frosted sugar cookie hearts + a valentine’s day giveaway

February 5, 2013

frosted heart cookies, butter me up, Brooklyn!

Valentine's Day Giveaway on butter me up, Brooklyn!

Update 2/9/2013: Congratulations Caitlin! You are the randomly selected winner! Thanks y’all for entering!

Oh hi there, dearest reader! It is my absolute pleasure to introduce you to my favorite cookie. I am so glad that you two can finally meet! You may have gotten a glimpse of each other over the holidays, but I am happy that we can take a few minutes to really sit down and have a chat.

The story begins many moons ago, when I was younger and could not participate in any of the holiday activities that are “shaken up and poured over ice” which meant that all I could really look forward to were my Aunt Carole’s Sugar Cookies.

These cookies are included in a small group of food memories that remain consistent year after year. I don’t know why fake grape flavor does not translate as an appealing taste when one enters into adulthood but rarely does your favorite childhood candy grow up with you. The good news of this phenomenon is that the pendulum swings in the other direction as well. Example: I used to hate beer.

frosted heart cookies, butter me up, Brooklyn! 3

For years I would just show up and eat these cookies but when I was asked to contribute my favorite holiday recipe to Saveur’s Cookie Advent Calendar, a loud booming voice came out of nowhere and shouted: HEY YOU! DON’T BE A SILLY! AUNT CAROLE’S COOKIES! Only then did I realize that I had never even considered an attempt to witness their creation.

And so I did – this summer while I was in Seattle – on what turned out to be the hottest day of the year, which meant temperatures rose into the triple digits, and everyone in Seattle was cranky because they didn’t know what to do without their fleece jackets and the drizzle.

frosted heart cookies, butter me up, Brooklyn! 2

We have science to thank for the fact that butter melts extremely easily when the ambient temperature is 115 degrees and the last thing either of us wanted to do was turn on the oven, but we pushed onwards and I quickly realized that I owe my aunt a whole lot of favors for her agreeing to the situation.

Because it was not a normal time of year to be making cookies, my aunt provided helpful commentary as to what I should expect from a more traditional cookie-making experience. Most of these statements began with “usually.” As in, “Usually…it is not as hot as the Devil’s tongue outside so I put my cookie sheets out on the deck to cool between batches…,” “Usually…this is the time when I realize that I haven’t wrapped any presents and your mom is calling to tell me that your family is headed over for Christmas dinner…,” “Usually…this is when I am on batch number six and about the time that I have a tiny holiday bourbon…,” “Usually…it is not this dang hot out…!”

heart cookie set-upcutting heart cookiesbaking heart cookiesfrosting heart cookies

The lesson here is that it doesn’t matter if it is sweltering in August or a frosty February afternoon that calls for a few dozen tiny hearts – this recipe is sugar cookie perfection.

But here is the deal: if you make these you must use margarine. I know. I was freaked out too when I found out that it was the sneaky ingredient in my beloved cookies. My aunt told me as nicely as possible that I could not substitute butter because it is what keeps the cookies soft and while I continued to whine, she busted out the Gold n’Soft. Also be sure to watch these cookies carefully and do not over bake them. The lemon extract and the almond extract are a bit of an investment but I promise they are worth it because the combo is what makes these cookies extra special. Another trick: my aunt frosts her cookies from a small bowl of frosting that has been heated in the microwave for 5 -7 seconds. Not only does the frosting go on extra smooth, as it hardens it creates a slightly crisp shell that is the perfect match for the soft cookie below.

And finally on to the real good stuff! You know that I have a lot of love for these cookies but I also have a lot of love you and I thought what better way to celebrate ALL THE LOVE (and Valentine’s Day) then with FREE STUFF THAT IS HEART SHAPED. [heart emoticon] [heart emoticon] [smiley face]

Happy Valentine’s Day y’all! The love-themed box includes:

  • a Valentine’s Multipack from Tattly (or the most awesome temporary tattoos ever)
  • twelve heart-shaped note cards (in blush pink!) + envelopes (for all your secret love note needs)
  • an amazing selection of my new favorite chocolate from Videri Chocolate Factory (pink peppercorn chocolate anyone?)
  • Meringue (which is a lovely cookbook dedicated to all things involving sugar and egg whites)
  • The Best of Martha Stewart: Cakes and Cupcakes (this special issue is AMAZEBALLS. For serious.)
  • one Best-Ever Cupcake Icing Kit™ + a HUGE selection of cupcake liners from Bake It Pretty (which is one of my favorite online destinations and will satisfy all your baking needs)
  • your very own heart-shaped cookie cutter + tiny heart sprinkles (!!!!)

**All you have to do to enter the giveaway is leave a comment on this post.**

Let me know if you are baking for Valentine’s Day. Or what you are doing to celebrate. Or what you wish you were doing.

You can also follow me on Twitter or Facebook and say hi in the comments to enter the giveaway!

The comments will close on Friday, February 8th at 11:59 p.m. (EST). Good luck!

frosted heart cookies, butter me up, Brooklyn! packing up

Soft Lemon Sugar Cookies with Almond Icing
Makes about 4 dozen

Adapted from my Aunt Carole via Saveur

For the lemon sugar cookies:
2 1/2 cups (312 grams) flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick or 113 grams) butter, softened
1/2 cup (110 grams) soft margarine (my aunt uses Gold n’Soft)
1 1/2 cups (185 grams) powdered sugar, sifted
1 egg + 1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract

For the almond frosting:
5 tablespoons (70 grams) butter, very soft
2 tablespoons (30 ml) half and half or heavy cream, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups (220 grams) powdered sugar, sifted

Sprinkles and food coloring, for decorating

Make the dough: In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl use a hand mixer to beat together butter, margarine, and powdered sugar on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy. Add egg, yolk, and both extracts and beat until smooth. Add dry ingredients, and mix until just combined. Transfer the dough to a work surface and shape into two disks. Wrap each half in several layers of plastic. Refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours or overnight.

