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Sparkle Sweetheart Cookies Recipe

Welcome to the delightful world of baking! Our Sparkle Sweetheart Cookies are the perfect treat to share with your loved ones. These cookies, with their sweet cream cheese dough and chocolate hearts, are sure to impress. The sanding sugar gives them a sparkle that's as sweet as the person you're baking for!

Sparkle Sweetheart Cookies Recipe
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Photos of Sparkle Sweetheart Cookies Recipe

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Most of these ingredients are commonly found in your pantry. The few that you might need to look out for are sanding sugar and chocolate hearts. Sanding sugar is a large-crystal sugar used as an edible decoration that will not dissolve when subjected to heat. It's available in a variety of colors. Chocolate hearts can be found in the baking or candy aisle of your local supermarket.

Sparkle Sweetheart Cookie Ingredients

All purpose flour: This is the base of your cookie dough. If you prefer, you can use whole wheat flour or a gluten-free alternative.

Baking powder: This leavening agent will help your cookies rise.

Salt: A pinch of this enhances all the other flavors.

Unsalted butter: This makes your cookies rich and tender. If you only have salted, omit the added salt.

Cream cheese: Adds a creamy texture and slightly tangy flavor to your cookies.

Granulated sugar: Sweetens the cookies. You could also use raw cane sugar if you prefer.

Egg: This binds the ingredients together.

Vanilla extract: Gives your cookies a warm, sweet aroma and taste.

Almond extract: This provides a nutty flavor. Skip if you're allergic to nuts.

Sanding sugar: This gives your cookies their sparkle. It's optional but recommended for the look.

Chocolate hearts: These add a sweet surprise in every cookie. You can choose dark or milk chocolate.

One reader, Jessa Laplante says:

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These sparkle sweetheart cookies are absolutely delightful! The combination of cream cheese and almond extract gives them a unique and irresistible flavor. The chocolate hearts add a sweet surprise, making them perfect for special occasions. Plus, the recipe is easy to follow, resulting in beautiful and delicious cookies every time.

Jessa Laplante

Techniques Required for Making Sparkle Sweetheart Cookies

How to chill the dough: The dough should be tightly covered with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and chilled for at least 30-60 minutes and up to 3-4 days. If chilling for longer than 2-3 hours, allow the dough to sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before rolling and baking because the dough will be quite hard and the cookies may not spread.

How to roll the dough into balls: Take about 1 tablespoon of dough per cookie and roll it into balls.

How to coat the dough balls with sanding sugar: Pour sanding sugar in a bowl or, if using multiple colors, a few separate bowls. Roll each dough ball in the sanding sugar to coat.

How to press the dough balls: Using the back of a measuring cup or drinking glass, gently press down on each dough ball to slightly flatten.

How to add the chocolate hearts: Press a chocolate heart into each cookie and quickly stick the baking sheet in the freezer or fridge so the warm cookie does not completely melt the chocolate heart. Let the chocolate set (about 15 minutes) on the cookies in the freezer/refrigerator.

How To Make Sparkle Sweetheart Cookies

These sweetheart cookies are standard sugar cookies transformed into something soft and creamy with the help of cream cheese, for more luscious treats!

Preparation: 1 hour
Cooking: 12 minutes
Chill Time: 30 minutes
Total: 1 hour 42 minutes



  • 3cupsall purpose flour,spoon and leveled
  • tspbaking powder
  • ½tspsalt
  • 1cupunsalted butter,softened to room temperature
  • 2ozcream cheese,softened to room temperature
  • 1cupgranulated sugar
  • 1large egg,room temperature
  • 2tsppure vanilla extract
  • ½tspalmond extract
  • ¾cupsanding sugar,pink and red or assorted colors
  • 32chocolate hearts,unwrapped


  1. Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together until combined. Set aside.

  2. In a large bowl using a hand-held or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and cream cheese together on high speed for for about 2 minutes, until relatively smooth.

  3. Add the granulated sugar and beat until combined and creamy. Add the egg, vanilla extract, and almond extract and beat on high speed for for about 1 minute, until combined. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed to combine.

  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix at low speed until combined.

  5. Cover dough tightly with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 to 60 minutes and up to 3 to 4 days.

  6. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.

