Red Velvet Sugar Cookie Hearts with Cream Cheese Frosting Wendy Goodfriend
Red Velvet Sugar Cookie Hearts with Cream Cheese Frosting (Wendy Goodfriend)

Happy Valentine’s Day: Red Velvet Sugar Cookie Hearts with Cream Cheese Frosting

Happy Valentine’s Day: Red Velvet Sugar Cookie Hearts with Cream Cheese Frosting

I always seem to forget about Valentine’s Day until it’s only moments away, and then I realize I’ve done nothing about it. But I don’t like the sappy pink-and-red cards, boxes of not-very-good and overly sweet chocolates, and I can’t say I’m a fan of roses (peonies or poppies or dahlias, yes). I never attempt to get a reservation to eat out...too many sugar-coated menus, and besides, getting a babysitter is next to impossible.

It’s not that I’m not a romantic, but these days I prefer something more subtle. Dinner at home, maybe that my hubs made for me (!), a bottle of lovely sparkling wine, and a little something sweet. I’m happy to spend the day with my family, doing something fun like wandering along the coast, hanging out in the garden, or even just baking some sweet, heart-shaped cookies with my daughter.

We had a great time making these red velvet riffs. You can make them as big or small as you like, depending on the size of your heart-shaped cookie cutter. We slathered ours with ethereal cream cheese frosting and topped them off with red sparkle sugar, but you can leave the frosting off and simply dredge them in sparkle sugar before baking (I’d suggest white or red). Or get fancy and sandwich two together with cream cheese frosting in the middle (be sure to sandwich the bottoms together).

Make sure you chill the dough, to give it a chance to rest and to make it easier to roll out. The easiest way to roll it out is on a floured surface; just be sure to keep dusting it with flour so it doesn’t stick.

Red Velvet Sugar Cookie Hearts with Cream Cheese Frosting
Red Velvet Sugar Cookie Hearts with Cream Cheese Frosting (Wendy Goodfriend)

Recipe: Red Velvet Sugar Cookie Hearts with Cream Cheese Frosting

Makes about 2 dozen cookies

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Ingredients:

Cookies

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 8 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp white vinegar
  • 1 to 2 tsp red food coloring, or to desired color (if using gel, use less)

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1/2 lb cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • Red sparkle sugar or other red or white sugar or sprinkles

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Instructions

    1. :
    2. In a bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat the butter, sugar, and salt until pale and fluffy. Beat in the egg, then the vanilla, vinegar, and food coloring. On low speed, slowly beat in the flour mixture, mixing just until combined. Press the dough into a disk, wrap tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until well chilled, about 2 hours. (The dough will be soft)
In a bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder.
In a bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder. (Wendy Goodfriend)
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat the butter, sugar, and salt until pale and fluffy. Beat in the egg, then the vanilla, vinegar, and food coloring.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat the butter, sugar, and salt until pale and fluffy. Beat in the egg, then the vanilla, vinegar, and food coloring. (Wendy Goodfriend)
The dough after it has been chilled and now is ready to be rolled out.
The dough after it has been chilled and now is ready to be rolled out. (Wendy Goodfriend)
    1. Preheat the oven to 375F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
    2. On a well-floured work surface, roll out the dough to 1/8 inch thick. Using a 3-inch heart-shaped cookie cutter, cut out as many hearts as you can. Press together the scraps, re-roll, and re-cut the cookies until you have used all of the dough. The dough is very soft, so dust it with flour as you roll and cut so it doesn’t stick.
The dough is very soft, so dust it with flour as you roll and cut so it doesn’t stick.
The dough is very soft, so dust it with flour as you roll and cut so it doesn’t stick. (Wendy Goodfriend)
Using a 3-inch heart-shaped cookie cutter, cut out as many hearts as you can.
Using a 3-inch heart-shaped cookie cutter, cut out as many hearts as you can. (Wendy Goodfriend)
    1. Bake the cookies until they are dry looking and set, about 10 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheet for about 2 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Bake the cookies until they are dry looking and set, about 10 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheet for about 2 minutes.
Bake the cookies until they are dry looking and set, about 10 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheet for about 2 minutes. (Wendy Goodfriend)
    1. In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Gradually beat in the sugar and continue to mix until thoroughly combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Use right away, or if the consistency is too soft, refrigerate the frosting until it is spreadable, about 15 minutes. The frosting will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days before using.
Prepare the frosting to be used right away.
Prepare the frosting to be used right away. (Wendy Goodfriend)
    1. Frost with a thin layer of cream cheese frosting, and decorate with the sugar or sprinkles.
Frost with a thin layer of cream cheese frosting.
Frost with a thin layer of cream cheese frosting. (Wendy Goodfriend)
Decorate with the sugar or sprinkles.
Decorate with the sugar or sprinkles. (Wendy Goodfriend)

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