Delectably sweet and buttery, these simple Valentine Sandwich Cookies are super lovable! Each pair of homemade butter cookies is decorated with a cute, candy heart, and sandwiched around a swirl of raspberry buttercream.
Table of Contents
- Raspberry Buttercream Sandwich Cookies with Candy Icing Hearts!
- What’s the Difference Between Shortbread Cookies, Butter Cookies, and Sugar Cookies?
- Ingredients You’ll Need
- Let’s Bake Some Cookies!
- Helpful Baking Tips
- My Favorite Variation Ideas
- How to Store These Valentine Sandwich Cookies
- Get the Recipe
- More Sweet Valentine Treats
When it comes to Valentine’s Day cookies, there are just so many options! From chocolate masterpieces to pretty iced sugar cookies, the sky’s the limit. But if you only make one cookie recipe for the lovey-dovey-est day of the year, I hope you consider this one!
With scrumptious homemade butter cookies and real buttercream frosting flavored with raspberry, these sweet Valentine sandwich cookies are an amazing combination of light, buttery richness, and candy-like fruit flavor. In addition, they are incredibly easy to make! That’s another reason they’re perfect for sharing with the ones you love!
Looking for more Valentine’s Day cookies? Make sure and check out these Marbled Sugar Cookies!
Great question! Quick baking lesson: technically speaking, a shortbread cookie has more butter in it than a regular butter cookie, and a butter cookie has more butter than a sugar cookie.
The texture of shortbread cookies is noticeably “short,” which is an old-fashioned baking term for “crumbly,” thanks to undeveloped gluten and plenty of butter. This makes them delicious, of course, but not very suitable for rolling out.
Butter cookies are easier to shape, and sugar cookies are easiest of all.
For this recipe, we’re using a basic butter cookie dough, that bakes up soft and moist, but is still sturdy enough to roll out and cut with cookie cutters.
Ingredients You’ll Need
Let’s talk ingredients for a minute, shall we? Because while this cookie recipe yields some pretty impressive results, it is actually a very basic ingredients list. All you need are common items, most of which you probably already have.
For the Shortbread
- Butter: I recommend using unsalted butter for cookie baking, but salted will also work. The butter should be at room temperature.
- Sugar: You’ll need three types of sugar here – granulated sugar, powdered sugar, and a little bit of brown sugar. Each adds a unique textural element to the cookies. Eggs: To bind the dough together, you’ll need three large, whole eggs.
- Cornstarch: A small amount of cornstarch helps keep the cookies soft.
- Vanilla: My favorite vanilla for these cookies is actually vanilla bean paste. However, you can also use vanilla extract.
- Salt: If you use salted butter, you may want to reduce the salt in the recipe.
- Flour: All-purpose flour is my go-to, but you could substitute a good 1:1 gluten-free flour blend. (The texture may vary if you do this.)
- Heart Candies: For this recipe, I used Wilton heart icing candies. Different candy hearts can be used – just test them to make sure they don’t melt in the oven first!
For the Raspberry Buttercream
- Butter: Again, I recommend unsalted butter, and the butter should be room temperature.
- Powdered Sugar: Powdered sugar dissolves into the butter and creates a nice fluffy buttercream.
- Raspberry Jello: A couple of teaspoons of raspberry Jello powder give that light fruit-candy flavor to the buttercream.
The procedure for baking Valentine sandwich cookies is really simple! All you have to do is roll out the dough, cut the cookies, and bake them. After that, sandwich them around the sweet buttercream filling. Yummy!
Cream the Butter and Sugars (Except Powdered Sugar). Combine the butter for the cookies with the granulated sugar, and brown sugar, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat them all together on high speed for about one minute, until smooth and creamy.
Add the Remaining Ingredients. Now beat in the eggs, followed by the powdered sugar for the cookies (not the buttercream), cornstarch, vanilla bean paste, and salt. Beat all of this for 30 seconds, until fully combined and smooth. Last of all, add the flour to the mixing bowl, and beat to incorporate.
Chill. To firm up the dough for rolling and cutting, wrap it in plastic wrap, and chill it in the fridge for one hour.
Roll the DoughOut. Once the dough is finished chilling, unwrap it and place it onto a lightly floured surface. Preheat your oven to 350°F, and line one or two large cookie sheets with parchment paper. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out into a large sheet, about ¼ inch thick.
Cut Out the Cookies. Now take a medium (1 ½ to 2 inch) round cookie cutter, and cut out as many cookies from the dough as possible. Place them on the baking sheets as you go. When you’re done, combine the remaining scraps of dough into a ball, roll it out again, and cut more cookies. Repeat until all of the dough is used up.
Add Candy Hearts. Place heart candies into the centers of half of the cookies. Make sure you press the candy hearts into the dough, so that they stick. You should have 32 cookies with candies, and 32 cookies without candies.
Bake and Cool. Move the baking sheets to the oven, and bake the cookies for 12 minutes. When ready, each cookie will be slightly browned around the edges, but still soft to the touch. Take them out of the oven, and place them on cooling racks to cool completely.
