Valentine Sugar Cookie Heart

Before I get into my Valentine’s Day treats, I wanted to share a couple things with you. If you’ve been following me since the beginning, you know that a couple years ago, I catered lunch for Nate and his little film crew while he filmed a short film he wrote, directed, and acted in. It took a long time to finish editing, but I can finally share it with you. It’s equal parts suspenseful and amusing, and I hope you enjoy it :)

Lost Keys from Nathaniel Carota on Vimeo.

(You can also see the video he made for our wedding here.)

The second thing I want to share with you is another doggy painting I completed. I’m really trying to build up a pet portrait side business (see the “Pet Portrait” tab on my page menu). I really want to expand to animals other than dogs, but so far that’s all I’ve done. This one was done in memory of Charlie, who passed away recently from cancer :(

Custom Pet Portrait Yellow Lab

Custom Pet Portrait Yellow Lab

Now onto the recipe…

I know a lot of people aren’t fans of Valentine’s Day. While it’s true that it’s not as exciting of a holiday if you’re unattached, it’s a perfect excuse to eat chocolate no matter what your relationship status :)

There are a couple cookie recipes I’ve been meaning to share. I’ll share one today and one in a few days. The first is a semi-homemade cookie that I found years ago and often use it for beautiful Christmas Cookies. It’s a cut-out sugar cookie, but because it’s an upgrade to a powdered mix, you can spend more time decorating and less time measuring out ingredients! Also, the texture is such that you don’t even need to refrigerate before rolling out.

Valentine Sugar Cookie Heart

I usually use it with regular royal icing and decorate pretty snowflakes and santas for Christmas. This time, however, I used a super easy marbling technique I found on this site. It’s so easy and sooo impressive looking!

Since I won’t get to be with Nate this Valentine’s Day, I sent him these in a little care package with some toffee blondies. The blondies were a recipe I made for the first time and they were SO good, but I didn’t photograph them, so I’ll have to make them again sometime soon for you.

Make these cookies for someone you love today!

Semi-Homemade Roll Out Sugar Cookies

From Sandra Lee

Print this recipe

makes 4 dozen small cookies or 2 dozen larger

17.5-ounce package dry sugar cookie mix
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or other flavoring
1 cup all-purpose flour

royal icing (recipe below)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine the cookie mix with the cream cheese until crumbly. Mix in the eggs and flavoring until well combined. Add enough flour to make a firm dough that can be rolled out. Refrigerate briefly if too sticky.

Roll dough out on lightly floured board to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut out hearts or other desired shapes.

Place on ungreased baking sheet and bake for about 8-10 minutes.

Make royal icing. When cookies are cool, ice cookies by following marble technique found here and here.

Royal Icing

from Annie’s Eats

this might yield slightly more than you need, but it’s better to have too much so you don’t have to match the color when you make more.

4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2 tbsp. meringue powder
5 tbsp. water

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Whisk until the sheen has disappeared and the icing has a matte appearance (or use a stand mixer.

Transfer the contents of the mixing bowl to an air-tight container. This will be the stiffest consistency of the icing, and at this point it is still too stiff to use for decorating.  Add water a very small amount at a time and stir by hand until fully incorporated.  Continue until the icing has reached a consistency appropriate for piping.  (Remember, if you are having any difficulty piping, it is still too thick.  Add a little more liquid and try again.)

Using a pastry bag, pipe around the edges of each cookie.  Let stand so the icing will set.  Make sure to keep the leftover icing covered at all times when not in use so that it does not begin to harden.

Once all the cookies have been edged, transfer some of the remaining icing to a separate air-tight container.  Thin out by incorporating a small amount of water at a time, until the icing drips off the spoon easily when lifted and then smooths in with that still in the bowl.  If you go too far and the icing is too thin, add more sifted powdered sugar to thicken it again.  Once the icing has reached the desired consistency, transfer it to a squeeze bottle (or a plastic bag with a hole in one corner), and flood the area surrounded by the piping on each cookie.  If it does not completely spread to the edges, use a toothpick to help it along.  Pipe on dots in a contrasting color and use a toothpick to drag into hearts. Allow to set.