When you are ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment. On a lightly floured surface roll out the dough to about 1/4-inch thick. Dip a 2-inch cookie cutter into flour and stamp out as many cookies as possible. Reroll the scraps as necessary. Bake for 8 – 10 minutes or until the edges are just barely golden. Do not over bake. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.

Make the frosting and decorate the cookies: Combine butter, half and half (or cream), both extracts, and salt in a medium bowl, and beat until smooth, then add sugar and mix until smooth and spreadable. Generously spread each cookie with frosting and decorate with sprinkles.

To make the graduated colors: I first divided my cookies into four batches then frosted one quarter with plain white frosting. Then I dipped a toothpick into electric pink gel paste food coloring and added just the tiniest amount of pink (I am talking the smallest amount of color!) and frosted another quarter batch. Then – you get the idea – I added even a bit more color and frosted the third quarter. Finally, I added the MOST coloring and frosted the remaining cookies.

frosted heart cookies, butter me up, Brooklyn! 4

four frosted cookie hearts

Nitty gritty. One winner will be selected. The giveaway is open to U.S. and International readers. Please leave a valid email address and I will contact the winner to coordinate shipping details. This giveaway has been generously sponsored by Videri Chocolate Factory, Gibbs Smith, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc., Bake It Pretty, and butter me up, Brooklyn!. One entry (comment) per person please. The comments will close on Friday, February 8th at 11:59 p.m. (EST). The winner will be contacted and announced on Saturday, February 9th by 11:59 p.m. (EST). The winner will be randomly selected through blog magic.


sarah wenk February 5, 2013 at 2:34 pm

I love those cookies! And your blog! And winning stuff!

sarah wenk February 5, 2013 at 2:35 pm

I should add I am probably not baking for Valentines day ’cause I still have Christmas cookies in the freezer!

Jamie L. February 5, 2013 at 2:38 pm

Good vday giveaway…great blog!

Adin February 5, 2013 at 2:40 pm

Thanks for sharing this cookie recipe (lemon cookies with almond frosting sound amazing – and like a cookie version of a Sugar Sweet Sunshine cupcake). Can’t wait to take your truffle class at Brooklyn Brainery next week!

Monica February 5, 2013 at 2:41 pm

I’m making my grandma’s fudge recipe, poured into heart-shaped cookie cutters. 🙂

Alison February 5, 2013 at 2:42 pm

I will definitely be baking something sweet and likely making dinner, too. (It’s definitely more special and cheaper than eating out!)

Alana February 5, 2013 at 2:43 pm

What a lovely giveaway. Would love to receive that love-themed box!

Chloe Nalbantian February 5, 2013 at 2:47 pm

I am so excited to try this recipe! For valentines day I am going to be making a dinner of pasta puttanesca using my dad’s amazing recipe and these cookies! My valentine lives in a house full of dudes so I’ll be sure to make extra to share the love.

Kierstan @ Life {and running} in Iowa February 5, 2013 at 2:50 pm

I am working on Valentine’s evening – not my call, but when you work with volunteers, you do what works for them! (I can’t believe they didn’t want to reschedule their meeting to stay at home with their loved ones!) Maybe I should bring them some of these cookies…

Elizabeth February 5, 2013 at 2:50 pm

I’m going to be baking lots of sweet treats for my friends and family for Valentine’s Day this year!

Krystha February 5, 2013 at 2:51 pm

I just saw that box of Tattly ‘toos this morning – so cute! I’m actually thinking about making a bacon lattice top for a quiche for my boyfriend – he has a bit of a bacon addiction, but still trying to figure out what to put in the quiche. Should be interesting!

Mary Jordan February 5, 2013 at 2:52 pm

I will be one of the masses going out to eat on Valentine’s Day. Additionally, I am sure some baked treat will make its way out of my kitchen!

claudia yu February 5, 2013 at 2:59 pm

love your blog

Molly Bendzick February 5, 2013 at 2:59 pm

Margarine freaks me out too. But I would totally try it to make these amazing looking cookies with the awesome prize!

RB February 5, 2013 at 3:02 pm

This cookies look great – remind me of my go-to recipe from an old cuisinart magazine which adds almond extract, not lemon, to the cutout dough. The flavors of lemon and almond look interesting together. I am planning on making cutout cookies and sending them long distance to my children in college!

Dayna February 5, 2013 at 3:09 pm

This V-day, I’m baking lemon bars. Totally not at all traditional, but my SO loves tart treats.

Dayna February 5, 2013 at 3:10 pm

Also, I follow you on my RSS feed and facebook, for what it’s worth.

jessica February 5, 2013 at 3:11 pm

I always love a good sugar cookie recipe! thanks!

Kate February 5, 2013 at 3:13 pm

I will be trying this recipe for sure! They sound amazing!! I will be sending valentines to my friends this year. Thank you for the recipe and the giveaway!

Talia February 5, 2013 at 3:15 pm

This Valentines Day I’ll be mailing lots of funny cards to my friends and delivering chocolates to my friends here at college. Maybe for a special someone I’ll bake these delicious pink treats!

Jeanne February 5, 2013 at 3:17 pm

Those look scrumptious….

Anika Alonzo February 5, 2013 at 3:21 pm

These are adorable!
I think I will be baking,my two dudes already announced that they want to hand out cookies to their girlfriends…

Jessica W. February 5, 2013 at 3:21 pm

SO ADORABLE my brain just exploded. One day, when I am awesome, I will make these cookies. Love them!