Make the Buttercream. Once the cookies are cool, make the buttercream. Simply place all of the buttercream ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, and beat on high for 2 minutes, to make a smooth and fluffy filling.
Assemble the Cookies. Spoon the buttercream into a piping bag, fitted with a star tip. Turn each plain cookie (without a candy heart) upside down, and pipe buttercream onto the bottom. Then, top each frosted cookie with a candy heart cookie, heart-side up. Gently press the cookies together so that they stick together and make sandwiches.
Helpful Baking Tips
So, real talk – even with the best recipes, sometimes things don’t turn out quite as planned, right? We’ve all been there! That’s why I always try to share some helpful hints and easy tipsfor baking success. Here are a few things you should know about these Valentine sandwich cookies:
- How Long to Mix: Because butter cookie dough is so rich in butter, it is practically impossible to overdevelop the gluten in this recipe, so don’t worry about overmixing. The only caution I would give is not to mix longer than six or seven minutes, or the butter may begin to break down. But it only takes a couple of minutes to get smooth, even dough, so that should not be a problem!
- Work in Pairs: If you wind up with more or less than 64 cookies, that is fine! Just make sure to have an even number of cookies to make the sandwiches. If you have an odd number of cookies, the extra cookie makes a great snack for the chef!
- Buttercream Troubleshooting: If the buttercream seems too thick, you can mix in a teaspoon or two of milk at a time, until you get the right consistency. If the buttercream is too thin, add in a tablespoon or two of powdered sugar, until it’s thick enough.
My Favorite Variation Ideas
- Other Jello Flavors: Raspberry Jello powder gives a pretty color and sweet berry flavor here, but you could use almost any flavor Jello! Orange would be lovely for a Creamsicle flavor, or you could go with strawberry, cherry, lemon, or even lime.
- Chocolate Buttercream: To make these sweet sandwich cookies with decadent chocolate buttercream, just leave out the Jello powder, and instead, add a teaspoon of vanilla, ¼ cup cocoa powder, and a tiny pinch of salt.
- Chocolate Raspberry: One of my favorite flavor combinations! In this case, I recommend making the cookies according to the recipe, and then adding a drizzle of melted chocolate over the tops. You can work around the candy hearts, let the chocolate drizzle over the hearts, or just omit the hearts entirely. Let the chocolate set for a few minutes before serving.
- Icing Decorations: If you like, you can add more decorations to your cookies. All you need is a bit of royal icing to make them stick. Edible sanding sugar, tiny nonpareils, sugar pearls… the possibilities are endless!
You can store the cookies in airtight containers at room temperature for up to three days, or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. If you add a drizzle, sprinkles, or other decorations, I recommend storing them in layers separated by sheets of parchment, to prevent sticking.
For the Cookies
- 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 3 large eggs
- ⅓ cup powdered sugar
- 2 ½ tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 ½ tablespoons vanilla bean paste
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 32 Wilton heart icing candies
For the Buttercream
- ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons raspberry Jello powder
- Add the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat on high speed for one minute, to ensure that the mixture is smooth and creamy. Add in the eggs, and beat together for 30 seconds.
- Next, add in the powdered sugar, cornstarch, vanilla bean paste, and salt. Beat together for 30 seconds, or until fully incorporated. Lastly, add in the flour. Beat to incorporate.
- Wrap the dough in plastic wrap, and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
- Once the dough has chilled, unwrap the plastic wrap, and place the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 1 – 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper, and set aside.
- Use a rolling pin to roll the dough out into a large sheet, about ¼ inch thick. Use a 1 ½ to 2 inch round cookie cutter to cut out as many cookies from the dough as possible. Place the cookies on the prepared baking sheets. Combine the remaining scraps of dough into a ball, roll it out into a ¼ inch thick sheet, and cut more cookies. Repeat these steps until all of the dough is used.
- Place 32 heart candies into the center of 32 of the cookies. Press the candy hearts into the dough so that they stick. You should have 32 cookies with candies, and 32 cookies without candies.
- Bake the cookies for 12 minutes. They will be slightly browned around the edges, but still soft to the touch. Remove the cookies from the oven, and place on cooling racks to cool completely.
- Once the cookies are cool, make the frosting. Add all of the frosting ingredients to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat together on high speed for 2 minutes, or until a smooth and fluffy frosting has formed.
- Spoon the frosting into a piping bag fitted with a star piping tip. Start with the plain cookies, without candy hearts. Turn each one upside down, and pipe frosting onto the bottom. Top with the candy heart cookies, heart-side up. Gently press the cookies together so that they stick together and make sandwiches.
- Serve immediately. You may also store the cookies in airtight containers at room temperature for up to three days, or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
More Sweet Valentine Treats
Looking for more adorable Valentine’s themed desserts to celebrate? Here are some of my favorites:
- Maraschino Cherry Cupcakes
- Strawberry Shortcake Sandwiches
- Red Velvet Cupcakes
- Red Velvet Macarons
- Strawberry Cupcakes With Strawberry Buttercream
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