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These beautiful sparkle sweetheart cookies are dressed up in Valentine’s Day sprinkles with a chocolate heart nestled on top. This is a simple cream cheese drop-style sugar cookie that only requires 30-60 minutes of cookie dough chilling.

pink and red sparkle Valentine's day cookies

Now that the Super Bowl is over, can we focus on Valentine’s Day? Or… Galentine’s Day? Whether you celebrate with your sweetheart or your friends, the holiday of love is right around the corner and I have a perfectly festive cookie for you!

These are my Sparkle Sweetheart Cookies aka:

Dressed in sparkling sprinkles and sealed with a chocolate heart. ♥

stack of sparkle sweetheart cookies

Behind the Recipe: Sparkle Sweetheart Cookies

These are cream cheese sugar cookies. They’re extra thick and sweet with a lovely little tang. The cookie dough is made from simple sugar cookie ingredients like butter, sugar, egg, and flour. Cream cheese is a secret ingredient, transforming these soft sugar cookies into super soft and super creamy sugar cookies. For added flavor, I recommend a splash of almond extract. Almond extract pairs wonderfully with the chocolate heart on top!

The cookie dough needs to chill for 1 hour before rolling into balls. However, I successfully cut it down to only 30-45 minutes last week with success! If you’re in a rush this Valentine’s Day, these cookies are relatively quick.

There is NO rolling pin or cookie cutters required. Rather, this is a simple drop-style sugar cookie that bakes up perfectly round. Here is my cream cheese cut-out sugar cookie recipe if you’re interested. Just as soft and creamy as today’s!

2 images of cream cheese sugar cookie dough in a mixer bowl and flattening a dough ball with a measuring cup
Cookie dough on cookie sheet

Here’s a tip: Notice how I’m pressing down the cookie dough balls? That’s an important step. These cream cheese cookies won’t really spread unless you give them a little nudge. Use the bottom of a measuring cup to slightly flatten down.

Sparkle sweetheart cookies on a plate

Glam it Up

Here are two little extras to glam up your sugar cookies:

Sprinkles: Before baking, roll the cookie dough balls in sprinkles. Sprinkles give the cookies a light crunch, which is a lovely contrast to the creamy and soft centers. For a sparkling effect, I recommend “sanding sugar” or “coarse sugar sprinkles.” I found red and light pink in the seasonal section of my grocery, but I know red and a dark pink are available year round. You can also use regular jimmies or nonpareils if those are easier for you!

Chocolate Hearts: Individually wrapped chocolate hearts are everywhere this time of year. I love Dove and Hershey’s brands. Hershey’s sells all different flavors, including white chocolate. I used solid milk chocolate for the pictured Sparkle Sweetheart Cookies. 🙂

Let me know if you try these for Valentine’s Day!

sparkle sweetheart cookies on a plate

More Valentine’s Day Desserts

To round out your Valentine’s Day celebration!

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pink and red sparkle Valentine's day cookies

Sparkle Sweetheart Cookies

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 12 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes
  • Yield: 32 cookies 1x
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


These sparkle sweetheart cookies are dressed up in Valentine’s Day sprinkles and a chocolate heart on top! This is a simple cream cheese drop-style sugar cookie that only requires 30-60 minutes of cookie dough chilling.


  • 3 cups (375g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks; 240g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 2 ounces (56g) block cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract*
  • 3/4 cup (150g) sanding sugar, pink and red or assorted colors*
  • 32 chocolate hearts, unwrapped*