Melissa February 5, 2013 at 3:26 pm

What a great gift box! No plans for V-day yet….maybe going to the gym since Lord knows I had too many cookies/cupcakes over the holidays 🙂

Abby February 5, 2013 at 3:27 pm

We will be finding out the gender of our baby on Feb 14 so I’m planning to do cookies in pink or blue afterwards. 🙂

Lisa E February 5, 2013 at 3:28 pm

I’m thinking blondies with vday m&ms in them. Or something else if I find a dessert that is tacky and fantastic.

Sarah February 5, 2013 at 3:40 pm

these cookies look so tasty! Homemade meal and dessert, so much better that way…

Maggie Laush February 5, 2013 at 3:42 pm

I am finally back to school with all my baking supplies and cannot wait to get back into it. Valentines is the perfect opportunity! But as I am on a student budget, winning is always awesome.

Lauren February 5, 2013 at 3:51 pm

These cookies look great! I’m working so no Valentine’s Day plans.

Caroline February 5, 2013 at 3:56 pm

Where is the bourbon?

Lucy Sigley February 5, 2013 at 4:03 pm

I’m baking a massive chocolate cake to drown my sorrows in being alone again this Valentines Day!

jody trendler February 5, 2013 at 4:09 pm

those look amazing! i am always trying to recreate cookie flavor memories from childhood. can’t wait to try them!

peka February 5, 2013 at 4:39 pm

I’ve got 4 valentines this year (hubby and 3 kids) so I will definitely be making something! Was going to do cupcakes but when my daughter saw your picture above she told me to “buy those mommy!” … so I’ll probably be making these!! 🙂

Elizabeth B February 5, 2013 at 5:13 pm

I am excited to try this recipe!! For valentine’s day baking…I haven’t decided yet! But I was considering a chocolate mousse pie. To me there’s something about chocolate mousse that’s just sexy! Rich and creamy without being so heavy that getting romantic is the LAST thing you want to do.

Claudine February 5, 2013 at 5:27 pm

i love the idea of colouring the frosting ! i thought that, if i have time, i’d bake some cakepops. but i have to bake two cakes for a snowcamp coming up the next day after valentine’s, so maybe it will be only that. would love to get that box ! 🙂

Karen February 5, 2013 at 5:30 pm

Greetings from Washington State. I made cut-out sugar cookies with two of our granddaughters (ages 4 and 2) this past weekend. We will be trying this recipe soon. Also, loved the “How to frost a layer cake” post. I am going to try and recreate the look of that beautiful cake for our eldest granddaughter’s 5th birthday.

Annie tucker February 5, 2013 at 5:42 pm

I always bake my signature sugar cookies for Vday but you might have just swayed me to try your recipe this year!

Elisha February 5, 2013 at 5:46 pm

These cookies are lovely! For Valentine’s Day my boo and I are reserving a spot at the Melting Pot!

Meghan February 5, 2013 at 5:47 pm

I can’t wait to try this recipe! I will definitely be baking and hanging out with my roommates 🙂

Julez February 5, 2013 at 6:08 pm

Awesome giveaway! How cool are those tattoos?!

Cale February 5, 2013 at 6:39 pm

So excited for Valentine’s Day! I’m making bons bons…still deciding what fillings to use. 🙂

Angela W February 5, 2013 at 6:55 pm

I love to make things that remind me of childhood. Sugar cookies are certainly one of them. I will definitely try your aunt’s cookies. Thanks for sharing!

Meagan February 5, 2013 at 7:07 pm

Thank you so much for the giveaway. I love cupcakes/cookies/cakes…way, way too much. 🙂

Marissa Hiller February 5, 2013 at 7:21 pm

What a lovely cookie recipie! I am planing on
Making them with Nutella icing. I’m from Seattle
And it’s true. We don’t know what to do when the
Weather gets above 85 degrees. 😉

Mischa February 5, 2013 at 7:25 pm

Lovely little treats– I will be celebrating finishing my master’s degree this Valentine’s Day (with lots of rosé and sweets)!

Ariel February 5, 2013 at 7:30 pm

I will be celebrating valentine’s day by decorating sugar cookies!! These look fantastic!

Orianne February 5, 2013 at 7:34 pm

Oh my lord – Meringue is only my favorite thing. I can only imagine the amount of egg whites that will take over my kitchen if I win the giveaway. Thanks for the opportunity!

Erica February 5, 2013 at 7:36 pm

Must admit, the idea of using margarine scares me as well, but seeing as I’m always looking for a way to recreate the soft sugar cookies of grade school holiday parties, I have to give these cookies a try! In true single girl fashion, planning on partaking in a few libations with friends on Valentine’s Day. These cookies might just have to make an appearance!

Mariah February 5, 2013 at 7:40 pm

I’m baking an orange chocolate soufflé for my boyfriend this Valentines day! And I got him StarWars themed baking supplies from Williams and Sonoma for his gift!

Lori February 5, 2013 at 7:45 pm

I hadn’t decided what I was going to bake yet, but I’ve always loved frosted sugar cookies…..I can’t wait to try these. Thanks for the awesome giveaway.

Vicky February 5, 2013 at 7:45 pm

I was thinking of trying to duplicate Panera’s red velvet cookies…but better for Valentines day. Any ideas?

Beth February 5, 2013 at 7:53 pm

We have parent-teacher conferences every February, so I always bake a variety of valentine cookies (sugar, chocolate, biscotti) and deliver them to my boys’ (4 of them) teachers. I started this when I was still a stay-at-home-mom. Now that I’m teaching again, I pack myself a few to help the long days and nights of conferences along. I’ve already baked this years, but I’ve pinned yours for next year! What a nice addition your prize would be to my collections of all sweets for Valentine’s Day!