  7. Pour the sanding sugar in a bowl or, if using multiple colors, a few separate bowls.

  8. Roll balls of cookie dough, about 1 tablespoon of dough per cookie, then roll each ball in the sanding sugar to coat. Place each dough ball 2 inches apart on the baking sheets.

  9. Using the back of a measuring cup or drinking glass, gently press down on each dough ball to slightly flatten.

  10. Bake the cookies for 12 to 13 minutes or until very lightly browned on the edges.

  11. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes. 

  12. Press a chocolate heart into each cookie and quickly stick the baking sheet in the freezer or fridge so the warm cookie does not completely melt the chocolate heart.

  13. Let the chocolate set for about 15 minutes on the cookies in the freezer/refrigerator.

  14. Serve and enjoy!


  • Calories: 193.20kcal
  • Fat: 9.62g
  • Saturated Fat: 5.83g
  • Trans Fat: 0.23g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 2.71g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.42g
  • Carbohydrates: 26.45g
  • Fiber: 0.91g
  • Sugar: 16.51g
  • Protein: 1.99g
  • Cholesterol: 23.01mg
  • Sodium: 64.29mg
  • Calcium: 25.32mg
  • Potassium: 56.07mg
  • Iron: 0.92mg
  • Vitamin A: 57.51µg

Helpful Technique for Making Sparkle Sweetheart Cookies

When rolling your cookie dough balls, try to keep them as uniform in size as possible. This ensures even baking and a consistent texture throughout all your cookies. Using a small ice cream scoop or a tablespoon can help achieve this. Also, when pressing the chocolate hearts into the warm cookies, be gentle and swift to avoid melting the chocolate too much. If the chocolate begins to melt, quickly place the cookies in the fridge or freezer to solidify the chocolate again.

Time-Saving Tips for Making Sweetheart Cookies

Prep ahead: Make the cookie dough in advance and store it in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. This way, when you're ready to bake, the dough is already prepared.

Chill efficiently: If you're short on time, chill the dough in the freezer for about 15-20 minutes instead of the refrigerator. This will expedite the chilling process.

Use a cookie scoop: Using a cookie scoop will help you quickly portion out the dough, ensuring uniform cookie sizes and reducing the time spent shaping each cookie by hand.

Bake in batches: While one batch is in the oven, prepare the next batch of cookies. This way, you can maximize your time and bake multiple batches simultaneously.

Prep the decorations: Before baking, have the sanding sugar and chocolate hearts ready to go, so you can quickly coat the dough and add the chocolate hearts as soon as the cookies come out of the oven.

Substitute Ingredients For Sparkle Sweetheart Cookies Recipe

  • all purpose flour - Substitute with whole wheat flour: Whole wheat flour can be used as a healthier alternative with a nuttier flavor and higher fiber content.

  • unsalted butter - Substitute with coconut oil: Coconut oil can be used as a dairy-free alternative with a slightly sweet and nutty flavor.

  • granulated sugar - Substitute with honey: Honey can be used as a natural sweetener with a distinct flavor and added moisture to the cookies.

  • cream cheese - Substitute with Greek yogurt: Greek yogurt can be used as a lower-fat alternative with a tangy flavor and added moisture to the dough.

  • sanding sugar - Substitute with colored sprinkles: Colored sprinkles can be used as a decorative alternative to add a pop of color and sweetness to the cookies.

  • chocolate hearts - Substitute with chocolate chips: Chocolate chips can be used as a readily available alternative to add a chocolatey element to the cookies.

Presentation Ideas for Sweetheart Cookies

  1. Elevate the cookie size: Present the cookies in a larger size to make a bold statement on the plate. This will create a visually striking and indulgent presentation.

  2. Incorporate color contrast: Introduce vibrant and contrasting colors to the plate by using a variety of sanding sugars. This will add visual appeal and excitement to the overall presentation.

  3. Create a symmetrical arrangement: Arrange the cookies in a symmetrical pattern on the plate to create a visually pleasing and balanced presentation.

  4. Utilize negative space: Incorporate negative space on the plate to allow the cookies to stand out and become the focal point of the presentation.

  5. Add a touch of elegance with chocolate hearts: Place the chocolate hearts delicately on top of the cookies to add a touch of sophistication and elegance to the overall presentation.

  6. Incorporate height: Create varying heights on the plate by stacking the cookies to add dimension and visual interest to the presentation.

