Remember those slice and bake cookies from your childhood that came in a tube? These homemade slice and bake heart cookies are surprisingly easy to make, taste better than the original, and are free from preservatives and artificial coloring.
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Red or pink food coloring (we used this natural food coloring)
- Add butter, sugar and vanilla extract to a large mixing bowl (or stand mixer). Beat at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
- Add in eggs one at a time, mixing just until combined.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in 3-4 batches, until the dough comes together. If the dough is too wet, add in an additional 1-2 tbsp of flour as needed. (This can depend on the size of your eggs, etc.)
- Remove about 1/2-2/3 of the dough and set aside. Add several drops of food coloring to the remaining dough and mix until combined. Add more food coloring to reach desired hue.
- Place the pink dough in the freezer for 5 minutes, then roll out into a rectangle about 1/2-inch thick on a lightly floured surface. Return to the freezer for 20 minutes. This will make it much easier to cut out the hearts without ruining their shape.
- Use a small heart cookie cutter (roughly 1.5" across) to cut out hearts. Dip a finger in a little bit of water and lightly rub on the floured side of the cookie before adhering another heart. This helps them stick together, but don’t overdo the water, you only need a tiny amount. Repeat with all hearts until you have a log about 10-inches long.
- Return the log to the freezer for at least 30 minutes, or until frozen solid. Remove from freezer and press the plain cookie dough directly onto and around the hearts. Make sure to really press it in so you don’t end up with any gaps. Roll into a smooth log.
- Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350˚F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- When you’re ready to bake, slice the dough into 1/4” rounds, then space 2 inches apart on the baking sheets. Bake for ~12 minutes, or until the bottoms are light golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool.
Heart cookie cutter: Our cookie cutter is about 1.5 inches across. This is the set we have – we used one of the smallest sizes. We use the larger sizes for regular cookies.
Want to make this recipe vegan? Try our vegan sugar cookie dough, but use this process for shaping and baking.
Chill your colored dough. If you want your hearts to be well-defined, you'll need to chill the pink dough in the freezer for about 15 minutes. If the dough is too soft, it will be nearly impossible to get the hearts out of the cookie cutter without destroying their shape. You'll also need to freeze your "log" of hearts after sticking them together to make sure the shape stays in tact when you add the uncolored dough to the sides. Don't skip the chilling process - it's essential to make sure these turn out perfectly!
Don't refrigerate the plain dough. You want it to be super soft so and pliable so it's easy to adhere to the hearts.
You can keep the dough in the freezer for up to a few months (as long as it's tightly wrapped) so you can enjoy slice and bake cookies at any time! Let the dough thaw at room temperature for about 15 minutes before slicing and baking.
- Prep Time: 90 minutes
- Cook Time: 12 minutes
- Category: Cookies
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: 2 cookies
- Calories: 275
- Sugar: 16.8 g
- Sodium: 111.9 mg
- Fat: 12.6 g
- Carbohydrates: 37.1 g
- Fiber: 0.7 g
- Protein: 3.9 g
Keywords: slice and bake heart cookies