Melissa C. February 5, 2013 at 7:55 pm

Sorry, I have tried twice on my iphone to enter this… please let this be my one chance that counts. I am so going to make these cookies for Valentine’s Day.. I love lemon and almond flavors. I will trust you that margarine is the way to go. Thanks!

susan February 5, 2013 at 7:57 pm

I want to win this so I can surprise my students!!!!!

erin in oregon February 5, 2013 at 8:10 pm

Well, now I’m baking THESE for valentine’s day! Yum!

Colleen February 5, 2013 at 8:18 pm

We used to go out for fondue for valentine’s day, but now have been making our own since getting a fondue pot as a wedding present. Any chocolate boozy fondue ideas?!

Kathryn February 5, 2013 at 8:27 pm

cookies!!! i may have just found the cookie to bake!

Kerry February 5, 2013 at 8:30 pm

I’m surprised by the lemon-almond combination on these cookies, but excited to give it a shot!!

Lauren February 5, 2013 at 9:09 pm

What a great giveaway! Can’t wait to try this recipe!

Sandy February 5, 2013 at 9:27 pm

Amazing-sounding recipe! For Valentine’s Day, I’ll be waving bye-bye as DH leaves on a little trip. Oh well. 😉

Forbes February 5, 2013 at 9:42 pm

I had a hankering for homemade pop tarts and your post just inspired me to make strawberry heart shaped pop tarts for a valentines breakfast treat

Rose February 5, 2013 at 9:46 pm

Looking forward to trying these for Valentine’s Day! 🙂

Alywit February 5, 2013 at 10:16 pm

Love the family history behind your cookies!

Maggie February 5, 2013 at 10:36 pm

WHOA! i’m having a party (ahem…) and there will most def be treats and punch…..(coughcheckyourfbinvitescough)

Mari @ Oh, Sweet & Savory February 5, 2013 at 10:44 pm

Those cookies are adorable! Can’t wait to try the recipe!

Mari @ Oh, Sweet & Savory February 5, 2013 at 10:46 pm

Those cookies are adorable. Can’t wait to try the receipt!

Kathy S February 5, 2013 at 10:54 pm

I wish my cookies turned out as symetrical and beautiful as yours.

Lizz U. February 5, 2013 at 11:05 pm

Hey, love the cookies! Look fantastic 🙂

Brittany February 5, 2013 at 11:41 pm

So cute! I’ll be making these with my boys 🙂

Tina Martinez February 5, 2013 at 11:55 pm

I am always on the lookout for great sugar cookie recipes! Definitely trying this one (especially with margarine!) And can I just say AWESOME giveaway! you rock!

Stephanie February 6, 2013 at 12:06 am

Yum. Looks like these will be on the menu this weekend!

Amber Y. February 6, 2013 at 12:20 am

These cookies look so sweet! I’m working on an on-a-budget valentine’s dinner for me and my roommates (all single ladies this year haha) 🙂

karen February 6, 2013 at 12:50 am

my sweetie will be out of town so I will probably bake myself a pity batch of something or other, definitely chocolate.

Clare February 6, 2013 at 1:48 am

This recipe looks great especially because I hate cookies that are too crunchy!

Elizabeth February 6, 2013 at 2:16 am

These cookies are beautiful! Can’t wait to make easter-themed ones when the time rolls around

Stephanie February 6, 2013 at 2:29 am

Something heart shaped for sure…maybe brownies…maybe these cookies???

ellen ruden February 6, 2013 at 2:41 am

since my birthday is feb. 16th i will b hoping someone bakes ME these cookies! if not, i will probably bake them for my firemen for st. patty’s day…

Danielle February 6, 2013 at 4:59 am

Happy Valentine’s 😉

Lauren February 6, 2013 at 5:06 am

Such a fabulous giveaway! These cookies look stunning.
Unfortunatly I wll be 2.5 hours away from my valentine but shall be making him some pink truffles 🙂

Sonja February 6, 2013 at 5:36 am

In Japan Valentine’s Day is ‘traditionally’ (as in since capitalism created tradition) a day when girls and women give chocolate to the men in their life – be that man their father, co-worker, or lover. Men who receive chocolates have to return something to the person they got it from a month later, on March 14. This tradition seems to be changing though, and now pretty much everyone gives chocolates to each other on Valentine’s Day. I probably won’t be baking anything on this day… all this has nothing to do with the above (gee I feel like I went into a long story for nothing).

Erika February 6, 2013 at 7:36 am

I can’t wait to try these cookies! I have four cookie eating kids and I’m thrilled to try these out on them.

ileana February 6, 2013 at 7:49 am

These cookies are so cute! Love the ombre set up.

irene February 6, 2013 at 9:09 am

Great cookies!
As for me….. even though it’s Valentines day and everywhere you turn you see lovey dovey couples I will celebrate it with my good old self! 🙂

Have a great Valentines day everyone!!!!

anna February 6, 2013 at 9:14 am

looove the cookies. i think i’ll give them a try altough i don’t think i can make cookies as pretty as yours!
happy valentine’s day from vienna, austria!

Christina February 6, 2013 at 9:14 am

Cooking a nice little meal for my husband and myself… and eating a lot of chocolate!

Susan Christy February 6, 2013 at 9:31 am

I wish I had a date, but I am not going to be “that girl” who complains about being alone on Valentine’s Day. haha

Katherine D. February 6, 2013 at 10:01 am

I’m baking red velvet cupcakes to send to my boyfriend (he just moved 1,000 miles away!)

