These Valentine’s Day sugar cookies are so much fun to make. I love that everyone can make these cookies, even if you have never made royal icing before!
How to Make Valentine’s Day Sugar Cookies the Easy Way
I probably should have titled this post “How to Make Pretty and Cute Valentine’s Day Cookies Without Any Experience”.
My goal today is to help you learn how to make pretty sugar cookies without being a cookie decorating expert. It’s called “fake it and make it … look good”.
My cookies are far from perfect. And yet these cookies are cute, taste delicious and really fun to make. The key is to enjoy the process and not take it too seriously.
Just so you know, that’s pretty much the way I do things around here. The most important thing is to have fun. Everything else just falls into place and looks pretty good when you are having fun.
Can I just say that I love these glass cookie jars? They are called apothecary jars and I found some here and they cost only $11 each. I can promise you will be seeing a lot of these in my photos. I love them!
So what is the secret to making easy royal icing cookies? You need the right tools, a free afternoon and the desire to have fun.
What You Need to Make These Cookies
- heart shaped cookie cutters
- rolling pins with thickness rings (here or here)
- cake decorating bags, coupler, tips
- royal icing mix (or make your own with my recipe)
- gel royal icing colors
I made the cookies to enjoy on Valentine’s day and strongly recommend you do the same. I love this recipe and it is the only one I ever use.
I love this rolling pin as the ledge allows you to achieve the same thickness for every cookie. When you roll out the dough it’s even everywhere. And that helps to ensure even cooking too.
I used four sizes of heart shaped cookie cutters.
If you are enjoying my blog, you can sign up to receive my blog updates here. .
I baked the cookies just until they were cooked, but not brown.
After baking, I froze the sugar cookies until it was time to decorate them.
How to Mix the Icing for Valentine’s Day Sugar Cookies
You can make your own Royal Icing or use one of the Wilton pre-made Royal Icing mixes. Just follow the directions for either one.
Ideally, you want two different types of icing consistency to decorate your cookies. The first is called Flood Icing. This is what I call the base coat.
There is a trick you can use to get the right consistency to be able to use the flood icing for the outline and to fill in the outline with icing. It’s called the 10-second rule. Once your icing is mixed, take a sharp knife and cut about an inch down into the bowl and count how many seconds it takes for the icing to come together and the “cut” to disappear. For the right “flood icing” the “slice” in the icing should disappear in about ten seconds.
The consistency of the frosting is determined by the amount of water added to the Royal Icing mixture. If the icing is too think, slowly add a bit of water, mix, and cut again.
The second icing is what I call the decorative icing. This is the icing you will pipe top to decorate the top of the Royal Icing cookies. It’s the icing I used for the dots, the outline and curly accent, and the flowers in the photo above.
Typically the decorative icing takes about one half the amount of water as the flood icing.
How to Use Flood Icing
It’s very easy to use Flood icing because it is only two steps. The first step is to pipe an outline around the outside edge of the cookie.
The second step is to apply more pressure to fill inside the outline.
Use the icing tip or a skewer to fill the area completely. Pop any air bubbles that appear. Gently shake the cookie back and forth to even out the icing.
To make polka dots, add dots of flood icing in a different color, immediately on top the flood icing (before it dries).
Within a few seconds, the dots will flatten and look great!
Don’t these Royal icing polka dot cookies look adorable?
Next, let the flood icing dry and then add the decorative icing on top.
If you look closely at the photo below, you can see that my decorating skills are definitely as a beginner. But who cares? These are very fun and I loved making them.
Royal Icing Cookies Recipe
- Sugar Cookies
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1 tablespoons milk
- 1 TBL lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Royal Icing
- 5 tbl warm water
- 3 TBL Meringue Powder (with vanilla)
- 4 cups Powdered sugar
Whisk together flour, salt, and baking powder in a medium bowl.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream
butter, and sugar; add dry ingredients, and mix until incorporated. With the mixer running, add egg, milk, lemon, and vanilla; mix until incorporated.
Transfer dough to a work surface. Shape into 2 discs, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate
for at least 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with nonstick baking mats or
parchment paper; set aside.
On a lightly floured work surface, roll out dough to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut
into desired shapes, and transfer to prepared baking sheets, leaving an inch in
between. Leftover dough can be rolled and cut once more.
Bake until lightly golden, about 10 minutes; do not allow to brown. Transfer to wire racks to cool.
To make Royal Icing, beat all ingredients together until icing forms peaks (about 8 minutes with a heavy-duty mixer, 10 - 12 minutes with a hand mixer). Add additional water until the desired thickness.
If you want the icing to outline and fill then use the 10-second rule. The test is done by dragging the tip of a knife across your frosting, about 1" deep. If the surface of the icing smooths over in roughly ten seconds, then it's ready for use.
What's so great about this thicker icing is you can use the same icing for the outline and for the filling in.
Frequently Asked Questions
Let the cookies dry completely and store in an airtight container. Use waxed paper in between each layer. You can store them at room temperature for up to one week.
Yes you can. Just make sure you are using an airtight container. On occasion, I have experienced icing that has become cloudy after freezing.
Royal icing keeps well for several days in the squeeze bottles. You should let it warm to room temperature before using.
Add clear vanilla or use meringue powder flavored with vanilla. You can also use lemon juice.
Tomorrow I am going to be sharing an adorable way to package your cookies. I cannot wait.
More Valentine’s Day Cookie Ideas
I teamed up with some of my blogger friends and look at these adorable cookies! Just tap on the link to find the recipes.
These sweet scalloped cookies are decorated with delicate hearts for the perfect Valentine’s Day treat.
Make these delicious heart shaped shortbread cookies with raspberry glaze for your valentine!
Valentine Sugar Cookies Decorating is easy when you have perfect royal icing. This cute cookie design uses food markers to create the words. These fun markers make it personal and simple.
Links to the Items Shown in This Post
Pin the image below to your recipe boards on Pinterest (just click the Pin button in the top left corner). You can also follow along with me on Pinterest!