Valentine’s Day is getting closer, and I’ve been searching for some fun, easy ideas for decorating heart-shaped cookies with my kids. Emphasis on easy. Because as much as my kids and I love a wow-inducing, Instagram-worthy Valentine’s Day cookie, we live in the real world. You know, the one where little hands and attention spans make ‘grammable cookie art a bit…difficult.
But we do love Valentine’s Day cookies and can’t help but want to join in on all the decorating fun. So check out these five creative yet simple ideas for kids to decorate heart cookies for Valentine’s Day.
And really, who cares if they don’t look professional: Go ahead, take pics, and post your cookie art proudly. You can even tag @coolmomeats if you do so we can reshare some favorites — I’d personally love to see each and every one.
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5 easy ideas for decorating heart cookies for Valentine’s Day
1. Dip in chocolate and add sprinkles
Sara’s tutorial for Heart Cookies on her site, Dinner At The Zoo, are simple yet so eye-catching and lovely. Her method also happens to be one of my favorite ideas for decorating heart cookies. In fact, the dipping and sprinkling is fun for kids of all ages and I use it year round, not just on Valentine’s Day.
I like to work over a baking sheet lined with parchment paper to help with catching chocolate drips and sprinkles, as well as giving you a place to let the cookies dry. Another good tip is to use a mug or bowl deep enough for dipping half of the heart. Things get pretty messy when you try putting the melted chocolate in a shallow bowl or plate. (Been there.)
Drizzle cookies photography © Chelsea Cavanaugh
2. Drizzle with an icing bottle
Since my kids can work a bottle of glitter glue like a pro, I imagine they could use an icing bottle to draw various squiggles, shapes and designs on their Valentine cookies. And no one does it better than – surprise, surprise! – Martha Stewart. Check out her inspired ways to decorate cookies for Valentine’s Day including drizzling heart cookies with an icing bottle, and then let the kids go icing wild. You can find icing bottles in different sizes (and in vastly different price ranges) on Amazon, as well as places like Michael’s and Bed, Bath & Beyond.
3. Color heart cookies with edible markers
Inspired by the Heart to Heart cookies at Ever Mine, I chose this heart cookie decorating idea with older kids in mind. I’ve never actually used edible food markers personally, but I my teen neighbor has a set that I’m rather envious of — and other members of our team swear by them.
Kids can use their artistic skills to draw pictures, designs, and funny messages to friends — or maybe even a sweet message to Dad or Mom or Grandma or their favorite aunt or teacher or sitter. Store-bought cookies work just as easily as homemade here, just sayin’.
4. Use a paintbrush…and a smart little trick
Make the loveliest little Valentine Heart Cookies with Sara’s brilliant idea and recipe on her site, The Dessert Chronicles. No icing needed – just a paintbrush (a clean one!), a little corn syrup, and some sprinkles to make this an afternoon of cookie decorating fun. By the way, check her tip for using tiny heart-shaped cookie cutters, which is just what my precise daughter needs to keep all those finicky little sprinkles in perfect formation.
5. Crush up some candy
Ignore the toothache for a minute and admire these fantastic Crushed Conversation Heart cookies at The Decorated Cookie. Meaghan’s step-by-step instructions are clear and easy to follow, and the cookies are totally adaptable depending on the skill level of your kids. While the original Necco “Sweethearts” conversation hearts are not available this year, you should be able to find comparable conversation candy hearts from Brach’s pretty easily.
You can also skip the sticks if you’re gong for this heart cookie decorating idea, and make your cookies hand-held. And feel free to use whatever frosting or icing you wish — or simply top with any crushed candy you want. You can even swap out the cookies for heart-shaped brownies. Whatever your heart desires — it’s Valentine’s Day, and that’s the rule!