Valentine’s Day Sugar Cookies

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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

Happy February!

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.

Valentine's Day Sugar Cookies

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.

These Cookies Look Fancy, But You Can Make These Cookies Too!

Valentine's Day Sugar Cookies

I made the heart shaped cookies to enjoy on Valentine’s day and strongly recommend you do the same. I love this recipe. It is the only sugar cookie recipe that I use.

Yield: 16 cookies

The Best Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing

Valentine's Day Sugar Cookies

These sugar cookies are light and flaky and have a slight taste of lemon. I love how they taste!

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Additional Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

    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.


All the tools you need to make these heart shaped cookies!

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.

How to Make Sugar Cookies

I used four sizes of heart shaped cookie cutters.

How to Make Sugar Cookies

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How to Make Sugar Cookies

I baked the cookies just until they were cooked, but not brown.  

How to Make Sugar Cookies

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 (see recipe above) 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.

How to Make Sugar Cookies

Everything you need to make the icing and decorate the cookies!

Flood Icing

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.

Decorative Icing

The second icing is what I call 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 Make Sugar Cookies

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.

How to Make Sugar Cookies

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?

How to Make Sugar Cookies

Next, let the flood icing dry, and then add the decorative icing on top.

How to Make Sugar Cookies

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.

Valentine's Day Sugar Cookies

Everything You Need To Display Your Pretty Cookies

Valentine's Day Sugar Cookies

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Frequently Asked Questions

How long do sugar cookies with royal icing last?

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.

Can I freeze sugar cookies with royal icing?

Yes, you can. Just make sure you are using an airtight container. On occasion, I have experienced icing that has become cloudy after freezing.

How do you store royal icing?

Royal icing keeps well for several days in the squeeze bottles. You should let it warm to room temperature before using it.

How can I make royal icing taste better?

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.

Valentine's Day Sugar Cookies

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.

Finding Lovely

Lovely Frosted Sugar Cookies

These sweet scalloped cookies are decorated with delicate hearts for the perfect Valentine’s Day treat.

Modern Glam

Shortbread Cutout Cookies With Raspberry Glaze

Make these delicious heart-shaped shortbread cookies with raspberry glaze for your valentine!

Happy Happy Nester

Valentine Sugar Cookies Decorating Ideas

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.

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Valentine's Day Sugar Cookie Recipe

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24 Comments

  1. Well yum! Pretty and the ribbons on the jar are cute too. A pink and fun valentines season at your house. Which jars are shown here? I like those two sizes but can’t tell which ones on amazon…Thanks!

    1. Hi, all of the cookie decorating supplies were purchased at JoAnn. Aren’t the white sprinkles the cutest? Let me know how yours turn out!

  2. These look delicious!
    Do you know if these cookies can be made without the egg, whether it be swapped out for an egg replacer, omitted entirely, or will increasing another ingredient work?

    Thank you so much!

    1. Hi Lauren, I have been using JustEgg as an egg replacement. I’ve tried it in muffins and savory dishes but haven’t tried it yet in cookies. Have you used this product before?

  3. Leslie – I’m only seeing sugar listed on the royal icing recipe. How much sugar goes into the cookies? Trying them tonight! Thanks!

  4. Your recipes are always so delicious! I used this cookie recipe this Christmas. The cookies quickly disappeared! Thank you and Happy 2022!

  5. Fabulous! Somehow I scrolled and watched your fantastic video w Monique and the 1,2,3,4 cake with the Still Life frosting. Can you please steer me to find the video again, plus written instructions, plus the link for the gold and bronze paint? Can’t wait to make it!

  6. Your cookies look amazing! Decorating cookies is definitely not where my talents lie, but you have inspired me to give it a go. Hugs to you.

  7. My one and only attempt at Royal icing was such a disaster. I don’t know if I’m brave enough to try again.

    These are adorable.and Pinbed

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