Candy Heart Cookies


If you are in the baking mood and want to get in touch with your artistic side, these cookies are both fun and challenging to create. While the actual mixing and roll out portion is super easy, the decorating is more of a mindful practice. My cookies are in no way perfect, but I enjoy the process and love making them my own.


I know we all have a basic sugar cookie recipe, but this one is my favorite because of several reasons – it is super simple, you have baked cookies in no time at all, and they taste the best with the kind of soft texture I require of a sugar cookie. No crunchy cookies in my house.


I like to use a mix of almond and vanilla extract in the dough. I love the flavor of vanilla and can’t be without it in a sweet confection. I use almond because the icing has almond as well, and they compliment each other. If you like a certain flavor, by all means use it instead. These cookies can be your blank canvas to experiment on.


The best part of this dough is it does not have to chill. You can make and bake with no time in between – which is great for people such as myself who cannot wait to eat a cookie once they’ve started the process. I have a chocolate chip cookie recipe that requires DAYS between making and baking and its basically torture (if it weren’t for the cookie dough I sneak in the mean time).


So whether you want to eat a great sugar cookie, to test out your cookie icing skills, or need a gift for someone sweet, this cookie recipe is something fun to try.

Roll Out Sugar Cookies


  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon almond flavoring
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla flavoring
  • 2 1/2 + a little more all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Cream together butter and confectioners’ sugar in a large bowl. Add egg and flavorings, blending well. With a sifter on top of your large bowl, sift in flour, baking powder and salt, then mix until ingredients are just incorporated. You will know when the dough is ready by touching it – the dough shouldn’t really stick to your fingers. If dough is too sticky, add more flour. Let dough sit for 5 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to about 1/4 inch thick and cut with heart shaped cutters (any size works – I used small and medium). Place on silpat lined cookie sheets and bake for 7-8 minutes, being careful not to let brown. I take them out when they look completely dry, but have no browning whatsoever.


  • one bag confectioners’ sugar (2 pounds)
  • 5 tablespoons meringue powder (available at Michaels)
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup warm water (+ more if necessary)

Stir extracts into water. Using a whisk attachment on a stand mixer, slowly mix confectioners’s sugar and meringue powder. Add water and extracts slowly, with mixer on low. Once incorporated, whisk on medium-high for about 2-4 minutes, or until thick, fluffy and glossy. Icing should form a soft peak.

Separate icing evenly into four bowls (or into 5 if you want to do another color). Add pink food color to one, purple to another, green to another and yellow to the fourth. Since I used small amounts of frosting, only a little coloring was needed – so start with just a tiny bit, adding more until you get the color you want.

Here is an amazing trick for getting colors into piping bags. For each color icing, I place about 3 tablespoons into piping bag and pipe an outline around each cookie. Then you fill the outline with about 2 teaspoons matching icing and smooth to edge with an offset spatula. If your icing seems to thick, you can add a touch of water (works best with a spray bottle until you get proper flooding consistency). The flood icing stops at the outline, and dries smooth and flat. Place cookies by a fan to dry if you want them extra glossy. Let cookies dry for about 2 hours before piping any lettering.

To pipe lettering, dye leftover pink or leftover white frosting red. Use trick for piping bag above, and use #2 wilton tip to write phrases on cookies. Take your time and don’t get frustrated! It takes patience and practice. By the last cookie, I’m sure you will feel like a pro.

Depending on cookie cutter sizes used, this recipe makes about 2 to 2 1/2 dozen. Can be doubled.

food coloring // Wilton tips // icing bags // heart cookie cutters // Silpat // off-set spatula



The one. The Chocolate Cake.


Do you like chocolate? Do you want the ultimate chocolatiest chocolatey chocolate cake as in chocolate on chocolate on chocolate? Here it is.


It is tall, dark, rich and handsome. I mean delicious. Well it is handsome too, and if I weren’t already married I would consider marrying this cake. But that would be silly, right? NO.


For this cake I use Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa powder. In the description of the cocoa, Hershey’s actually uses the words “premium” and “sophisticated.” It’s like the Chanel of cocoa only its under $6 and you can buy it at your local grocery store. It does not exponentially increase in value sitting on your shelf (and why would you leave it sitting on your shelf?!), but otherwise it is in the same category. There are four layers of dark chocolate cake with a smooth and creamy milk chocolate frosting, but because that just isn’t enough chocolate, it is then glazed with a dark chocolate ganache.


So if you have a birthday coming up, or need a dessert for Valentine’s Day, or finished all your errands (yay! reason to celebrate!) I recommend you give this cake a whirl.


Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Frosting and Chocolate Ganache…with sprinkles

Chocolate Cake

  • non-stick spray
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup Hershey’s Special dark cocoa powder
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt (table salt works just fine)

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 4 8″ round cake pans with parchment paper and spray with non-stick spray (if you do not have 4 cake pans, grease two and bake in two batches). In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In a large mixing bowl cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs, yolks and vanilla, beating until combined. Add buttermilk and mix again, scraping down bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Add flour and cocoa mixture and beat until just combined. Do not over mix! Pour evenly (layers will be thinnish) into 4 pans. Bake for 25-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cakes cool for 10 minutes, then remove from pans and place on a wire rack to finish cooling.

Chocolate Frosting

  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 4 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 teaspoons Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa powder
  • 6-9 tablespoons milk

In a medium bowl, cream the butter. Combine sugar and cocoa, and slowly add to the butter. Add 4 tablespoons milk, mixing until combined, then whipping until desired consistency is reached, adding more milk as necessary. You want a light and fluffy frosting.

To assemble, start by taking four rectangular pieces of wax paper and lay on cake stand or plate in a circle (there will be no wax paper in the center). This is my trick so when you frost the cakes, the extra frosting lands on the wax paper that you simply remove when you are done. Your cake plate remains clean.

Place one cake layer on wax papers. Dollop a healthy 1/2 cup (or slightly more) frosting on top. Spread evenly and over to sides. Add second and third layers, and repeat. Finish with final layer. Place rest of frosting on top and spread down sides. Once cake is frosted, place in refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Chocolate Ganache

  • 8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2/3 cup heavy whipping cream

Place chocolate chips in a medium glass mixing bowl. Pour heavy whipping cream into a  liquid (glass) measuring cup. Microwave until boiling. Carefully remove from microwave and pour over chocolate chips. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 5-7 minutes. Remove plastic wrap and whisk until glossy and smooth. Let sit for another 2 minutes, then pour over cake, letting ganache drip down the sides. Top with sprinkles and ENJOY!