Molly February 6, 2013 at 10:02 am

Frosted sugar cookies are a family tradition in my household as well. In addition to making heart shaped morsels of deliciousness, my husband is taking me out to breakfast before we both head off to work on Valentine’s Day morning, a tradition we started back when I was traveling a lot for work and the morning was the only time we were together. I’m so happy we’ve continued it!

Renee February 6, 2013 at 10:45 am

love the saturation change in the frosting…and love this blog!

Nancy February 6, 2013 at 10:52 am

Bonjour from Bakers at Red Lion. Kennett Square, PA – spread the love! Merci!

Sara February 6, 2013 at 10:53 am

As long as I am with my husband on Valentines Day, I will be a happy girl. These cookies look like they would fulfill some major pregnancy cravings right now!

Debbie February 6, 2013 at 10:55 am

These look so yummy and inviting. They will be enjoyed by my daughter’s 5th grade class next week. Thanks for the inspiration!

Ali February 6, 2013 at 10:58 am

Love these cookies! 🙂 We’ll probably carry on a tradition started last year of a Valentine’s Day lunch (less crowded, fewer awkward dates to witness), and then make some chocolate fondue at home with tons of fruit. Chocolate for dinner is the best!

Caitlin Q February 6, 2013 at 11:00 am

once upon a time I wanted to be a pastry chef- i went to art school instead. Your blog is a lovely combination of art and food; visually and tastily appealing. Hearts and sentiments to you on valentine’s day!

rachel February 6, 2013 at 11:04 am

im totally making these beauts for my <3

meg February 6, 2013 at 11:04 am

I’ll definitely be baking! I’ve already tested a white chocolate mousse and some Frangelico truffles for our blog, but for the day itself I almost always go for a super simple flourless chocolate cake. These cookies look really fabulous, though. I may have to make some and give them away for V-day!

Jennie February 6, 2013 at 11:08 am

Cheesecake with raspberry sauce to celebrate my husband’s birthday on Valentine’s Day, but made one week early because of Lent!

MW February 6, 2013 at 11:14 am

I’m fantasizing about making a pavlova with grapefruit curd for my valentine. And now I’m drooling at my desk admiring those frosted cookies. Is there anything better than sweet treats in pink?

Jfurball February 6, 2013 at 11:15 am

I think I’m going to be throwing a giant dinner party for all my friends. It’s Valentine’s and cooking is the best way to show love!

Lauren February 6, 2013 at 11:16 am

With Mardi Gras only a few days before Valentine’s Day (and my love for King Cakes…), I am going to bake a King Cake, minus the plastic baby or bean, and decorate it with red and pink frosting. Maybe I will add some little fondant hearts for good measure. My boyfriend loves cinnamon rolls so I am sure that he will be a big fan of the cake.

shell February 6, 2013 at 11:16 am

I LOVE sugar cookies but not so sure on the lemon extract (NOT a big lemon fan). Guess I’ll have to try them out to give a real opinion.

paula h February 6, 2013 at 11:36 am

I seldom make roll out cookies because I don’t think they will be as good as my grandmother’s….this may change my mind.

Elizabeth February 6, 2013 at 11:57 am

I really want to make decorated milk chocolate truffles for Valentine’s Day this year!

Danielle February 6, 2013 at 12:06 pm

My son will be at outdoor ed with his 5th grade class next week. He gets back on Valentine’s Day. I think these cookies will be the perfect treat/surprise for him on his return! Thanks for the recipe!

Kim G February 6, 2013 at 12:12 pm

These look AMAZING!!! Can’t wait to bake some. Thanks for sharing a great Family recipe. Winning the goodies would be GREAT!!

Kristin February 6, 2013 at 12:13 pm

I’ve been looking for a good cookie recipe to use the makers mark vanilla extract I received as a holiday gift from my dear friend. Looks like I’ll be making these for <3 Day!

Lauren February 6, 2013 at 12:20 pm

Those cookies are so pretty! I might make truffles for Valentine’s day this year, but I haven’t decided for sure yet. Guess I should decide soon!

Lucia February 6, 2013 at 12:26 pm

These look wonderful! I will definitely be making them for V-Day to add some more sweetness to the Day!

Molly February 6, 2013 at 12:28 pm

LOVE these cookies and the story! I also love the comments about Seattle summers…

I’ll be baking biscuits or scones for valentines day breakfast!!

Kim February 6, 2013 at 12:38 pm

I will be baking something with alot of chocolate!

nancy February 6, 2013 at 12:38 pm

I will definitely be making this cookies with my son for Valentine’s Day!

Amy February 6, 2013 at 12:53 pm

Heart shaped chocolate fondants for sure x

maureen February 6, 2013 at 12:55 pm

can’t wait to bake these beauties! love the blog!

Caitlin February 6, 2013 at 1:01 pm

Hey girl! I’m baking for valentines now! Thanks for more inspiration, you and your foods are seriously great.

This year, in honor of being single, I decided to go slightly overboard (compared to usual) and will be showering love on my lovely friends and trying to inspire a theme of Love yourself/Love starts at home and/or follow your Heart. Probably some small homemade cards maybe doubling as bookmarks? and, of course, some delicious and beautifully hue’d little heart shaped sugar cookies;)) Thanks girl you are amazing.

Helen February 6, 2013 at 1:23 pm

Sugar cookies with icing is one of my all-time favorite cookies! Your cookies are beautiful. Thanks so much for the giveaway!

Kari February 6, 2013 at 1:40 pm

The lemon/almond combination sounds fabulous. The cookie recipe reminds me of our family’s favourite birthday cake. It is a chocolate bundt pound cake, and for some reason you have to use margarine in it. Butter just isn’t as good. I couldn’t believe it till I tried it the first time, but it’s true. Also, the chocolate icing that goes on it has almond flavouring in it, just like your cookies. Happy Valentines Day!