  7. Use a minimalist approach: Embrace a minimalist approach by keeping the presentation simple and allowing the cookies to shine as the main attraction on the plate.

  8. Consider the plate shape and color: Choose a plate that complements the colors of the cookies and enhances the overall visual appeal of the presentation.

Essential Tools for Making Sparkle Sweetheart Cookies

  • Mixing bowl: A mixing bowl is essential for combining ingredients and mixing the cookie dough.

  • Hand-held or stand mixer: A hand-held or stand mixer is used to cream the butter and cream cheese, as well as to combine the wet and dry ingredients.

  • Parchment paper or silicone baking mats: These are used to line the baking sheets and prevent the cookies from sticking.

  • Measuring cup or drinking glass: This is used to gently press down on each dough ball to slightly flatten them before baking.

  • Baking sheets: Baking sheets are used to place the cookie dough balls for baking.

  • Aluminum foil or plastic wrap: These are used to tightly cover the cookie dough for chilling.

  • Freezer or fridge: The freezer or fridge is used to quickly set the chocolate hearts on the cookies after they are pressed in.

Storing and Freezing Sparkle Sweetheart Cookies

  • Allow the cookies to cool completely before storing.
  • Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.
  • To freeze, place the cooled cookies on a baking sheet and freeze until solid (about 1-2 hours). Once frozen, transfer the cookies to a freezer-safe container or plastic bag. Freeze for up to 3 months.
  • To thaw, remove the desired number of cookies from the freezer and let them come to room temperature before serving. You can also microwave the frozen cookies for a few seconds to warm them up slightly.
  • If you plan to freeze the cookies for an extended period, consider placing a sheet of parchment paper between each layer of cookies to prevent them from sticking together.
  • When storing or freezing, be sure to handle the cookies gently to avoid damaging the delicate chocolate hearts on top.
  • If you want to maintain the crisp texture of the cookies, consider storing them in a container with a lid that is not completely airtight, as this will allow some air circulation and prevent the cookies from becoming soft.

Interesting Fact About Sparkle Sweetheart Cookies

The Sparkle Sweetheart Cookies recipe is a delightful treat for special occasions. These cookies are perfect for Valentine's Day or any time you want to show someone you care. They are not only delicious but also visually appealing, making them a great addition to any dessert table. The combination of cream cheese and almond extract gives these cookies a unique and delightful flavor. Plus, the addition of chocolate hearts adds a touch of sweetness and charm. These cookies are sure to bring a sparkle to anyone's eye!

Is Making Sparkle Sweetheart Cookies at Home Cost-Effective?

The cost-effectiveness of this sparkle sweetheart cookies recipe is relatively high. The ingredients are commonly found in households, and the recipe yields a large batch. The chocolate hearts may be the most expensive component, but the overall cost is reasonable. On a scale of 1-10, I rate this recipe an 8 for its affordability and delightful outcome. The approximate cost for a household of 4 people is around $10-$15, making it a budget-friendly treat.

Are Sparkle Sweetheart Cookies Healthy or Unhealthy?

The sparkle sweetheart cookies recipe, while undeniably delicious, is not particularly healthy. The main ingredients - all-purpose flour, butter, cream cheese, and sugar - are high in calories, saturated fat, and refined carbohydrates. The recipe also includes a significant amount of added sugar in the form of granulated sugar and sanding sugar, which can contribute to obesity, diabetes, and other health issues when consumed in excess.

However, there are some ways to make this recipe healthier:

  • Replace a portion of the all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour or almond flour to increase fiber and nutrient content
  • Reduce the amount of sugar in the recipe, or use a natural sweetener like honey or maple syrup instead
  • Use low-fat cream cheese and replace some of the butter with Greek yogurt to reduce saturated fat
  • Incorporate healthy add-ins like chopped nuts, dried fruit, or chia seeds for added nutrition and texture
  • Opt for dark chocolate hearts instead of milk chocolate for a higher antioxidant content

By making these adjustments, you can create a more balanced and nutritious version of the sparkle sweetheart cookies while still enjoying their delightful taste and texture. Remember, moderation is key when it comes to indulging in sweet treats, even when they're made with healthier ingredients.

