New This Month

Conversation Heart Cookies


Once iced, these cookies need to dry completely overnight before being stamped with a message for your sweetheart.

  • Yield: Makes 70 cookies

Source: Martha Stewart Living, February 2009


  • 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour, plus more for surface
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Royal Icing for Gingerbread House
  • Gel-paste food coloring (such as leaf green, lemon yellow, peach, red, rose, and violet)


  1. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Cream butter and sugar with a mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy. With mixer running, add egg and vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture gradually, beating until just incorporated. Divide dough in half; flatten each half into a disk, and wrap each in plastic. Refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour (or overnight).

  2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees with racks in top third and lower third. Let 1 disk of dough stand at room temperature just until soft enough to roll, about 10 minutes. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out dough to just under 1/4-inch thickness, adding more flour as needed to keep dough from sticking. Cut out cookies with a 2-inch heart cutter, and place them 2 inches apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Roll out scraps once, and repeat. Repeat with remaining disk of dough. Freeze cookies until very firm, about 15 minutes.

  3. Bake cookies, rotating sheets halfway through and switching from top to bottom, until edges turn golden brown, 14 to 16 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks. Cookies will keep, covered, for up to 1 week.

  4. Divide royal icing into 1/2-cup portions in small bowls. Tint each with a different gel-paste food coloring, starting with just a drop, mixing well, and adding more, drop by drop, to reach desired shade. Transfer 1 bowl of icing to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/8-inch round plain tip. Pipe the outline around edge of each cookie, then fill in with frosting. Poke air bubbles with a toothpick. Transfer decorated cookies to a parchment-lined baking sheet, and let stand uncovered overnight until dry.

  5. Arrange stamp letters to create desired phrases. (We stamped LUV U, UR A QT, BFF, LYLAS, B MINE, and 2GTBT.) Fold a paper towel into quarters. Squeeze a small amount of red gel-paste food coloring onto a paper towel, and press stamp in coloring. (You may need to blot stamp a few times on a clean paper towel if coloring is too thick.) Lightly press stamp on top of icing in center of each cookie. Let stand until dry, about 30 minutes. Stamped cookies will keep, covered, for up to 3 days.

Cook's Notes

We used a Cosco 2000 Plus Custom Stamp Kit (No. 614107), $24.99, from Staples.

Reviews Add a comment

  • cjbollinger
    21 JAN, 2015
    The bags for these cookies are very cute. Any ideas on where to get them?
  • Amaama
    10 FEB, 2013
    We spent the afternoon making these wonderful cookies. We do plan to let them dry overnight and then stamp our message of love on them. I bought very expensive, but very good cookies at Williams-Sonoma and duplicated the size and idea. They are so cute. We did cut out a few larger cookies to decorate and put in the box with the smaller ones. Thanks for the recipe and idea Martha.
  • loisbee
    10 FEB, 2012
    I have a question - how important is the rolling onto a disc thing? It can't just freeze for a bit then thaw out? or, does the thawing/softening have to happen at an equal rate for all the dough?
  • MS10702140
    6 FEB, 2012
    TMT =Too much trouble. I make my cookies and apply lettering with a tip and a bag .
  • emm3773gmailc
    13 FEB, 2011
    Oops sorry, should have mentioned I doubled the recipe. The recipe listed here should make about 33 cookies.
  • emm3773gmailc
    13 FEB, 2011
    Tips: I used a cosmetic sponge as my 'ink pad' -- works much better than paper towels. Also, you really do have to leave the iced cookies overnight before you stamp them. Plus if you gently roll the stamp onto the iced cookie rather than just "stamping" it, seems to work better. Last tip, use a fine paintbrush to correct any mistakes. These were fun! P.S. made 66 cookies.
  • EGF
    7 FEB, 2011
    I have tried two years in a row to make these cookies to no avail. First year, I used the plastic and rubber Martha Stewart stamp kit. This year I took the hint, bought the exact stamp. Still, didn't work. I blotted as directed several times. Hope someone has a trick to make the letters read?
  • TaitGirl
    28 JAN, 2011
    I found some $1 alpha stamps at Michaels. They're mounted on 1/4" square rods, about 1-1/4" long. I was able to peel the rubber stamp off of the rod and stick it on a clear-mount block. You have to be careful to leave at least part of the foam backing on the stamp. I was able to stick it back on the rod for storage. Just be sure to mark it for food prep only. Works great and only $1.
  • junibug
    2 FEB, 2010
    how many cookies does this make?
  • vabeach
    16 FEB, 2009
    These cookies were a huge hit. I found that my stamp must be very, very well blotted or the food coloring on the cookie takes forever to dry. Could be a great wedding shower favor! Loved these cookies.