Sara A February 6, 2013 at 2:05 pm

Those look delish! I will definatley be making these soon! Happy Valentines Day! (:

bridget February 6, 2013 at 2:16 pm

ombre cookies! so hip right now.

Shelly February 6, 2013 at 2:22 pm

The meringue cookbook looks wonderful!

Sarah R. February 6, 2013 at 2:23 pm

These look absolutely incredible. My favorite cookies that my mom makes are sugar cookies with almond icing, but this lemon flavor in the cookie sounds like an excellent variation!

Jean February 6, 2013 at 2:27 pm

Now wait a minute, Lil. I know you would never want to be accused of exaggeration, but 115 degrees in Seattle!!! I must have been out of town that day:) On the other hand, I do remember hearing you and Carole’s laughter piercing the veil of smog on a particularly hot day last summer.

These sound truly wonderful. I love almond extract for the intense flavour it gives to my stand-by 1-2-3-4 cake. We won’t be baking these on the 14th though, because we’re spending the day at SAM to see the Rembrandt, Van Dyck, and Gainsborough exhibit. And we’re off sugar and flour for awhile now. But the day will come when we won’t be, and when it does I’ll bake them and let you know how they turn out.

Juli February 6, 2013 at 2:51 pm

I too have a favorite childhood Valentine’s Day cookie recipe. My mom would only make them for Valentine’s Day and made them extra special by creating one for each of us with our name written in frosting. I still love those cookies and look forward to making them this weekend.

Laura February 6, 2013 at 2:57 pm

These cookies look soooooo good! I am definitely making cupcakes for my son and his little buddies at daycare. I might have to bake these, too!

Erin Harker February 6, 2013 at 3:01 pm

i’ll be baking up some v-day whoopie pies! chili chocolate, strawberry champagne, and honey almond raspberry! all foods of looooove.

malvina February 6, 2013 at 3:40 pm

I will definitely make these cookies. Actually, I’m planning a Valentine’s menu with recipes from your blog. You’re great! February 6, 2013 at 3:41 pm

Your cookies look lovely. I’ve never tried pairing lemon with almond before. I’d like to give it a go and see what the outcome tastes like.

Great blog!

Maddie February 6, 2013 at 3:44 pm

These look incredible! They are so pretty. I think I’m going to see the zombie love movie with all my single friends…. =)

Crystal February 6, 2013 at 4:11 pm

These cookies look great and I want everything in the giveaway box!! I’m making brownies and blondies for Valentine’s Day and I plan to use a cookie cutter to make them into little hearts. xo

Dulcia February 6, 2013 at 4:18 pm

Happy early valentines! 🙂 <3

Amanda February 6, 2013 at 4:23 pm

Those cookies are so adorable!

Cate February 6, 2013 at 4:35 pm

I have to admit that the margarine is a turn off, but I am willing to try these pretty little things.

Toby February 6, 2013 at 4:53 pm


Tina February 6, 2013 at 5:03 pm

These cookies sound amazing! As a Seattlelite, I loved the story around cooking these in triple digit heat. One of those rare days but utterly stifling for those of us do not know what to do in heat like that. You aunt must adore you to agree to make cookies in that weather. :). Thanks for the opportunity to win the chocolate goodies!

Joanne February 6, 2013 at 5:18 pm

These cookies are so pretty. I really like your post — no need to wait for February to spread a little love, even by baking and sharing pink and red heart shaped cookies! Thank you for sharing a wonderful blog!

Val February 6, 2013 at 5:22 pm

Heart cookies are my favorite- and the pink ones always taste the best! I use 1/2 butter and 1/2 “fancy” (read: non-hydrogenated) shortening instead of margarine. Love the photos.

Jeannie February 6, 2013 at 5:36 pm

If I wasn’t working a 12.5 hour day on V-day I would be baking sugar cookies (I’d give these a go!) with some beet-colored frosting. I would use my inherited selection of cookie cutters to make some fun shapes, other than hearts of course.

Jess February 6, 2013 at 5:52 pm


Anne February 6, 2013 at 5:56 pm

I plan to make my spouse’s favorite foods: Chicken and rice (not sure yet exactly how I’ll prepare it), with carrot cake for dessert. Not traditional V-day fare, but he deserves his favorites.

Amrita February 6, 2013 at 6:00 pm

The cookies look absolutely lovely! Dying for a sugar cookie right about now 🙂

Jude McIntyre February 6, 2013 at 6:08 pm

Those cookies look scrummy! I am going to have my friends and their daughters over for a sweetheart dinner. For dessert I am going to make pink love heart meringues.

Madeline February 6, 2013 at 7:09 pm

We’re probably going out to a fancy restaurant. Not sure where yet!

Amy Orvin February 6, 2013 at 7:11 pm

looks yummy

Chrissy C. February 6, 2013 at 7:26 pm

What cheerful cookies! I’ll be baking heart-shaped Rice Krispies treats for my kindergartners for Valentine’s Day 🙂

Rachel February 6, 2013 at 7:57 pm


Jen Bowman February 6, 2013 at 8:27 pm

I’m baking these for Valentine’s Day!! Love lemon and love almond…can’t wait to try these!

Sheila g. February 6, 2013 at 8:35 pm

Can’t wait to try ’em! Baking for my daughter’s first grade Valentines day party!

Elena February 6, 2013 at 8:49 pm

I’m making these tomorrow! Mike’s having surgery and I’m sure he’ll love cookies when he wakes up 😀 PS Hummus was a hit!

Alicia February 6, 2013 at 9:40 pm

I will be making Chocolate cobbler with vanilla bean ice cream! Yum!

