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Striped Heart Sugar Cookies With Spring Flavors

Andrea is a home baker who loves to perfect challenging cakes, breads, and the like. She is on a quest to find the perfect flavor combos.

Heart-shaped cookies that are perfect for spring. Each stripe has a different flavor blend: lemon basil, strawberry mint, and earl gray lavender honey.

Heart-shaped cookies that are perfect for spring. Each stripe has a different flavor blend: lemon basil, strawberry mint, and earl gray lavender honey.

Please read through the recipe carefully before going to the store to buy ingredients. You may end up deciding to skip the flavor variations or only do some of them. You can create a similar striped cookie look with different doughs and food coloring.

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

5 hours

12 min

5 hours 12 min

32-50 cookies (depends on cookie cutter)

Timing Notes

Important: This recipe is time-consuming. You should do it on a day when you don't have a lot of other plans.

  • It takes about 20-30 minutes to make the initial sugar cookie dough.
  • Adding the flavor variations: per dough, it will take 5-10 minutes in a mixer or 15-30 minutes by hand. (I might be a slow baker.)
  • The first fridge proof takes a minimum of 30 minutes, though I recommend at least an hour.
  • Following the fridge proof, you'll cut the dough and align strips, which took me about 45 minutes to an hour. Then you rewrap it and put it in the fridge for a second proof, I recommend doing it overnight but you can wait 30 minutes.
  • Cutting hearts and putting them on a tray is going to take 5-10 minutes. They bake for 12-14 minutes. The thinner the cookie, the shorter the bake.

Altogether this makes for a lengthy baking process. It's not the easiest cookie recipe. To get this recipe done with three dough variations, you're looking at a 4-6 hour investment.

On This Page

  • What Do They Taste Like?
  • Baking Difficulty
  • Ingredients
  • Ingredient Notes
  • Instructions
  • Photo Instructions: Making the Dough
  • Photo Instructions: Making the Stripes
  • Baking Fixes
  • Recipe Notes
  • Cookie Pictures
What are those wet spots I see in the pink stripes? I mashed strawberries for that dough. Makes for funny pops of color, but it tastes delicious.

What are those wet spots I see in the pink stripes? I mashed strawberries for that dough. Makes for funny pops of color, but it tastes delicious.

What Do They Taste Like?

I think the cookies taste and smell somewhat like pop tarts. I gave the cookies to a German friend, and she said they tasted like cookies her grandmother made. They might taste more like German baking than the overly sugary and syrupy types of cookies Americans tend to make.

Baking Difficulty

This recipe is very cool but incredibly time-consuming. You can simplify it by making different sugar cookie batches with food coloring rather than flavor variations.

You can also make it more complicated by making doughs of every color of the rainbow. Three different variations took a whole afternoon from me. Plus, cutting the stripes, reshaping the dough, and covering it in plastic was fairly time-consuming.

I give this recipe 3.5 to 4 stars out of 5 on the difficulty scale. 1 star equating to something a child could do, and 5 stars for professionals who can ace tiramisu.

Ingredients

For the sugar cookies:

  • 2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 8 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

For the lemon basil variation:

  • 4 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons basil
  • 1 teabag lemon tea, cut open, pour out ingredients
  • 1/2 teaspoon or more yellow food coloring, as needed
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For the strawberry mint variation:

  • 4-6 tablespoons strawberry puree (see notes)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons mint
  • 1/2 teaspoon or more pink food coloring, as needed
  • 2-3 large strawberries, mashed
  • 1 cup flour (if the dough becomes too wet)

For the earl gray lavender honey variation:

  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 teabags earl gray, cut open, pour out ingredients
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons lavender (or lavender tea)
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon or more purple food coloring, as needed

How to Make Strawberry Puree

Strawberry extract isn't exactly the easiest thing to find. This is why I did a strawberry puree instead.

  1. In a food processor, mix 4 large strawberries with 1 tablespoon of water and a pinch of sugar. You want the puree to be really thin. I mixed it in my food processor twice.
  2. In a saucepan, boil down the puree until it's the consistency of tomato paste. Add 1 teaspoon of lemon juice. I also added 1 teaspoon of orange extract.

I used all of my puree in the cookie dough and then added mashed strawberries. My husband likes the strawberry variation of the cookie the best.

