Valentine Cookies are the sweetest way to send a little love to your favorite people! These cookies are crisp on the outside, soft and chewy in the middle, and decorated with red, pink, and white M&Ms for a festive touch. No chilling is required and one batch makes a perfect baker's dozen.
How to make Valentine Cookies
Ingredients you'll need:
- Unsalted Butter
- White and brown sugar
- An egg
- All purpose flour (Gold Medal brand is my top choice for cookies).
- Baking soda
- Salt (I use Kosher salt)
- M&M candies, the "Cupid's Mix" blend (or any red, white, and pink colored candies)
To make the dough, start by heating a stick of unsalted butter until just melted, but not bubbling. Set it aside to cool slightly. The butter should be warm and melted, but not hot to the touch.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the brown and the white sugar.
Pour the melted butter over the sugars and mix on low until the ingredients are combined and glossy, about 30-45 seconds.
Add in the egg and vanilla and mix on low until the egg is just incorporated.
To the mixing bowl, pour in the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set the mixer to low speed and mix the ingredients until just combined, streaks of flour are ok.
Pour in about ¾ cup of the M&Ms, and finish mixing the dough by hand using a rubber spatula or spoon. Mix until the M&Ms are evenly distributed and no streaks of flour remain.
Scoop mounds of cookie dough (about two tablespoons in size) and place them on the two cookie sheets lined with parchment paper. Space the dough balls about 2 inches apart. Add additional M&Ms to the top of the cookies if desired.
Let the cookie dough sit for about 20-30 minutes to let the flour absorb all the butter and sugar. The dough will become firmer and drier. While you wait, preheat the oven to 375º.
After the cookie dough has rested, bake the cookies at 375º for 8-10 minutes. The cookies are done when the edges are just starting to lightly brown and the centers have puffed. They will be a little underbaked when you remove them from the oven, but that's what you want. They'll finish setting as they cool.
Allow the cookies to set on the cookie sheet for 10-15 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack.
If you want to make perfectly round, professional looking cookies, see below!
Making perfectly round Valentine Cookies
For perfectly round cookies, use a cookie cutter to shape the cookies right when they come out of the oven.
Select a cookie cutter that's slightly larger than the baked cookies themselves. Place the cutter around the hot cookie and using a swirling motion, mold the edges of the cooking into a circle. We're not cutting the cookies into circles, we're using the inside of the cookie cutter to mold the edges.
Make sure to do this while the cookies are still hot, it won't work for cooled cookies.
- Don't let the butter get too hot. After melting the butter, let it cool slightly before mixing with other ingredients. The butter should be melted and warm, but not hot to the touch. Adding the butter to the mix when it's too hot will melt the sugars and throw off the texture of the dough.
- Hydrate the flour. Make sure to let the scooped cookie dough sit for 20-30 minutes before baking. This will give the flour time to absorb the butter and sugars which will deepen the flavors, prevent spreading, and promote even baking.
- Underbake the cookies. Make sure to pull the cookies out of the oven when they just START turning brown along the bottom edge. The centers of the cookies will be puffed, but will still feel gooey to the touch and that's what you want. As the cookies cool on the pan, they'll actually continue to cook for a few more minutes. So taking the cookies out of the oven when they look underdone will ensure that you have a soft and chewy center after they've cooled.
- Cool completely before wrapping up or packaging. Allow the cookies to cool completely before packaging in cellophane or any wrapping. The M&Ms stay melty for a long time, so give them time to firm back up again so they don't smudge your cute packaging.
These cookies are best the day they're baked but will keep for up to 3 days if stored in an airtight container.
Yes! I like to bake my cookies, let them cool completely, and store them in a freezer safe bag in the freezer for months! When I'm ready to serve, I take out the number I need and let them thaw at room temperature for about 30 minutes.
The raw dough can be frozen as well and kept in the freezer for up to a month. When you're ready to bake, take out the quantity needed and let them thaw at room temperature completely before baking. Bake at 375º for 8-12 minutes.
Nope! They need to sit and firm up for about 20-30 minutes before baking, but no chilling is required.
Store your cooled cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. While not necessary, you can store the cookies in the fridge for a longer shelf life. This is great if you live in a particularly humid climate.
How to decorate Valentine Cookies
- To make these look extra pretty and professional, add 3-4 extra M&Ms to the top of the dough balls before baking. This puts those sweet Valentine's candies front and center.
- For even more embellishment, you could add some Valentine's Day themed sprinkles to the outside of the cookie dough balls before baking.
- After baking, try dipping the cooled cookies in chocolate or colored candy melts (pink, red, or white) and add additional chopped M&Ms or sprinkles for extra flare!
- 1 stick (4oz) unsalted butter
- ½ cup (packed) dark brown sugar
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ¼ cups of all purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¾ cup red, white, and pink M&M candies, plus more for decorating
- Line two sheet pans with parchment paper and set aside.
- Heat the butter in the microwave or in a saucepan until melted. Once melted, set aside to cool slightly.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, add both the brown sugar and the white sugar.
- Feel the melted butter to make sure it isn't too hot. The butter should be warm, still liquid, but not too hot to touch with a finger. Pour the melted butter over the sugars and mix on low until the ingredients are combined and glossy, about 30-45 seconds.
- Add in the egg and vanilla and mix on low until the egg is just incorporated.
- To the mixing bowl, pour in the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set the mixer to low speed and mix the ingredients until just combined, streaks of flour are ok.
- Remove the mixing bowl from the mixer and pour in ¾ cup of the Valentine M&Ms., Finish mixing the dough by hand using a rubber spatula or a spoon. Gently mix until the M&Ms are evenly distributed and no streaks of flour remain.
- Scoop mounds of cookie dough (about two tablespoons in size) and place them on the prepared sheet pans. Space the dough balls about 2 inches apart. If desired, gently press 3-4 M&Ms onto the top of each dough ball for decoration.
- Allow the cookie dough to sit at room temperature on the cookie sheets for about 20-30 minutes to let the flour hydrate and absorb the flavors.
- While you wait, preheat the oven to 375º.
- After resting, the dough will no longer feel sticky, and the cookie dough balls will now be easy to pick up.
- Bake the cookies at 375º for 8-10 minutes. The cookies are done when the edges are just starting to lightly brown and the centers have puffed. They will be a little underbaked when you remove them from the oven, but that's what you want. They'll finish setting as they cool.
- Allow the cookies to sit for about 10-15 minutes on the sheet pan before transferring them to a cooling rack or a serving platter. The centers will be warm and gooey and the edges will be delightfully crisp and brown.
- I like Gold Medal or King Arthur brand all purpose flour for this cookie recipe. I find my cookies spread less in the oven.
- Allow the cookies to cool completely to room temperature before packaging and distributing. The M&Ms need time to firm back up or else they'll smear all over your cute packaging!
Nutrition Information:Yield: 13 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 154Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 19mgSodium: 120mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 1gSugar: 15gProtein: 2g