Editor's Opinion on Sparkle Sweetheart Cookies Recipe

The Sparkle Sweetheart Cookies recipe is a delightful combination of classic flavors and charming presentation. The addition of cream cheese lends a delightful richness to the dough, while the sanding sugar adds a delightful crunch and shimmer. The incorporation of chocolate hearts provides a sweet surprise and a touch of elegance. The recipe's clear instructions and thoughtful tips ensure a successful baking experience. These cookies are perfect for special occasions or as a heartfelt gift.

Enhance Your Sparkle Sweetheart Cookies Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes: Creamy mashed potatoes with a hint of roasted garlic, perfect for complementing the sweetness of the sparkle sweetheart cookies.
Grilled Asparagus with Lemon Zest: Tender asparagus spears grilled to perfection and topped with a zesty lemon zest, providing a refreshing contrast to the rich sweetness of the cookies.
Balsamic Glazed Brussels Sprouts: Caramelized Brussels sprouts drizzled with a tangy balsamic glaze, adding a savory and slightly sweet element to balance out the dessert.

Similar Recipes to Sparkle Sweetheart Cookies

Savory Stuffed Bell Peppers: Create a delicious and colorful dish by stuffing bell peppers with a flavorful mixture of rice, ground beef, and seasonings, then baking until tender.
Citrus Glazed Salmon: Whip up a zesty and refreshing glaze using citrus fruits like oranges and lemons to coat a perfectly seared or grilled salmon fillet for a light and flavorful seafood dish.
Mango Coconut Popsicles: Blend together ripe mangoes and creamy coconut milk, then freeze in popsicle molds for a tropical and refreshing frozen treat that's perfect for hot summer days.

Ideal Appetizers and Main Courses to Serve with Sparkle Sweetheart Cookies

Stuffed Mushrooms: Savory mushrooms stuffed with a flavorful mixture of herbs, cheese, and breadcrumbs, then baked to perfection.
Spinach and Artichoke Dip: Creamy and indulgent dip made with a blend of spinach, artichokes, and cheese, served warm with crispy tortilla chips or bread for dipping.
Main Courses:
Chicken Alfredo: Creamy alfredo sauce tossed with tender grilled chicken and fettuccine pasta, topped with freshly grated parmesan cheese and chopped parsley.
Beef Stroganoff: Tender strips of beef cooked in a rich and creamy mushroom sauce, served over a bed of buttery egg noodles and garnished with a dollop of sour cream and freshly chopped chives.

Why trust this Sparkle Sweetheart Cookies Recipe:

This recipe is a delightful combination of butter, cream cheese, and chocolate hearts, ensuring a rich and indulgent flavor. The use of vanilla extract and almond extract adds depth and complexity to the cookies. The inclusion of sanding sugar not only provides a delightful crunch but also adds a touch of sparkle, making these cookies visually appealing. The careful instructions and detailed steps ensure that every baker can achieve perfect results. With a balance of classic ingredients and a touch of whimsy, these cookies are sure to impress and satisfy any sweet craving.

Share your thoughts on the Sparkle Sweetheart Cookies Recipe in the Baking and Desserts forum and let us know how your batch turned out!
Can I make the cookie dough ahead of time and refrigerate it for longer than 3-4 days?
Yes, you can make the cookie dough ahead of time and refrigerate it for up to 3-4 days. If you plan to refrigerate it for longer than that, allow the dough to sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before rolling and baking.
Can I use salted butter instead of unsalted butter?
You can use salted butter, but I recommend using unsalted butter to have better control over the salt content in the cookies. If using salted butter, reduce the added salt in the recipe by half.
Can I substitute the sanding sugar with regular granulated sugar?
Sanding sugar adds a decorative touch and a bit of crunch to the cookies, but you can substitute it with regular granulated sugar if needed. The texture and appearance of the cookies will be slightly different.
Can I freeze the baked cookies with the chocolate hearts on top?
Yes, you can freeze the baked cookies with the chocolate hearts on top. After pressing the chocolate hearts into the warm cookies, place the baking sheet in the freezer or fridge for about 15 minutes to allow the chocolate to set.
Can I use different shapes or decorations instead of chocolate hearts?
Absolutely! You can use different shapes or decorations instead of chocolate hearts. Get creative and use your favorite candies, sprinkles, or other chocolate shapes to personalize the cookies.

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