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 (360g) 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*
- Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together until combined. Set aside.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Pour sanding sugar in a bowl or, if using multiple colors, a few separate bowls.
- 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.
- 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.
- Cookies will stay fresh covered at room temperature for 1 week.
- 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. Click here for my tips and tricks on freezing cookie dough.
- Special Tools: KitchenAid Stand Mixer, Baking Sheet, Silpat Baking Mat, Cooling Rack, Valentine’s Day Sanding Sugars, Valentine’s Day Sprinkle Mix
- Almond extract adds a wonderful flavor to the cookies, but you can leave it out if desired. No need to replace with anything.
- I find sanding sugar sprinkles at my regular grocery store. You can usually find them in the baking aisle. I like Wilton brand.
- Chocolate hearts are a seasonal item around Valentine’s Day. I like Hershey’s or Dove brands.
- Be sure to check out my top 5 cookie baking tips AND these are my 10 must-have cookie baking tools.