  1. These cookies look really sweet. Perfect for Valentines.

  2. Oh my Goodness Amy… there is so much beautiful and heartbreaking content in this post… I will have to break it up into segments ;-).

    First, your latest dog painting… my heart absolutely soars looking at your depiction of Charlie’s spirit… Amy your talent knows no bounds. Seriously girl, this is what you were meant to do. I cannot even think of the day when I will approach you to depict our Stella (brokenhearted and tears flowing)… for now, I’ll stay focused on full hearts and these gorgeous treats! Your icing could not be more luminous and what really captures my attention is the contrasting white hearts you have going on inside (I could never do that… even that amount of fine artistry is beyond me :) – did I ever tell you that I had to drop out of visual art as my elective in University? Yup, compared to my law classes I simply couldn’t handle the stress… LOL… it’s a true story! That’s how art gifted I am *not*). I will have to come back to view Nate’s film… looking forward to it! My heart is with Charlie right now… so beautiful.

    • Kelly, you always leave the most thoughtful, sweet and funny comments…I always look forward to reading them! As for Stella, I definitely do paintings to honor current pets rather than in memory of them. My first two pooch paintings’ subjects are still alive and well! :) This one of Charlie was a first, but I’m glad I was able to capture him as his owners remember.

      The hearts inside the other icing is SO much easier than you think! Give it a try…maybe your sons can join in on a little decorating party. That’s too funny about your arts classes. I actually had a dual degree in college between art and engineering and dropped the art part because it was too abstract for me. But that doesn’t mean you, or I, should stop creating!

  3. You are so talented! For real? I’m always impressed with the art projects you post. And Nate is seriously talented, too. You guys are amazing. I love the idea of gussying up a mix for sugar cookies because seriously, by the time I finish baking them I usually just eat them or take a break because it’s so much work that I don’t want to ice them. :)

    • Aw, thank you, Nicole! I’m glad you like my art projects because I worry that people reading about food don’t wanna see crafts…although it’s not like I have so many followers ;)

      It’s SUCH a time saver to use this semi-premade cookie.

  4. Happy Valentine’s day! That painting is FANTASTIC!

  5. Toffee blondies are right up the boyfriend’s alley … I await your recipe with bated breath… and these? I love the doctored cookie mix because, hey… rolling and icing cookies is enough work, right? I almost feel like I could cut out shapes for all the holidays and just freeze them until the holiday arrived and bravo! I made the cookies like, 3 months ago, and have even less to do! These look so good and I really have been meaning to try my hand at decorative icing…

    • Hehe, in that case I’ll make sure I get on remaking soon! Yes, i totally agree, rolling and icing is so much work! Especially royal icing…ugh if it wasn’t such a pretty result, I’d never do it.

  6. Okay, that painting is AWESOME. I seriously thought it looked like a photograph.
    And the cookies look so wonderful! Bites of V-Day joy.

    • Aw, thank you, Joanne! I was working from a photo so my goal was def to make it look as much like the photo as possible…I’m glad you think I achieved it :)

  7. I LOVE your painting!!! As the mom of a yellow lab, I must say you captured him/her perfectly!!!! And your cookies are wonderful…I’ve always wanted to make those little hearts…someday I’ll put on my big girl panties and try that technique :)

    • Thank you, Liz!! Aw, yellow labs are just the cutest, right? If you can ice cookies at all, then you can do this…I swear it’s practically the same as just doing a solid colored cookie!

  8. Pingback: Chocolate Brownie Cookies, and a Valentine’s Day Sweets Roundup |

  9. The love child of brownies and cookies sound so perfect for Valentine’s Day!

    • Hehe. Honestly, I’m not sure why they’re called chocolate brownie cookies. I mean they’re definitely super chocolatey but I wouldn’t say they have brownie texture. They are, however, amazing.

  10. these look delish! You should enter your photos from this project into Craftbaby’s Hearts Craft Challenge :-)


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