People possess very mixed opinions about Valentine’s Day. Generally, they tend to support on of the following opinions:
- “Oh my god, I love Valentine’s Day! My boyfriend/girlfriend and I are so IN LOVE. I want everyone to know! Let’s eat chocolate and have an expensive dinner!” These people live for V-Day. Cupid got them bad. They can commonly be spotted adorning festive red and pink attire and jamming out to love songs.
- “I hate Valentine’s Day. Valentine’s Day sucks. All you love birds make me sick. I’m going to go listen to depressing music and think about how much Valentine’s Day sucks.” The passionate hatred of Valentine’s Day associated with these people is usually attributed to a recently broken heart or a non-existent love life. I think everyone dips their feet into these waters at some point or another.
- “Valentine’s Day is just a card store conspiracy. They just want to make us go buy cards and chocolate. It’s purely for the economy. You should show your love every day, not just because the calendar tells you to.” These people make a few good points, and they may be right, but it’s often times a bitter heart fueling these words rather than unbiased logic. Unless, of course, if you’re a man. Many men fall under this category. Not because they’re bitter, but because a holiday full of lovey-dovey pink and purpleness seems completely absurd in their opinion.
Which one are you? I ten to hover somewhere between 1 and 2. It’s hard not to feel a little bit of resentment towards a day that highlights one’s single status, but at the same time, I think it’s great to have a day that honors love. True, you should express your love every day, not just because of a holiday, but couldn’t the same be said for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day? I think having a special day allotted to such relationships is pure fun. Even if you lack a “lover” to spend Valentine’s Day with, surely you have someone you love to celebrate. Whether it be a friend, a sibling, your parents, or even your dog, show that special someone you care about them.
It just so happens that I have the perfect way to do so. Nothing says “I love you” quite like these Soft Sweetheart Sugar Cookies. Their heart shape is a universal sign of affection, plus pretty pink frosting and colorful sprinkles add to the overall festiveness. If you could bake love into cookie form, these would be it. Not only are their romantic aesthetics appropriate for Valentine’s Day, but baking them from scratch will show your loved one(s) you care more than any store-bought gift could.
Now, if the overall prettiness of these soft sugar cookies isn’t enticing enough, let me tell you the real reason you should make these: they will make people fall in love with you.
They’re that good. You take a bite and you teeth sink through the impossibly smooth and fluffy frosting, straight into the soft, buttery cookie beneath. These sugar cookies are so perfectly soft that they will melt away in your mouth. They have a delicious sweet and buttery flavor kissed with a hint of vanilla. And that buttercream frosting is the crowning glory. I’ve raved about it before, and I’ll rave about it again. It’s my favorite frosting, so light, fluffy, and creamy with the perfect balance of flavors.
These are truly the perfect sugar cookie with the perfect frosting. The second your sweetie tastes one, he or she will melt off into sweet heaven. Even my mother, better known as the Anti-Sweet, has found love in these cookies, proclaiming them as her “favorite.” If you long for something sweet and heavenly to share with your loved ones (or to indulge yourself with), then you simply must bake up a batch of these softies. They are sweet, soft, and filled with love.
A Few Tips Before You Get Cooking:
- These cookies aren’t just great for Valentine’s Day; you can adapt them for any holiday. Just use the appropriately shaped cookie cutters and coordinating decor. In fact, these Soft Sugar Cookies are a part of my Christmas cookie collection.
- Not feeling the frosting? These cookies are just as good without it.I just enjoy that extra touch of sweetness!
- Use whatever sized cookie cutters you like. I love big cookies, but you can make petite ones too.
- The key to making these cookies soft is not over-baking. I know it’s instinct to bake cookies until they start to get golden around the edges, but with these cookies, you pull them long before that or they’ll be crispy. Take them out when they begin to set up.
- Keeping the cookies thick when you roll them out also yields softer cookies.
- Add a touch of almond extract for some extra flavor.
- This recipe can easily be cut in half.
- The amazing buttercream recipe included below is also perfect for icing cakes.
- I can’t stress enough how much I support parchment paper. Your cookies come off clean every time and you avoid making a mess of your pan. Don’t skip it.
Soft Sweetheart Sugar Cookies with Vanilla Buttercream
Yield: About 4 dozen
Recipe from Foodbeast
For the cookies:
- 4 ½ cups all purpose flour
- 4 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 sticks butter, room temperature
- 1 3/4 cups sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 5 teaspoons vanilla extract
For the Vanilla Buttercream:
Adapted from Food Network
- 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 1 cup butter (2 sticks), room temperature
- 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 to 2 tablespoons whipping cream
- optional: red food dye and festive sprinkles
1. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt.
2. In an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition. Beat in vanilla until blended. Gradually add flour mixture and beat on low just until incorporated. Cover and chill at least 1 hour.
3. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
4. Flour dough, rolling pin, and the surface you’re working on. Roll out dough to desired thickness (about 1/2 inch). Use cookie cutters or a round biscuit cutter to cut out cookies. Place on baking sheet, no more than 8 cookies to a sheet.
5. Bake cookies 5 – 10 minutes until set, they should not be browned at all. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.
6. Make the frosting: In a standing mixer fitted with a whisk, mix together sugar and butter. Mix on low speed until well blended and then increase speed to medium and beat for another 3 minutes. Add vanilla, almond extract, and cream and continue to beat on medium speed for 1 minute more, adding more cream or powdered sugar if necessary to reach desired consistency. (you want the frosting on the stiffer side so it will set up stiff on the cookies). Add a couple drops of red food dye and beat in to make it pink.
7. Frost and decorate cookies as desired. Make sure you save a cookie for yourself before giving away to your loved ones!
* To save for later, scoop into 1-ounce balls, flatten slightly, then freeze to bake at a later date. Add a couple extra minutes to the baking time if baking from frozen.
Want some more sweets for your sweet heart? Check out Smart Cookie’s Valentine’s Day Treat Collection.