Happy Valentine's Day! I think a lot of people tend to either be VERY VERY anti Valentine's Day or VERY VERY pro Valentine's Day, & I'm pretty sure I fall into the smaller middle ground. It's nice to have a day to celebrate love, isn't it? And you get to eat everything heart shaped?! Sign me up!
My sister & I make these conversation heart cookies every year, but this past year she moved out to Arizona so now I'm all on my own! But when I'm with Erin we write aggressive (her word choice) sayings on the cookies - think all the inappropriate words you know, insults instead of compliments, all that fun stuff. But since it was just me I got to do fun, happy words this year! It was a bittersweet change. But the cookies themselves are delicious as ever. And lucky for you guys, I'm sharing this knockout recipe with you today!
I honestly have no idea where this recipe comes from, I just know that I've been making it my entire life & I have a little index card in my mom's handwriting that I look at for reference whenever I want to bake them. It's definitely a staple recipe in our family! We make them all throughout the year - they make aaaah-mazing Christmas cookies as well, because the dough really holds its shape.
It's an incredibly simple recipe (just 5 ingredients!) & the cookie itself is only slightly sweet, so a bit of frosting doesn't totally overload your taste buds. I'm also sharing a little trick for getting the icing so smooth. There's a full tutorial below (with photos!), but I've included a printer-friendly version here. Enjoy!
Cream Cheese Sugar Cookie Recipe
Makes about 20 cookies (& you can easily halve or double the recipe! I almost always double it)
Ingredients & Supplies
- 1 (8 oz) package of cream cheese (softened)
- 3/4 cup butter (softened)
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 1/4 cups flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- Heart shaped cookie cutter (or whatever shape your heart desires!)
- Rolling pin
- Extra flour (for rolling)
- A cookie sheet (or two)
- Wire rack
- 1 package vanilla frosting (get the simple stuff - Pillsbury Creamy Supreme or Betty Crocker Rich & Creamy. Stay away from whipped frostings, you need a creamy texture so that it can melt.)
- A bowl wide enough to dip your cookie in face down
- A ziplock bag (or piping bag if you wanna get fancy)
- Parchment paper
Beat cream cheese, butter, & sugar until creamy
Add flour & baking soda, mix well
Preheat oven to 325 degrees
Flour a work surface & roll dough to 1/8"-1/4" thick (I prefer 1/4", they're so fluffy!), cut into hearts using your cookie cutter & place onto ungreased cookie sheet
Bake 12-14 min or until bottoms are a light golden brown
Remove from oven & let cool 2-3 min, transfer to wire rack & cool completely before frosting
After cookies have cooled, lay out sheets of parchment paper big enough to accommodate all of your frosted cookies. The classic conversation heart cookie colors are white, pink, orange, yellow, green, & purple pastels (but you can do whatever you want). In order to conserve dishes, I usually try to work through colors progressively on the color wheel. So I start with white, then add a bit of red food coloring to the same bowl to get pink, then add yellow food coloring to get orange. Then I wash the bowl & move onto yellow, which I then turn into green. Wash the bowl again, & you've got only purple left.
To get smooth icing, first mix up your first color in your bowl (you'll only need about one large spoonful of frosting at a time). Microwave at 10 second increments until smooth (it should take no more than 20 seconds). Allow to cool 10-20 seconds, then dip cookies into the bowl face down. Allow icing to drip off the sides (your hands are gonna get a little messy), then place onto the parchment paper. See photos below for an example.
Continue dipping as many cookies as you want in that frosting color, then switch up your color & repeat! You may find that the frosting gets a little too thick at times - just pop it in the microwave again for a few seconds!
After you've dipped all your cookies, allow them to set & prepare your conversation heart sayings. I recommend taking the time to brainstorm before you start your lettering. You can go nice or aggressive, both are fun (& fun to gift!). A few of my favorites are:
DM ME (or TXT ME, TWEET ME, etc.)
NICE BUTT (or, as Grayson suggested, NICE QUADS)
Keep in mind that they have to be pretty short to fit on the cookie! And don't worry if you mess up the first few cookies - you can just eat them!
Dye the rest of your frosting as red as you can get it (it'll probably be a darker pink, food coloring is hard) & place in a plastic ziplock bag. Seal the top & cut off a tiny tiny bit of one of the bottom corners to pipe out of. Practice your lettering on a paper towel or another sheet of wax paper, & when you're ready you can start lettering on your cookies! So exciting!
You'll probably notice that there are some parts of your lettering that stick up from where you pick up your piping bag - once you're finished icing, you can just get a little bowl of water, dip your finger in it, & smooth those annoying little tails down. Voila!
I hope you all enjoy these cookies as much as I do! I've included a printer-friendly version linked here as well. Happy baking!