Festive sugar cookies perfect for Valentine’s Day
Valentine’s Day always makes us smile, not because we happen to each be married to wonderful guys that make love fun (although that is wonderful) but because growing up we were always our parents’ Valentines.
Every February 14th (and sometimes on February 15th when the chocolate hearts and pink stuffed bears were on sale) our parents would surprise us with Valentine treats. As young kids, we were thrilled. Along with the gifts we were given, our parents would also purchase for us large Valentine’s Day books filled with cards that we would punch out of the cardboard pages (remember those?) We would spend hours deciding which classmate would get which card, and which card we would save for our Ma and Ba.
These days we like to offer our favourite people homemade sweets and treats on Valentine’s Day. Anything shaped as a heart is appropriate, and if it’s pink or red, well that’s a bonus. These sugar cookies then really hit the mark. A simple sugar cookie recipe, in a heart shape and a medley of white and pink. We think you’ll love these love-inspired cookies.
What is the difference between liquid and gel food colouring?
We much prefer gel food colouring as we find that it gives a much more intense colour. You can also usually have a greater availability of colours with the gel products.
How do I know how much food colouring to use?
There is no right or wrong answer here. The general rule of thumb is, start small and go slow. You can always add more food colouring until you get the effect you want, but you can’t remove it if you add too much!
Can I make these cookies festive without using food colouring?
Of course you can! Consider adding sprinkles or mini chocolate chips to the dough or sprinkling the cookies with coloured sugar before baking them. You can even pipe them with a little bit of icing. Let the cookie be your canvas!
Interesting in baking more cookies? How about these super popular recipes:
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Heart shaped sugar cookies
- Wax paper and / or parchment paper
- Heart shaped cookie cutter
- 2 1/2 cups (375 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
- 1 cup (225 grams) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 egg, large
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 - 1/2 tsp red food colouring gel
- In a medium size mixing bowl whisk together the flour, the baking powder and the salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer (or using your hand held mixer) beat the butter until nice and fluffy. Add the sugar and continue to mix until well combined.
- Next, add the egg and the vanilla. Beat well at medium speed until the dough pulls off the side of the bowl and all the ingredients are incorporated together.
- Remove half of the dough and form it into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and set aside.
- To the dough remaining in the bowl add the food colouring. Beat well until the food colouring is incorporated and the dough is uniform in colour. We suggest beginning with 1/4 teaspoon of food colouring gel and increasing from there until you get the colour that you want.
- Form this coloured dough into a ball and wrap it as well with plastic wrap. Chill both balls of dough in the refrigerator for a minimum of 30 minutes.
- When you are ready to shape and bake your cookies, preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Prepare a baking tray with either parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- Remove dough from fridge and cut off pieces of both the white and coloured dough. Press them together to make a ball.
- Use a rolling pin to roll the dough out to a thickness of about 1/3 inch. We find that rolling the dough between two pieces of either wax paper or parchment paper makes it much easier.
- Use your cookie cutter to cut out your heart shapes. Place your cookie cutter strategically to give you pretty colour patterns.
- Transfer the cookies to the baking tray. When your tray is full, bake in the middle rack of your oven for between 10 - 12 minutes.
- Remove tray from oven and allow the cookies to cool for about 5 minutes before transferring them to a cooking rack.