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Valentine Cookies

This recipe makes a lot of cookies, but it can be halved, or you can freeze a portion of the dough for up to three weeks.

  • Yield: Makes several dozen, depending on cookie size
Valentine Cookies


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 2/3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup pale-pink or white sanding sugar (optional)
  • Petal dust in pink, orange, and violet tones (optional)
  • 2/3 cup apricot or strawberry jam, slightly warmed (optional)


  1. In bowl of electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar until fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Sift flour, baking soda, and salt into large bowl. On low speed, gradually add flour mixture to mixer bowl, alternating with buttermilk, until combined. Wrap dough in plastic; chill until firm, 1 hour or overnight.

  2. To color white sanding sugar, if using: Place a few tablespoons in a small bowl. Mix in petal dust with a toothpick, a bit at a time, until desired shade is reached. Colored sanding sugar will last indefinitely.

  3. Heat oven to 350 degrees with two racks centered. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. On lightly floured surface, roll chilled dough 1/8 inch thick. Cut out hearts using any 1- to 3 1/2-inch heart cookie cutters. If desired, cut centers out of some hearts. Transfer with spatula to baking sheets. Chill for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with sanding sugar, if using. Bake until just golden but not too brown, about 10 minutes. Transfer cookies to rack. Continue with dough; reroll scraps.

  4. To make sandwich hearts: Brush bottom heart lightly with jam; cover with a second heart with center cut out; jam will adhere hearts. Fill cut-out area with more jam.

Reviews (27)

  • michele_foster 12 Feb, 2014

    I make these every year and they are quite the event! Takes many hours but they're always worth it. I add a touch of vanilla extract and also lemon zest, both of which I find enhance the flavor. I must always half the recipe because this year it nearly broke my kitchen aid mixer! The dough is pretty stiff and bulky. Next year I will remember to cut this recipe in half.

    I also sometimes substitute with half splenda and also use no sugar added jam and still get rave reviews!

  • 5foxyrun 11 Feb, 2011

    I made these cookies a few years ago. They came out exactly as the photos. I made my own sanding sugar. Just put regular sugar in the food processor and it comes out very fine sand sugar.

  • woolylogic 10 Feb, 2011

    Definitely don't jam them until after baking. These were fun!

  • yecats35 5 Feb, 2011

    I made these last year and they were a big Hit!

  • SaraSoko 12 Feb, 2010

    Does anyone know if you are supposed to make the jam sandwiches BEFORE or AFTER baking? It lists the directions after the baking instructions, but it seems more logical (to me) to do it before.

  • Sylt79 12 Feb, 2010

    My local bakery is nice enough to share their sanding sugars with me. Why not ask your bakery for some?

  • Buttercup87 9 Feb, 2010

    You can find it in Michaels and if you don't have michaels just check on line wheres the nearest to you...or

  • jahspecialized 8 Feb, 2010

    Does anyone know where I can purchase sanding sugar

  • skina 7 Mar, 2009

    these were reallly really good cookies! i accidentally forgot the eggs so i added them at the very end and they still tasted great. i put cream cheese icing on them and they tasted like yummy christmas cookies. like it says, this dough makes a lot of cookies, i made over 100 with it.

  • joanne evans2 20 Feb, 2009

    These are excellent cookies! I made them with seedless Raspberry Jam. I ONLY use butter in my baking as 'butter makes it better'. If I see a recipe that uses Margarine I will not bake it. You can taste the difference butter makes in your baking. I have noticed quite a few C.C. recipes askiing for shortening..

  • patcash 14 Feb, 2009

    Pearlann, I agree with you 100% on the margarine. I made the mistake one Christmas of of buying butter because everyone said how cookies were so much better made with butter. Well, I made one batch of chocolate chip and my husband asked that I stop with the butter and go back with the margarine. I have never used butter since and not to sound immodest, I am known for my baking..

  • lauralee57 14 Feb, 2009

    What is petal dust and sanding sugar and where can you buy it?

  • Pearlann 14 Feb, 2009

    I beg to differ with mountainsara! Some of the best choc.chip cookies are made with fleishman's margarine. When using butter,the results are a flat chewy cookie,and that is not what I call a Good Choc.Chip cookie."Maybe candy" !!!!


  • luvkadcl 14 Feb, 2009

    I disagree about not substituting with soy milk. You can even add a tsp. of vinegar to create a buttermilk flavor. The cookie won't come out exactly the same, but it will work with the soy milk. Same as with using the "fake" butter. I use Earth Balance all the time with great success. Why limit people to making this recipe just because they need to change ingredients.

  • mountainsara 11 Feb, 2009

    I would make the recipe 'as is' and not substitute fake butter or soy. Soy never comes out right in a have to adjust the quantity and I have never had success with it. If it calls for buttermilk there's a reason for it and soy won't be a good substitute. Also I personally NEVER cook with margarine for a variety of reasons but the main one being it's not designed for baking and doesn't tolerate high heat very well.

  • rebeccaramona 28 Jan, 2009

    These cookies are very tasty - soft, chewy and buttery! A big hit at our house for all holidays. This is the only recipe I use now for decorative sugar cookies.

  • navs 25 Jan, 2009

    Oh, and can I also substitute the butter with Mazola margarine?

  • navs 25 Jan, 2009

    Can I substitute the buttermilk with soy milk for a non-dairy cookie?

  • CupofTea 13 Feb, 2008


    I noticed that these cookies only have two sticks of butter and lots of flour. Do they have a buttery shortbread taste or are they more like a hard sugar cookie?

  • AAMSARAH 8 Feb, 2008

    These cookies are definitely worth the effort - i get raves every year. People begin asking for them in January!

  • paxtons 7 Feb, 2008

    Petal dust is used in cake decorating, it's a fine powder available in many colors. Happy baking :-)

  • cpkrauze 7 Feb, 2008

    Could someone explain what petal dust is. I have not heard of that before. Thanks.

  • StetlerArts 7 Feb, 2008

    I have tried these in the past and LOVE them.

  • designDreamz 31 Jan, 2008

    I made these last year - they looked awesome and were a big hit.
    They take time and patience though - as do all pretty things!

  • CurlyKel 24 Jan, 2008

    I'm planning to make these for Valentines' Day this year and I can't wait! Such a simple yet elegant cookie to give.

  • CurlyKel 24 Jan, 2008

    I'm planning to make these for Valentines' Day this year and I can't wait! Such a simple yet elegant cookie to give.

  • tjohnson431 14 Nov, 2007

    these cookies are terrific! I made them for my son to take as Valentines for his class and they were the hit of the holiday! Very easy to make and a fun treat!

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