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Feb 11, 2023

Chocolate Valentine Sugar Cookies

These Chocolate Valentine Sugar Cookies are perfect for sharing with your sweetheart, your family, and your favorite chocolate lover friends. 

Chocolate Valentine Sugar Cookies with pink icing.

Combine a semi-sweet and deeply chocolate cookie with royal icing for a wonderful treat for Valentine's Day, or any time of the year.

The chocolate sugar cookies are super easy, not too sweet, and really chocolaty. I used a mixture of black cocoa and Dutch process cocoa to get this beautiful dark brown color. If you don't have black cocoa, you can use all Dutch process cocoa. 

I've also used the black cocoa in Mini Chocolate Sandwich CookiesChocolate Wafer Cookies, Triple Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies, and even Marbled Rye Bagels for a wonderful dark color. It's a great ingredient. 

Chocolate Valentine Sugar Cookies dipped and sprinkled on black plates.

These Chocolate Valentine Sugar Cookies illustrate why there are not a lot of frosted cookies or decorated cakes on this blog. This is the very first time I tried "piping and flooding" cookies with royal icing, and it was a royal pain. Clearly, I'm more of a "rustic" baker.

However, the first time I made these, my grandsons were hanging out with me as I iced them, and they thought I was a genius because I made these little abstract hearts by dragging a toothpick through the icing. 

Judging by the number of cookies they ate, these cookies were a total success!

Chocolate Valentine Sugar Cookies dipped and sprinkled and on a rack.

This time, I dipped half (the second half, when I was super tired) of the cookies in royal icing and added some sprinkles, which was so much easier than "real" cookie decorating. Sprinkles make everything better, right? 

I'm definitely going to work on my royal icing skills, because these cookies are totally delicious!

The flooding part worked out fine, and I'm pretty happy with the abstract little red hearts. I've just got to work on the piping part so the edges aren't so squiggly. 

I tried using a smaller piping tip, and I tried doing the piping sitting down, but I still quite can't get the precise straight line that cookie decorators seem to be able to master. I need to find a magical "icing pen" rather than a piping bag and tip. 

Chocolate Valentine Sugar Cookies on a baking sheet.

This is an update of a recipe I originally posted in January, 2016, and I decided to try remaking them. They're just as tasty as I remember. 

Here's my first try:

Chocolate Valentine Sugar Cookies with hearts in the icing.

While I'm my own worst critic, no one really noticed the flaws, and everyone raved about the flavors. Still, I really want to get better at the basics of cookie decorating. I guess I need to practice instead of just waiting seven years to try again. 

Ingredients You Will Need:

Black cocoa and Dutch process cocoa: Actually, both are Dutch process. If you can't find the black cocoa, just use all Dutch process. You just won't get the deep, almost black color. 

Meringue Powder: It's a great ingredient for adding to royal icing. Powdered egg whites also work. 

Espresso Powder: It's a great ingredient for enhancing the cocoa flavor. 

Gel Food Coloring

Pantry and Fridge Ingredients: sugar, butter, baking powder, vanilla, salt, egg, all purpose flour, confectioner's sugar. 

Chocolate Valentine Sugar Cookies on Plates.

How to Make These Cookies:

First, beat the butter, sugar, baking powder, vanilla, espresso, and salt together in the bowl of a stand mixer until everything is fluffy. Then beat in the egg. 

Next, add the flour and cocoa powders and beat until just mixed. 

After that, chill the dough for at least 30 minutes. I chilled it overnight. Roll the dough out and cut it into hearts and bake the cookies for about 8 minutes. 

Once the cookies cool, ice them with the royal icing. The icing needs about three hours to harden. 


If anyone has tips for getting perfectly even borders with the icing, please add them to the comments! 

Tools You Will Need:

Heart shaped cookie cutter. 

#1 piping tip, plus a piping bag and coupler for creating the border. 

Once you've added the border, just add more water to the royal icing, add it to a condiment squeeze bottle, and then spread it over the cookie. 

Toothpicks for spreading the icing and dropping the contrasting color. 

Stand Mixer or Hand Mixer for mixing the dough as well as the icing. 

Rolling Pin: I love mine with the rings that make sure that the dough is evenly rolled out. 

Two Chocolate Valentine Sugar Cookies.

The cookie recipe (not the icing) was adapted from King Arthur Flour. 

Chocolate Valentine Sugar Cookies

Chocolate Valentine Sugar Cookies
Yield: 55 cookies
Author: Karen's Kitchen Stories
Prep time: 2 HourCook time: 8 MinInactive time: 30 MinTotal time: 2 H & 38 M
These Chocolate Valentine Sugar Cookies are perfect for sharing with your sweetheart, your family, and your favorite chocolate lover friends.