  1. Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together until combined. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl using a hand-held or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and cream cheese together on high speed until relatively smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the granulated sugar and beat until combined and creamy. Add the egg, vanilla extract, and almond extract and beat on high speed until combined, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed to combine.
  3. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix on low speed until combined. The dough will be thick. Cover dough tightly with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and chill for at least 30-60 minutes and up to 3-4 days. If chilling for longer than 2-3 hours, allow the dough to sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before rolling and baking because the dough will be quite hard and the cookies may not spread.
  4. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. (Always recommended for cookies.) Set aside.
  5. Pour sanding sugar in a bowl or, if using multiple colors, a few separate bowls.
  6. Roll balls of cookie dough, about 1 Tablespoon of dough per cookie, then roll each ball in the sanding sugar to coat. Place each dough ball 2 inches apart on the baking sheets. Using the back of a measuring cup or drinking glass, gently press down on each dough ball to slightly flatten. Bake the cookies for 12-13 minutes or until very lightly browned on the edges.
  7. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes. Press a chocolate heart into each cookie and quickly stick the baking sheet in the freezer or fridge so the warm cookie does not completely melt the chocolate heart. Let the chocolate set (about 15 minutes) on the cookies in the freezer/refrigerator.
  8. Cookies will stay fresh covered at room temperature for 1 week.


  1. Make Ahead Instructions: You can make the cookie dough and chill it in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Baked cookies freeze well for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature, if desired, before serving. Unbaked cookie dough balls (without sanding sugar coating) will freeze well for up to 3 months. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes, pre-heat the oven, then roll in sanding sugar. Bake as directed. Read my tips and tricks on how to freeze cookie dough.
  2. Special Tools: KitchenAid Stand Mixer, Baking Sheet, Silpat Baking Mat, Cooling Rack, Valentine’s Day Sanding Sugars, Valentine’s Day Sprinkle Mix
  3. Almond extract adds a wonderful flavor to the cookies, but you can leave it out if desired. No need to replace with anything.
  4. I find sanding sugar sprinkles at my regular grocery store. You can usually find them in the baking aisle. I like Wilton brand.
  5. Chocolate hearts are a seasonal item around Valentine’s Day. I like Hershey’s or Dove brands.
  6. Be sure to check out my top 5 cookie baking tips AND these are my 10 must-have cookie baking tools.

Keywords: sweetheart sparkle cookies, valentine’s day cookies

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Reader Questions and Reviews

    1. Hi Wendy! Just press them on as much as you can with your fingers.

  1. These cookies are very tasty and so pretty too! The chocolate became quite hard after chilling them in the freezer for 15 minutes. It is difficult to bite into the chocolate and cookie at the same time without feeling like you’re going to break a tooth. Even when the cookies are at room temperature. I cut them in half before eating them. I used Hershey’s chocolate hearts. Any suggestions?

    1. I’ve used melting chocolate wafers and shaped the centre in a heart shape first and then spread chocolate with a toothpick or just leave as a circle in the centre and carefully shape the cookie into a heart shape. Happy baking.

  2. Just made these to put in the freezer for Valentines Day. Very pretty and yummy. I used up 3 different kinds of sugar and confiscated the Dove hearts that I had bought my husband for V- day.
    Thanks Sally for the great recipes and I have tried many of them. Can’t go wrong.

  3. Hi Sally,
    This is perfect for V-day my sibling and parents will love this.
    I hope u have a great V- day with ur family.
    Making memories with ur family r the most important thing!!!!
    Have a wonderful weekend!,❤️❤️

  4. Can I freeze them if I want to deliver treats in less than a weeks time? Or is it best to bake close to date?

    1. Hi Andria! You can make the dough ahead of time, freeze, then bake close to the date – see recipe notes for details!

  5. My 3 year old and I had so much fun making these for our neighbors this Valentines week. He loved rolling the balls of dough into the sparkle sugar and especially pressing the hearts down into the warm cookies. Should have listened to sally and waited a full 5 minutes before inserting the chocolate. I’d say about a dozen of them went on too soon and melted. Great taste and texture. Thank you sally for another amazing recipe!

  6. Made these tonight with Dove hearts. I used a size 50 cookie scoop to measure out the dough and made 38 cookies. The smaller Dove hearts worked well on the slightly smaller cookies. They look very festive. Note to bakers: You don’t need to push the heart into the cookie, otherwise the cookies crack and look like peanut butter blossoms. Following Sally’s directions above, the chocolate will stick to the cookie without any applied pressure.
    My husband doesn’t like sanding sugar or cookies with chocolate, so I bake a batch naked and the base cookie is delish!

