Valentine's Day Cookies with a Candy Surprise

Can you believe it is almost the middle of January?! It seems like Christmas was just last week... You may have noticed January has been a bit different, so far, on my blog. I've taken a break from the sweets lately; last week was all about the savory dishes. Well, I've started getting a few cake projects lined up, so I'm back to my regular posting schedule. I hope to start each week with a cake/cookie decorating project or tutorial. Mid week will be for new recipes I'm trying out. Then I plan to finish the week with a savory dish, craft/DIY project, blog tutorial/project, etc.

It's almost mid-January, so that means Valentine's Day is just about a month away! I've already started seeing the candy and cards in the stores, and I've been reading a ton of blog projects online. I decided to experiment this weekend with a Valentine's Day cookie idea I had, I'm excited to share it today!

Have you seen the pinata cookies on Pinterest? They have a burro pinata shape, are multicolored, and filled with candy. It's such an adorable idea, and really easy to make. You just take 3 identical cookies,  cut a hole in the center cookie, fill the hole with candy, and "glue" the cookies together with icing. I've really been wanting to try to make these, but hadn't had an occasion calling for pinata I didn't have the burro shaped cookie cutter.

When brainstorming Valentine's Day cookie ideas, I remembered those pinata cookies and decided that would be perfect for the holiday! Instead of multicolored burro cookies, I used pink heart shaped sugar cookies with white icing. The cookies were easy and so much fun to make, I could see these being a great project to do with kids!! I even bought the Valentine's Day M&M's, so the cookies would be filled with pink/red/white candy.

These cookie treats require 3 sugar cookies "glued" together with icing. I will admit, having the 3 cookies together makes for a lot of cookie in each snack. You couldn't use small cookies either, because you need room for the candy. But, this treat is perfect to share with someone special!

I actually hadn't made sugar cookies from scratch in quite a while, so I decided to try out a new recipe. I ended up using one from Food Network. I used the corresponding icing recipe of theirs, it tasted delicious and had the perfect stiff consistency needed for decorating and sticking the cookies together. The original recipe stated it yields 5 dozen cookies. I used a medium sized heart cookie cutter, though, and only got about 20 out of it.

Valentine's Day Sugar cookie ingredients (recipe card included at the end of the post):
Cookie -
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup unsalted butter
3 tbs powdered sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups all-purpose flour

Decor -
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tbs milk
Valentine's Day M&M's, or other small holiday candy

Valentine's Day Sugar cookie instructions (get the recipe cards at the end of the post):
  • Preheat oven to 325F
  • In a small bowl, whisk together an egg and vanilla
  • Cream butter until fluffy, scrape down the side of the bowl to get all the butter in the base of the bowl
  • Add in both types of sugar and cream for 2-3 mins
  • Scrape the side of the bowl again
  • Add the egg mixture to the batter and beat for 1 min
  • Sift the flour and salt in a medium sized bowl
  • Add to the dough mixture and beat until just blended
  • Add a few drops of pink food coloring and mix until fully incorporated
  • Turn the bowl over and drop dough onto plastic wrap
  • Wrap up and refrigerate for at least 1 hour
  •  Remove chilled dough and roll out to roughly 1/4" thick, cut out heart shapes
  • Bake cookies 12-15 mins
  • Whisk together powdered sugar and milk
  • Place icing in piping bag with a small round tip 
  • Group the cookies into sets of three (for each treat you are going to make)
  • Once cookies are completely cooled, cut out a hole in the middle of the cookies that will be in the center
  • Lay out the bottom cookie and pipe icing around the edge of the cookie
  • Place the cookie with the hole on it
  • Fill the hole with M&M's
  • Pipe icing on the edge of the middle cookie
  • Place a third cookie on top
  • Decorate the top cookie with whatever you want

I ended up making a few of the candy treats, but also just decorated some cookies on their own. I haven't done a lot of cookie work before, so I was pleased with how they turned out! Here is the collection of cookies I worked on:

Hope you enjoy this fun cookie tutorial, I'm sure it would be a hit with kids (or adults) for Valentine's Day! If you are looking for other Valentine's Day ideas check out my fondant Love Birds topper, my chocolate covered strawberry cake, or my sweet and salty snacks that would be perfect for Valentine's Day (check the bottom of that post)!

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