Instructions

  1. Sift together the flour, cornstarch, and salt in a bowl. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar. Use the paddle attachment. Turn off the unit and scrape down the sides if needed.
  3. Mix in the vanilla extract to the sugar-butter mixture. Add 1 tablespoon if you're doing the flavor variations. Add 2 tablespoons if you're not doing the flavor variations. Add one egg at a time. Make sure each egg is thoroughly mixed before adding another.
  4. On a low setting, mix in the dry ingredients in increments. Make sure the ingredients have been fully mixed before adding more. I suggest adding a cup at a time. Turn off the unit and scrape down the bowl if there is residue on the sides.
  5. Divide up the cookie dough into three separate bowls. In one bowl mix together the lemon basil ingredients. In the next bowl, mix together the strawberry mint ingredients. In the last bowl, mix together the lavender honey ingredients. If a dough is too wet, add a cup of flour. This will likely be the case for the strawberry dough. If it's too dry, add a spoonful of butter or mascarpone cheese.
  6. Roll out each dough to about 1/4 inch thickness. You may want to roll out each dough on two sheets of plastic. When done rolling out the dough, cover the tops with plastic. Transfer to a baking sheet or cutting board. Leave in the fridge for an hour to firm up (a minimum of 30 minutes).
  7. To get the striped effect, use a ruler or measuring tape to mark 1/2 inch strips of dough. Cut these out of your dough. Work on cutting one dough at a time and placing strips on a tray or cutting board covered in plastic. Repeat for the other two doughs.
  8. Cover your dough with plastic or parchment paper. Gently roll the dough with a rolling pin. This will seal the dough together. Transfer it back to the fridge and let it rest for 30 minutes to an hour.
  9. Preheat your oven to 375°F.
  10. Cut the cookies with a heart-shaped cutter or another design that appeals to your heart! Feel free to make shapes out of your remaining dough.
  11. Place the uncooked cookies on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 12-14 minutes. The thinner the dough, the less time it will need to bake. Let the cookies rest on the baking tray for five minutes then transfer to a wire rack.

Notes: Making the Dough

Making the dough isn't too hard, especially if you're only doing the sugar cookie version with no flavor variation. If you're going for the full recipe, each dough will take a while, and things will get messy. I recommend wearing gloves if you don't like getting food coloring or dye on your hands.

Notes: Making the Stripes

Making the stripes will require patience. It takes a while to cut the stripes and also to seal them together. For some people, this might be really tedious. I enjoyed doing this and saw it as a way to escape from my other thoughts and worries.

Putting plastic down where you'll build your striped dough will be a lifesaver.

Baking Fixes

ProblemSolution

Dough is too crumbly.

Add a spoonful or more of mascarpone or softened butter as adhesive. Continue kneading and mixing.

Dough is too wet.

Add 1 cup of flour and knead until the flour has been completely mixed. Add more flour if necessary.

Dough isn't sealing for stripes.

Gently roll it with a rolling pin. Roll with the stripes, not the other direction. You may want to take your finger and gently rub the two doughs together. They'll seal up in the fridge and in the bake.

Stripes are of different lengths.

Cut off stripes that are too long that won't work for a cookie cutter. Make a separate dough that's franken where you put together the pieces that didn't fit.

Cookies are breaking along the stripes

Make sure before putting the cookies into the oven that the cookies are sealed together. They shouldn't come undone at the stripe lines. Gently press down along misbehaving stripes. Put them back in the fridge for 30 minutes. Also, don't immediately transfer cookies to the wire rack; they might be a little unstable as they drop to room temperature. Wait 5 minutes to transfer.

Recipe Notes

These cookies are meant to be creative! You can try different patterns, just make sure to gently roll the dough back together after cutting. I encourage you to try your own variations.

  • Firming up the dough: If the dough gets too soft while working with it, put it back in the fridge to firm up. You could also add a pinch of graham crackers to thicken the structure.
  • Baking adhesives: I found that after splitting the dough, I had some dough that was very crumbly and had a hard time sticking together. I used mascarpone cheese as an adhesive to bring the dough together. You could also use softened butter.
  • Adding sprinkles: If you want to add sprinkles to the cookies, I recommend gently rolling the sprinkles into the dough ahead of all the cutting and reshaping. If you don't care what colored sprinkles go on what dough, add them for the final roll.
  • Freezing dough: If you want to make the dough in advance, just make sure to wrap it really well and stick it in the freezer. Let it thaw before you start cutting or before putting it in the oven. The dough should be okay in the fridge for a few weeks or a month.
  • How much vanilla? If you don't do any cookie dough variations, I recommend doubling the vanilla to two tablespoons. You could also cut the difference with this recipe and halve the ingredients, at which point if you're not doing variations I'd suggest using one tablespoon of vanilla.

© 2022 Andrea Lawrence

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