a fun idea!

  19. I am making these cookies today for my son’s party at school tomorrow. So far it’s been pretty easy but some of my cookies bubbled up a little during baking. They will be fine for three year olds but how can I prevent this in the future?

    new baker!

    • Hi Amy,

      It’s hard to tell, but maybe you are over mixing the dough? When you add the flour, you want to mix until it is JUST combined. I also heard before that if you reuse parchment paper, this can also cause bubbling, but I think on the bottom of the cookies. I have no idea if that’s true, though. 🙂


  20. love your blog im just star making then for self

  21. How did you get the colors on your site for the sugar cookie hearts? They are so rich and deep in color especially the “red”. I am going to attempt to make these for a church function in February. Any advice would be appreciated as I am a rookie crafter/creator Mj 🙂

    • Hi Mary, Since I don’t make sugar cookies extremely often, I don’t really have a specific formula for colors and just experiment every time. I’d recommend a couple of other blogs that specialize in sugar cookies, like Sugarbelle and Bake@350. 🙂

  22. Made these for my husband for V-day 🙂 They came out pretty good. Normally I never cream stuff first, just throw it in at the same time. This time I followed directions verbatim 🙂 Adding this recipe to the file!

  23. Hi:
    I made your cookies recipe, and I want to say yoy, !! its fantastic !! I need to work in the decorating, but all it´s delicious.

  24. Got them in the oven hope they turn out good 🙂

  25. Hi!! I will be using this recipe for my sons birthday party this weekend. Did you use salter or unsalted butter? Does it matter?

    • When baking, I always use unsalted butter unless the recipe specifically calls for salted. 🙂 Have a great party!

  26. Hi Nikki,

    Thanks so much for this wonderful recipe & tutorial! I made these for a milk & cookies open house event this past week and they were a huge hit.

    Have a lovely week,

  27. Mickey Nash says:

    Found your darling cookies by typing in Valentines Cookies… these are gorgeous and look so professional! Can’t wait to bake them and bag them in threes in a clear gusseted bag for teachers gifts 🙂

  28. Jennifer Vang says:

    Hello, I wanted to make these for a baby shower, but I didn’t know how much more I should double the quantity. How many serviings does this recipe make?
    I’m assuming 36 cookies?
    I’m looking to make roughly 100-150. Thanks!

    • Nikki Gladd says:

      Hi Jennifer,
      That’s a hard question to answer because it totally depends on the size of your cookie cutters and how thin/thick you decide to roll the dough. I would probably double it first, to see how much it makes for you, then double again, etc.

  29. these are so cute! im nervous to attempt these because i tried sugar cookies before and the icing was to runny. What do i do if that happens again?

  30. What’s the difference between one egg and one egg yolk?

  31. Nikki these look so yummy. I have included them in my roundup of 20 Yummy Heart Shaped Treats.

  32. LOVE THESE!!! I’m putting together a Foodie Friday Roundup this week for Valentine’s Cookies. Could I include a pic and your post link?

  33. Stephanie says:

    Hi! Do you think I can make these cookies and freeze them for two weeks before thawing and frosting?

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