    1. Thank you! All of my cookies cracked!! I was just coming here to ask why!! Thank you so much for your comment!!

  7. Another wonderful recipe thank you! These are outstanding, the hint of almond is perfection. The crisp sugar coating to the soft cookie is yummy! I decided last minute to make these for my brother and his new fiancee for Valentine’s Day as a sweet surprise and didn’t have the chocolate hearts so I substituted Chocolate Kisses with cherry centers (I didn’t bake them just pressed them into the cookies after they came out of the oven) and on others I made a hole and filled with raspberry jam before baking. Both are delicious.
    Thank you again!

  8. Hi, just wondering what the secret to having the sanding sprinkles adhere to the uncooked cookie dough is.

    1. Hi Ginny, we roll the balls in the sanding sugar (rather than sprinkling it on) and that usually does the trick. You might have a bit of trouble keeping them on if the dough is too cold, so try letting the dough warm up a bit (but not too warm!) if that’s the case. Hope this helps!

  9. I made these twice in the last week. My plan was to make them for our neighbor for clearing the snow off the sidewalks and driveway but I thought I would test them out first. Who was I kidding? They came from you, I knew they would be fabulous, I just wanted to eat some! I did make more to take next door and they made for a delightfully pretty and colorful gift. Thank you for another winner recipe! They will become my new Valentine staple!

    1. What a thoughtful gesture! We’re glad these were a hit for you, Kellie.

  10. Hey Sally, I need your help! Which recipe should I use as a base to make blossom cookies with those candy cane Hershey kisses? I thought of doing the red velvet ones but I’m not good at red velvet, so then I thought maybe this one would work? What do you think? Obviously can’t use a PB base!

  11. Hi Sally! I was wondering – do you think this recipe would bake up well in a bar form? Thank you!

  12. When I recently saw the Dove milk chocolate hearts in the store, I remembered that I wanted to make these, and am so happy I did. Yum!

  13. Limited freezer space
    Would freezing the chocolate hearts before putting them on the cookies keep them from melting too much?

    1. Hi Sara, I actually haven’t tried that but it wouldn’t hurt! Let me know how it goes.

  14. Made these cookies and they are very dry need to put a icing on them. They have very nice flavor

    1. Hi Khani! We find the dough to be too sticky to roll before chilling, but if you use a cookie scoop or prefer to roll before chilling, you certainly can.

  15. These cookies came together quickly and are super delicious! I topped them with Hershey kisses and packaged them up for a Valentine bake sale. Will definitely make again!

  16. I bake for farmer’s markets. My core products are pies, scones, and jam (use your base scone recipe for most of my scones and customers love them). During the holidays, I make a selection of cookies. Made these for the upcoming markets this weekend before Valentine’s Day. They came out just like your photos and are delicious. I’m sure they will be a hit with my customers.

  17. Love these ! Next time I won’t apply any pressure when I add the chocolates to prevent a few cracks, but overall the recipe delivers as promised. A tender tasty cookie, not at all dry, with a nice dollop of chocolate on top. I used a 1 tbsp #70 Oxo scoop, and was worried they’d be small, but they spread just enough in the oven to allow room for the Dove chocolate heart. I somehow got 43 cookies from this recipe, measuring the dry ingredients by weight. The sanding sugar recommended in the recipe also stuck on very well. I’ll be making these again next Valentine’s Day, or may adjust sugar colors and use regular square Dove chocolates for another holiday.

  18. WOW! These were beautiful and delicious. I used Dove hearts on about half and Reese’s peanut butter heart on half. The peanut butter hearts were fantastic because the were a little thinner/softer and a little more compatible with the delicious soft cookie texture. I did not use as much sanding sugar as called for and was able to roll/spoon the sanding sugar on cookies.

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