Ashley February 6, 2013 at 9:50 pm

I’m going to be making Red Velvet Cupcakes for Valentines Day this year, to take into work for my collegues! They just love it when I bring in sweet treats 🙂

Alison February 6, 2013 at 10:29 pm

I’ll definitely be making a cake! 🙂

Maria A February 6, 2013 at 11:31 pm

Your photographs are absolutely beautiful! Love them!
Enjoy your blog.

Marian February 6, 2013 at 11:33 pm

I plan on baking bibingka which is a Filipino dessert made from rice flour and coconut made with red-colored sugar to give it that Valentines Day tint!

PJ McIlvaine February 6, 2013 at 11:38 pm

I will be working Valentine’s Day (boo-hoo) but I sure do love me a good sugar cookie. And these sound divine.

Stephanie February 6, 2013 at 11:51 pm

We are doing nothing!! I told my bf that he makes every day Valentine’s Day (true!) and I do not need a gift or a special day. Then we both gagged, but honestly, this is all true.

Lotoya (VAgencyEvents) February 7, 2013 at 12:24 am

These cookies are too cute. I love this blog, it always inspires me to bake and cook. You are doing a fabulous job. For Valentines day I am making red and pink checkerboard cookies. I will be back to share with you. I would love your feedback.

Oksana February 7, 2013 at 1:44 am

These cookies look great! Would love to make these to have with tea:)

Hannah February 7, 2013 at 5:35 am

I will be making sugar cookies for my daughter to hand out on Valentine’s Day.

Bobbi February 7, 2013 at 5:44 am

My girls will absolutely love these! And the adults will appreciate a sugar cookie with a bit of flavor.

natasa February 7, 2013 at 7:01 am

I am going on a date with a good girlfriend of mine.
But i really wish i was spending the day with my boyfriend, he lives in New York, and I live in Copenhagen, Denmark. At least we have Skype!

good looking blog you have:)

Ja February 7, 2013 at 7:12 am

These cookies look adorable and I will be baking
them for my Sunday school class this weekend. I generally
use Martha’s sugar cookie recipe and decorate with sanding sugar
but kids do love frosting so your aunt’s cookies should
be a huge hit. I recently found your blog and I’m loving
it. Happy Valentines Day !!!!

Erica February 7, 2013 at 7:55 am

Ooh I love the different colors of pink! Not sure what I’m making this year for Valentine’s, but maybe I’ll have my other single friends over and we’ll make Smitten Kitchen’s heart brownies from a couple years ago.

Jules Peoples February 7, 2013 at 8:08 am

My sweetie loves sugar cookies and these will be perfect for his Valentine gift.

Fran February 7, 2013 at 8:57 am

I just love your site, it speaks to me…I guess since I was born in Brooklyn so many years ago and have gone to so many places since. I have to say that anything lemon works wonders for me. I don’t have any heart shaped cookie cutters but would love some 🙂

Stephanie February 7, 2013 at 9:40 am

I have only recently discovered sugar cookies and I love them. Your recipe looks really interesting with the vanilla, lemon and almond extracts. I look forward to trying this one next. Thank you!

Sherry February 7, 2013 at 10:10 am

Making these cookies and sharing with family and friends !!!!

Aunt Carole February 7, 2013 at 11:23 am

Every year after the last Christmas cookie has been rolled, cut, baked, frosted and sprinkled, I tuck one well-wrapped patty of cookie dough into the freezer to pull out for Valentine’s Day. Though I never mentioned this to you Lillie, deep in the genetic cookie-baking code of your family DNA, you knew this recipe would make the perfect Valentine! Love the posting, and contest idea… and you!! XXOO

Ashley February 7, 2013 at 11:42 am

Those are such beautiful sugar cookies! I’m going to try and bake these for Valentine’s Day!

Jeannie February 7, 2013 at 12:07 pm

My husband refers to the holiday as “Forced Affection Day.” Maybe I shall “force” some of these on him!

Kim Irene February 7, 2013 at 12:12 pm

How cool is Aunt Carole–reminds me how importants aunts are…..Aunt Ann I’m talking to you…..

Anna February 7, 2013 at 12:13 pm

I am a Graduate Student who would much rather bake these amazing cookies than read Foucault!

Nanna February 7, 2013 at 12:20 pm

I live in Denmark where we don’t really celebrate valentines, but here we have another holiday coming up called “fastelavn” where kids dress up in costumes, and you eat theese really nice cakes called “fastelavns-buns” 🙂

Jessica February 7, 2013 at 12:24 pm

What Anna said! (I’m her classmate)

Anna February 7, 2013 at 2:05 pm

Jessica and I are classmates, if one of us wins we will share! Share the joy!

Sarah February 7, 2013 at 12:40 pm

I would love to win that giveaway 🙂 I am baking cupcakes.

Katie February 7, 2013 at 12:58 pm

I’m constantly looking for a better sugar cookie recipe. I’m going to make a batch for Valentine’s. Thanks for sharing!

Moriah February 7, 2013 at 1:35 pm

What a good give-away! My sister and I are going to make these cookies this weekend when I visit her in Asheville, NC!

Loretta | A Finn In The Kitchen February 7, 2013 at 1:42 pm

Unfortunately, my hubby will be working late, so if we do any celebrating, it will probably have to wait for the weekend. At least I’ll make up a good meal to share, even if it is by candle light!

Thanks for the giveaway!

Nanna Louise February 7, 2013 at 1:46 pm

They look so good!!! Can’t wait to try them

Kathryn February 7, 2013 at 3:19 pm

I’m not sure if I’m baking anything around Valentine’s Day. I like to celebrate our relationship with my boyfriend year round so I don’t know if we’re going to do anything particular on V-day. If I do make something, it will probably be breakfast! I should also mention that we’re going to celebrate our one year soon! Thanks for the giveaway!