For the Cookies
  • 3/4 cups (149 grams) sugar
  • 1 cup (227 grams) unsalted butter, slightly softened
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp espresso powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup (21 grams) black cocoa (or omit this and double the Dutch process cocoa)
  • 1/4 cup (21 grams) Dutch process cocoa
  • 2 1/4 cups (269 grams) unbleached all purpose flour
For the Icing
  • 4 cups powdered sugar, sifted, plus more as needed
  • 2 tbsp meringue powder
  • 5 tbsp water, plus more to thin the icing
  • Gel food coloring


To Make the Cookies
  1. Beat the sugar, butter, baking powder, vanilla, espresso, and salt together until fluffy.
  2. Beat in the egg.
  3. Whisk the cocoa powders and flour together and add to the mixing bowl. Beat until fully combined.
  4. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes, or overnight.
  5. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line two or three baking sheets with parchment.
  6. Divide the the dough in half and roll out to 1/8 inch thick between two sheets of wax paper. Cut the dough with cookie cutters and place the pieces on the baking sheets.
  7. Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time, for 8 to 10 minutes. Cool completely on the baking sheets before icing.
To Make the Icing and Ice the Cookies
  1. Place the powdered sugar, meringue powder, and water into a bowl of a stand mixer and mix with the paddle attachment on medium low for about 7 to 10 minutes, until the mixture looks matte. Transfer the mixture to an airtight container.
  2. At this point, the mixture is too thick to pipe. Add more water by tablespoon to the mixture, stirring thoroughly between additions, until it is at a consistency that can be piped. Add any coloring you might be using. If you are using more than one color, divide the mixture among airtight containers before adding the color. In my case, I used some red to turn the mixture pink for piping and flooding, and then added more red for the hearts.
  3. Place some of the icing into a piping bag with a #1 tip. Pipe the borders of the cookies and let dry for about an hour.
  4. Dilute the remaining royal icing with water, adding it one teaspoon at a time until it runs off of a spoon but is not thin. The goal is to have it thick enough to be opaque, but thin enough to create a level and flat "flooding." You can always add more sugar or water as necessary to achieve the right consistency. Divide into small airtight containers and add more colors of your choice.
  5. Place the flooding icing into plastic squeeze condiment bottles.
  6. One cookie at a time, squeeze some of the icing onto the cookie and spread it with a toothpick to the edges. Dot a contrasting color onto the icing with more icing of the same consistency. Drag a tooth pick through the dots to create "artsy" hearts.
  7. Let the icing dry for about 3 hours.

Nutrition Facts



Fat (grams)

3.67 g

Sat. Fat (grams)

2.27 g

Carbs (grams)

15.94 g

Fiber (grams)

0.42 g

Net carbs

15.5 g

Sugar (grams)

11.4 g

Protein (grams)

0.91 g

Sodium (milligrams)

43.88 mg

Cholesterol (grams)

12.51 mg
cookies, chocolate, valentine's
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  1. I think your cookies look spectacular. I honestly prefer them not to look too perfect because that means they are homemade.

  2. Heck, I'm mega impressed! That's some serious piping work right there, especially for your first time. I love the black cocoa. I mean, if you're going to do chocolate, you might as really dive in. Nice cookies, Karen!

    1. Exactly, even if shipping costs the same as the cocoa! I think I need some caster sugar.... =)

  3. Ah, a fellow frosted decorator cookies newbie! I too baked & decorated cookies with the flood technique for the first time and it was, as you say, a royal pain. But I think yours came out beautifully and how can anybody resist a chocolate cookie made with black cocoa!

    1. Thanks Linda! So happy I wasn't alone trying this! So fun that you tried it too.

  4. Karen , what are you talking about. The cookies look great. And looks like you and me thought similarly this month. I wanted to try royal icing though. But i couldn't get my hands on meringue powder or pasteurised egg whites :-( . You have done a great job!

    1. Thank you! Your little chocolate hearts are adorable!

  5. These are stunning, so nicely done! I would be thrilled to serve these to the ones I love for Valentine's Day!!

  6. What a nice treat caring for Valentines Day just in time for my birthday

  7. What beautiful decorating! I love the toothpick trick and think it turned out so nicely around the edge of your cookies.

  8. These are stunning! I'd love to receive a dozen of these on Valentine's Day!

    1. Thanks so much Heather. They are definitely growing on me!

  9. I avoid icing too, but these cookies look great! I love the little red hearts, and the cookies look tasty too.

    1. Thanks Anne! I don't know what possessed me to do this!

  10. On the one hand I don't blame you and probably agree with you. There are reasons iced cookies rarely appear on my site lol. But OMG you did an amazing job! Count me with your grandsons, I mean I knew how you did it, but I also know mine would not have looked anywhere near so nice!

    1. Oh Laura you made my day! Seriously. Sometimes you just have to go for it, don't you? These are beginning to grow on me, and now that the icing is really dry, it's a really tasty cookie.

  11. Well, Karen... I will be following your footsteps in this... or should I say your piping moves? ;-)

    I was thinking of using a white, plain sugar cookie, but I like the contrast of the chocolate color, and of course, chocolate and Valentine's - quite a match

    I need to roll my sleeves up, take a very deep breath and go for it!

    1. It is a lot of fun. It's time consuming, but in an enjoyable, get lost in what you're doing way. I'm definitely going for it again. Can't wait to see yours =)

  12. I happen to think they turned out quite nice! The hearts are too cute!

  13. Doesn't matter if you are not a pro at royal icing as these look beautiful! In fact, these rustic looking ones seem much better!

  14. I have no idea what you are on about, Karen! Those cookies look absolutely perfect to me! And your grandsons are right. The hearts are genius!

  15. These are just gorgeous! Pinning!

  16. Royal icing kind of intimidates me, but I would love to try these. You did an amazing job and I love that you used black cocoa in the cookies. The darker the chocolate the better for me.

  17. Absolutely gorgeous cookies....belong in a bakery window.


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