I discovered something really important about red velvet, and I’m ready to tell the world. If you’ve never had red velvet, it’s a tender cake with a touch of cocoa powder. It loves to be paired white chocolate, and it loves cream cheese; but what you didn’t know is how much a white chocolate peanut butter heart brings to the party.
If you remember (and laughed at) my Valentine’s Day candy review, you’ll recognize these Reese’s white chocolate peanut butter hearts. It was hard to save 6 for these cookies, but I did it. If I can do it, you can do it! This small-batch sugar cookie recipe just makes 6 cookies, so all you have to save is 6 hearts. That’s reasonable, right?
To be honest, though, any heart-shaped chocolate is welcome here. The caramel hearts from my small-batch brownies would be great, and even the Dove dark chocolate hearts, though they are a bit smaller.
I’ve got a soft spot for red velvet. I’ve gone years without it, because, as you know, as a society, we are very into beet and spirulina powder these days, and we are certainly avoiding red food coloring. But, um, it’s Valentine’s Day and I just can’t resist a festive dessert for two. It’s just how I roll.
This sugar cookie recipe is based on one from my next cookbook, Sweet & Simple: Dessert for Two, and I love it for so many reasons. The recipe uses melted butter, which is always loads easier for a person like me who is a) impatient and b) never remembers to put butter on the counter to soften. These cookies bake up soft, crackly and perfect, no matter what size you scoop them. I’ve rolled them into 10 dough balls, and I’ve beefed it up to 6 balls (like I did here)–no matter what I do, they always bake up perfect. They also bake up perfect round, even if you do a half-ass job shaping them into balls.
They’re essentially the perfect sugar cookie recipe that you need in your arsenal.
These cookies only use an egg yolk, so be sure to check out my recipes to use leftover egg whites.
Yields 6 cookies
Small batch sugar cookies: red velvet sugar cookies with hearts for Valentine's Day!
10 minPrep Time
11 minCook Time
21 minTotal Time
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar, plus extra for rolling
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon red gel food coloring
- 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/8 teaspoon fine salt
- 6 white chocolate peanut butter hearts (like Reese's)
- Preheat the oven to 350, and line a small baking sheet with parchment paper (or use a silicone mat).
- Stir together the melted butter, sugar, egg yolk, vanilla extract and red food coloring. Stir very well to combine.
- Next, sprinkle the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt evenly over the dough, and stir just to combine.
- Press the dough flat and evenly in the bowl, and then divide it in half by eye. You should get 3 cookies from each half.
- Roll each dough ball in your hands, roll lightly extra granulated sugar, and then space evenly on the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes, until they spread, start to crackle and appear dry on top.
- Let the cookies rest on the baking sheet for 2 minutes before moving them to a wire rack to cool completely.
- After the cookies have cooled for 10 minutes, press a white chocolate heart into the center of each cookie. Move the cookies to the fridge (so the hearts don't melt too much) to set for 30 minutes.
- Bring to room temperature before serving.