Rupa February 7, 2013 at 3:21 pm

So glad I found this post in time for Vday! I was planning on sending a little “love-package” to my boyfriend (he lives in another city) and cookies would be perfect for that! Thanks for the recipe!

Rachel February 7, 2013 at 7:05 pm

Can’t decide which to make first! These cookies or Brown Butter layer cake!

Molly February 7, 2013 at 8:08 pm

Such a great giveaway! can’t wait 🙂

jenny February 7, 2013 at 8:44 pm

I love making heart-shaped linzer cookies with homemade raspberry jam for valentine’s day. but I’m intrigued by these and may try them instead this year. I’m especially enticed by the fun frosting. (and wow would I love the meringue cookbook and everything else in that package of happy baking goodness!)

Valerie February 7, 2013 at 10:27 pm

I am totally making these cookies for Valentines Day, But maybe i’ll surprise my honey with a totally delicious lemon meringue pie 🙂 (My parents have a lemon tree and the lemons are just about ready to pick and they are HUGE!!!!) xoxo

Lindsey February 7, 2013 at 10:46 pm

Wow! Love the different shades of frosting!

Patty February 7, 2013 at 10:56 pm

I’m planning on baking a flourless chocolate cake!!

jaycee February 8, 2013 at 12:49 am

I’ve always enjoyed a good sugar cookie with a smudge of frosting. I eat the edges all around and then go for the frosting on the last bite. Delayed gratification builds character!

Michelle February 8, 2013 at 1:27 am

I’m planning to experiment in the kitchen. 🙂

The Little Elf Bakery February 8, 2013 at 4:52 am

They’re so cute! I’m sure anyone would appreciate these 🙂

Sharon February 8, 2013 at 7:56 am

Margarine? Good grief, who would have known? Have to try these!

Heather February 8, 2013 at 8:39 am

Those cookies look delicious!! I was going to make champagne truffles and I may have to make these as well! 🙂

Ana February 8, 2013 at 11:15 am

Those cookies look delicious! I think they’ll have to be added to my Valentine’s baking list.

Ann-Marie Morgan February 8, 2013 at 1:31 pm

I’m making cut-out sugar cookies with my 7-year old; wish I was spending Valentine’s Day in Paris with my husband and son! It’s where I was last year…c’est la vie!

marilyn February 8, 2013 at 3:01 pm

would love to fly back to NYC and spend valentine’s day sitting on the top of the rock, looking at NYC by night with a huge hot chocolate in my hands, feeling this atmosphere i miss so and the wind in my hair that makes us feel alive and in love!

Gabriella G February 8, 2013 at 3:16 pm

Umm for Valentines Day I think I’m spending it inside with my friends 😛 and we’re all watching romantic comedies all day and ignoring homework and having a super fantastic time hehe yay 😀

Tim February 8, 2013 at 3:58 pm

Following tradition (it’s also our anniversary), husband and I are making a fondue dinner. This year the chocolate course is going to be caramelized white chocolate.

Erin in Chicago February 8, 2013 at 4:07 pm

Hello! I’ve been lingering around your site for a while now and think it’s delightful.

As for Valentine’s Day, I’m pretty sure my bf and I are going to see the new Die Hard movie (after all, what says romance like Bruce Willis kicking ass??).
I also wanted to make a homemade version of those Lofthouse frosted cake cookies you can buy at the grocery store because he loves them so (and got me hooked, just one more reason he’s great) – do you know the ones I’m talking about? And then, behold! Here are your lovely Aunt’s cookies which are exactly the ones I was looking for. Hooray!

Thanks a lot for your excellent blog. I hope your Valentine’s Day is awesome 🙂

PS Since these cookies are the only great things I can think of that use margarine I’ll probably *have* to make them for St. Patty’s, too!

Ashley M. February 8, 2013 at 4:44 pm

I so love those cookies! Maybe I’ll make some for dinner on Sunday!

Catherine February 8, 2013 at 7:45 pm

This is just the ticket for my class of fourth graders. I am looking forward to their uber-decorated shoe boxes and how good I’ll feel slipping a couple of these in the slot on the top. Party on Thursday afternoon! Baking on Wednesday night!

Jaylene Wisor February 8, 2013 at 8:29 pm

Love to make cut out cookies. Can not wait to try these.

Rachel February 8, 2013 at 8:35 pm

I’m making three dozen cupcakes Wednesday night for my school Valentine’s Day Bake sale. Wish I could be making these cookies too.

erinn February 8, 2013 at 9:38 pm

I will be making heart sugar cookies for the teachers.

I will make a special dinner for the kids, not sure yet what the menu is, but something fun and red.

Emily S. February 8, 2013 at 10:37 pm

What an awesome giveaway. I’m obsessed with Valentine’s Day baking. (:

Tabby Lewis February 8, 2013 at 10:41 pm

I’ll be baking cupcakes for Valentine’s Day. Thank you for this awesome giveaway! 😀

Lynn February 8, 2013 at 10:44 pm

I am making these for my kids Girl Scout parties Monday. I may even save a few for my coworkers.

Paula February 8, 2013 at 10:49 pm

Yes, I was also disappointed to finally learn that the secret to soft sugar cookies was hydrogenated fat — either margarine or shortening. Ratsafrats fratsarats! However, I have a question… when you say “soft margarine”, do you mean the tub kind? (I’ve never seen Gold’n Soft.) As opposed to the stick kind?

Paula February 8, 2013 at 10:50 pm

Oh, P.S. — I think I’m going to use my new wood grain texture mat and make wooden hearts for V Day. Suits my attitude. 😀