This year, instead of reaching for the can of slice and bake cookies, let’s make our own slice and bake Valentine cookies. These sugar cookies are much easier than they appear.
Homemade slice and bake cookies are much tastier as well. Soft, buttery, and sugary, they will almost melt in your mouth. Plus, you can customize the cookies with your own flavors and colors.
These sugar cookies feature a cute pink heart in the middle. You can change the color to red, purple, or any other color, really.
The main concept for making these cookies is to use a mini heart cookie cutter and two different shades of cookie dough.
Let’s jump into the details and get started!
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How to Make Homemade Slice and Bake Valentine Cookies
To make these cute slice and bake heart cookies, you will need:
- one mini heart cookie cutter – aim for a cutter that is 2″ or less, mine is 1.5″ inches
- gel food dye in your desired heart shade(s) – I’m using Wilton Rose
- an amazing sugar cookie dough recipe, see below
- measuring cups & spoons, a mixing bowl, plastic wrap, rolling pin, and lined cookie sheet
To make deliciously soft cut out sugar cookies, you’ll need:
- baking powder
- an egg
- vanilla extract
- salted butter
- granulated sugar
First, mix the dry ingredients. Grab a medium sized mixing bowl and add in three cups of flour. Remember, when measuring flour, do the spoon & scrape method.
What’s the spoon & scrape method? Simply use a spoon to spoon flour into your measuring cup. Once you have a mound at the top, take a knife and scrape it over the top of the measuring cup. Obviously don’t scrape the excess into your mixing bowl.
Alternatively, use a kitchen scale and measure out 384 grams of flour.
Next, add two teaspoons of baking powder into the mixing bowl.
Make sure to use baking powder and not baking soda. The baking soda will cause the cookies to puff up and spread. Likely still delicious but not as pretty.
Stir the dry ingredients together and then set this bowl aside.
Grab your stand mixer and attach the paddle attachment.
In the stand mixer, add in one cup (or two sticks) of COLD salted butter. By cold, I mean refrigerated and not at room temperature.
You can chop the butter up into cubes before adding it into the stand if you want to speed up the process and reduce the chance of your mixer kicking the butter out onto the floor.
To the butter, cubed or not, add in one cup of granulated white sugar. You don’t need to do the scoop & scrape method for the sugar.
Now, cream the butter and sugar together on medium speed. You will know it’s done when you can’t see any butter lumps. Try not to overmix, as this just adds heat into the butter and increases the chance of spread.
Next up is adding one egg to the mixer and one tablespoon of vanilla extract. Mix until just combined into the dough.
Lastly, spoon in some of the flour and baking powder mixture and mix until it’s not a powdery mess. Continue adding in the dry ingredients until it’s all been added.
The dough will pull away from the sides when it is ready. If it is too sticky, add in a tablespoon of flour. It’s better to go with more than less flour here.
Split the dough into two halves. One half will be dyed for the heart centers and the other will remain undyed. If you want to do multiple shades of heart cookies, divide the to-be-dyed half of dough into however many colors you want to use.
*Please note, if you want smaller appearing hearts on your cookies, set aside just a quarter of the dough for the colored dough. Half of the dough produces a slice and bake cookie with the heart taking up the majority of the cookie.
Dye the dough by adding in a bit of food coloring at a time and mixing it in. You can mix the dough in the stand mixer or kneading it into the dough by hand.
Once half (or a quarter, see note above) of the total dough is dyed, roll out the colored dough with a rolling pin. I prefer to roll the dough closer to a 1/2″ thick for this dough, as the thicker the dough, the less heart cookies you have to cut and stack.
As a word of caution here, don’t roll them too thick, as the mini cookie cutter will have a hard time getting through the dough and keeping its shape.
Cut out the hearts using the mini heart cookie cutter until all the colored dough has been used.
Next, carefully stack the heart cookies on top of each other. If you used half of the dough, create two stacks so that the heart stack isn’t fighting gravity while you build.
Carefully press the stack down to help the hearts stick together. You can also lay the stack on its side and touch up any areas that may not be aligned well.
The dough is a bit stickier when it has gel food dye in it which works well here.
Once you have your stacked heart cookies “glued” together, place the stack into the freezer for 10 minutes.
While the cookies are freezing, roll out the undyed dough. This dough can be rolled thinner, closer to 1/4″, as you will be wrapping it around the hearts.
Remove the frozen heart cookies from the freezer and begin wrapping it with the undyed dough. Remember to press the dough into the crevice in the heart so there won’t be any holes in the cookie.
Once completely wrapped, roll the dough so that it resembles a log shape and the dough is smoother. Wrap the log of dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least thirty minutes or up to a few days.
When ready to bake the slice and bake heart cookies, remove the dough from the refrigerator, unwrap it, and slice it into 1/4″ to 1/2″ thick slices. I went with 1/2″ thick for a nice thick sugar cookie.
Place the cookies onto a lined cookie sheet. Don’t overcrowd the cookie sheet, you can do multiple batches if necessary or use multiple cookie trays.
Bake for 7-10 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, or until the middle of the cookie doesn’t look wet. Sometimes it forms a bit of a bump on the top of the cookie which also means they are done.
Allow the cookies to cool on the sheet for at least 5 minutes if doing multiple rounds before moving them with a spatula to a piece of parchment paper.
Homemade Slice and Bake Valentine Cookies
- Stand Mixer with Paddle Attachment you can mix by hand if needed
- Mini heart cookie cutter
- Measuring Cups & Spoons
- Rolling Pin
- Medium Sized Mixing Bowl
- Plastic Wrap
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
- 1 cup cold, salted butter cubed
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- pink gel food dye
Preparing the Dough
- In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine the flour and baking powder. Set this aside.
- In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together.
- Add the egg and vanilla extract into the stand mixer bowl and mix until combined.
- Slowly mix in the dry ingredients from the medium sized mixing bowl and mix until the dough forms a ball.
- Remove ½ to ¾ of the dough from the mixing bowl and set aside. Dye the remaining dough in the mixing bowl pink.
- On a piece of parchment paper, roll the pink dough out to about ½" thick. Use the mini heart cookie cutter to cut out heart shapes until all of the dough is used.
- Stack the hearts on top of each other, making two stacks if necessary. Once stacked push the hearts together to help them stick to one another. Smooth any rough edges and then freeze the stack(s) of hearts on a cookie sheet for 10 minutes.
- On a piece of parchment paper, roll the undyed dough out as thin as possible.
- After 10 minutes, remove the hearts from the freezer and wrap the stack with the undyed dough, being careful to fill the crevice. Continuing wrapping the dough until a log forms.
- Wrap the log of dough with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or up to a few days.
Baking the Slice and Bake Valentine Cookies
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a cookie tray with parchment paper or a silicone lining.
- Unwrap the dough and slice the dough into ¼" to ½" thick cookies, depending on the amount of cookies you want and/or how thick you want the cookies.
- Place the cookies on the lined cookie tray, being careful not to overcrowd the tray. Bake for 7-10 minutes, or until the cookies no longer look wet.
- Allow the cookies to cool on the baking tray for 5 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack.
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