Valentine’s Day Sugar Cookies

Well folks, it’s that time of year. Stores cover their windows with hot-pink hearts. Candy of all fillings show up on every shelf. And everyone seems a little happier (or angrier if you’re the anti-love type). It’s Valentine’s Day.

When asked how I feel about the holiday, I really can’t say. I mean, I get the appeal. Doing something special for someone special, creating a warm feeling during the cold winter months. A day to slow down and truly appreciate the people around you. A chance for the super superficial folks to shower their loved one with diamonds and fancy chocolates. Ok, maybe that last one sounded a bit bitter.

I truly understand the holiday. But I wasn’t really exposed to it as a child. Don’t get me wrong, my parents love each other and I can see it every time they interact. Even when the bicker. But they showered each other with love every day. My dad sending flowers to my mom as work. My mom making my dad’s favorite dinner. The two of them going out on a dinner date. They didn’t limit the affection to one day a year. And that’s probably a better way to treat someone.

Anyways, I digress.

I will be spending this Valentine’s day without a special someone. Not unlike most of my Valentine’s day. But just because I don’t have a boy doesn’t mean I can’t celebrate the day and shower my loved ones with something sweet.

Since I love to bake (and my friends love to eat my baked goods), I decided to whip up a few sweet treats for those special people in my life.  Tonight I tackled the heart-shaped sugar cookie, a classic holiday treat.

I’ve made this recipe many times, so this time I wanted to try something new. I made two versions of the dough. The first is the original and the second is a healthier version. I recently had to write an article about healthy ingredient substitutions (shameless plug), and decided to give them a try.

So let’s see how it went.

Valentine’s Day Sugar Cookies

Dough Recipe One

The magic behind the first cookie dough.

The magic behind the first cookie dough.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup softened butter
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2-1/2 cups All Purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

Directions

  1. Mix flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.
  2. In a separate bowl, cream together butter and sugar. 
  3. Blend in eggs and vanilla extract.
  4. Slowly add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, and mix together.
  5. Wrap dough in plastic wrap, place in container, and refrigerate over night.

Dough Recipe Two 

The pieces of cookie dough two.

The pieces of cookie dough two.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup softened butter
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2/3 cup mashed bananas (roughly 2 medium bananas)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2-1/2 cups All Purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

Directions

  1. Mix flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.
  2. In a separate bowl, cream together butter and sugar.
  3. Blend in bananas and vanilla extract.
  4. Slowly add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, and mix together.
  5. Wrap dough in plastic wrap, place in container, and refrigerate over night.

After the dough is made, the preparation is the same.

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. 
  2. Cover surface with flour (to avoid dough sticking to the table)
  3. Separate the dough into four sections.
  4. Roll section from 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick.
  5. Cut out cookies using any type of cookie cutter.
  6. Place cookies, 1-inch apart, on baking sheet (sprayed with Pam)
  7. Bake 6 to 8 minutes.
  8. Let cookies cook completely before icing and adding other decoration.

But before loading these treats up with frosting and sprinkles, take a look at the nutritional info per cookie.

Dough 1: 110 calories, 5g fat

Dough 2: 86 calories, 4g fat

Ok, so not a huge calorie difference in the long run. But if you plan on piling on the extras and eating more than one, you’d be better off with a low-calorie base.

Aside from nutritional info, there are a few other tiny differences. The second dough doesn’t hold its shape as well when baked. It also rises a bit more than the typical sugar dough, so you may want to roll the dough a little thinner. As far as taste, the second dough isn’t as sweet, which is great if you want to avoid going into a sugar coma.

From L to r: Dough One, Dough Two.

From L to r: Dough One, Dough Two.

But when it comes down to it, both are amazing cookies that your special someone will love!

What’s your go-to cookie recipe?

This entry was posted in Baking, Holiday Challenge, Valentine's Day and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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