These conversation heart cookies are just like the candies of your youth, but all grown up!
I remember sitting at my desk in elementary school on Valentine’s Day, getting ready to exchange cards with my classmates. It was so exciting to open all of those little cards, some scratch n’ sniff, others featuring fuzzy little puppies and kittens and sometimes I was lucky enough to find a few conversation heart candies tucked inside the envelope. I especially loved those little candies and reading the message stamped on the heart. “Be Mine”, “XOXO”, “Kiss Me”. They were sweet and thoughtful and depending on the giver, a little thrilling.
The meaning of Valentine’s Day has changed for me over the years. It was candy and stuffed animals as a teenager, romantic dinner dates as a young adult and maybe the gift of sleeping in when the boys were babies. Now, we always make sure to get the boys a silly card and a treat bag filled with their favorite candies or bake them something special. For Steve and I, it’s usually something of an afterthought. Should we make a reservation for dinner or just stay in?
After all this time together, the expression of love is pretty simple: emptying the dishwasher, noticing a new haircut, actually listening to the other person’s story or doing something his way (instead of the right way my way). It’s actively complimenting and consciously ignoring each other’s annoying adorable idiosyncrasies. Maybe a back rub after a long day or agreeing to a rom-com instead of the latest shoot em up flick. Roses and jewelry and fancy dinners are great, but sometimes getting to sit down and watch my favorite show while he tackles the dishes is worth far more.
It got me thinking that they need to update the messages on those conversation hearts with grown up expressions of love. Ones that show you’re in it for the long haul. So I took the liberty of doing it myself in cookie form. I decorated my conversation heart cookies using this sugar cookie and royal icing recipe. I used tinted flood icing to fill the hearts and a thicker consistency to pipe the words with a #1 Ateco round tip. I also made some chocolate heart cookies, because c’mon, it’s Valentine’s Day and we all need a little chocolate.
So whether we’re eating in our sweats on the sofa or I’m in my best heels at a nice restaurant for Valentine’s Day, I’ll try to remember the little things. And not just on Valentine’s Day, but throughout the year. Maybe instead of a sharp elbow to the ribs next time he snores, just a gentle tap. Now that’s love.
- 2 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder dutch-process
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 cup 2 sticks unsalted butter , softened
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
Sift flour, cocoa powder and salt together, set aside.
Cream butter and sugars. Add the egg and mix to combine.
Add the flour in two batches, and blend until mixture just holds together.
Add vanilla and mix to combine.
Roll out between two sheets of wax paper and cut out shapes with cookie cutters.
Place shapes on baking trays lined with parchment paper and put in freezer for about 10 minutes before baking.
Bake at 350 degrees until cookies are set, about 8-12 minutes, depending on the shape/size of the cookie.