Heart shaped chocolate chip cookies are the perfect cut out cookies for Valentine’s day! And the best part is that they can be made without a mixer or a cookie cutter!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Cookies with a twist: Cut out chocolate chip cookies are a fun take on those beloved classic cookies.
- No mixer needed: You can mix the dough for these cookies using a wooden spoon. No need to take out your mixer!
- No cookie cutter needed: If you don’t have a cookie cutter, you can simply use a knife and your artistic skills!
- Butter: For richness, flavor and tenderness. You’ll need unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and softened at room temperature. If you’re mixing with a wooden spoon, I’d recommend making sure the butter is very soft before using it. If you forgot to take the butter out, you can briefly warm it in the microwave. Heat it in 5 second increments, stirring in-between to make sure it softens evenly (without melting).
- Sugar: For sweetness, browning and tenderness. We’ll be using a combination of white granulated sugar and dark brown sugar. White sugar makes the cookie crunchier while the brown sugar makes it chewier and softer. Since these cookies are rolled out to an even thickness, they will have a more even texture than regular cookies which are shaped into tall balls. To prevent them from becoming too crunchy or hard, I opted for more brown sugar than white sugar in this recipe. If you like them very crunchy, feel free to use equal amounts of white sugar and brown sugar. Just be careful not to overbake them so they don’t end up rock hard!
- Whole egg: For structure and moisture. The egg yolk from the egg also adds richness and flavor. The egg should be at room temperature so you can easily combine it with the other ingredients.
- Flour: For structure. Since these cookies need to hold their shape, we’ll be adding just a little bit more flour than needed for traditional chocolate chip cookies.
- Baking soda: Just a small amount, for leavening and browning.
- Flavorings and add-ins: Salt, to enhance all the flavors and chocolate chips of course! It’s best to use small chocolate chips to make it easier to cut out the cookies. But I’ve used larger ones with success so use what you can find. You could add a little bit of vanilla extract if you’d like but I prefer skipping it.
Prepare the dough
- Mix the dry ingredients: Combine the flour, baking soda and salt in a bowl. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix together the butter and sugars until combined using a wooden spoon (or a hand mixer). If using a wooden spoon, it’s best to make sure the butter is soft enough before adding the sugar or you’ll have trouble combining the ingredients. Try pressing the butter with the spoon. If it resists, briefly warm it in the microwave (in a microwable bowl) in 5 second increments, stirring in-between to soften it evenly (without melting it).
- Mix in the egg. Scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl as needed.
- Add the flour mixture and mix until just combined. If using a hand mixer, briefly mix with a spatula before turning the mixer on so you don’t get flour everywhere!
- Fold in the chocolate chips. Don’t overmix or your cookies will be tough.
Chill the dough
- Transfer the dough to a piece of parchment paper. Briefly spread out the dough with a spatula then top with a second piece of parchment paper.
- Roll out to a thickness of about 6 mm (1/4 inch). Place (with parchment) on a flat surface and freeze for about 15 minutes while you preheat the oven.
- Preheat the oven to 190°C (374°F, conventional setting). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Using a heart shaped cookie cutter, cut dough into hearts, keeping them as close as possible to avoid rolling out the dough too many times. If you don’t have a cookie cutter, don’t worry, I’ll show you another method later on.
The frozen dough should easily release from the cookie cutter. If not, cut as many hearts as you can in the dough. Cover once more with the parchment paper and invert to peel off the bottom layer of parchment paper. That should solve it. But if you are still having trouble, freeze the dough once more before trying again.
- Place on prepared baking sheet, spacing about 5 cm (2 inches) apart. Decorate with heart sprinkles, if desired. Gather the scraps and repeat the process until you’ve used up all the dough. You can work on the second batch while the first one is in the oven. Alternatively, freeze the shapes while you reroll scraps.
- Bake on the middle shelf, one sheet at a time, until the edges are set and lightly browned, about 10-12 minutes. The baking time will vary depending on the size of your cookies. It’s best to use visual cues rather than time to determine doneness.
Tip: About halfway through baking (about 6 minutes), take a peak at the cookies. If the cookies have spread more than desired, take them out of the oven. Using the back of a small spoon, gently push back the sides of the cookie to tidy up the shape. Repeat once more if needed during baking. It’s best not to wait until the end of the baking time to do this as the cookies will be more likely to crack when reshaped.
- Let the cookies cool down on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack.
Heart Shaped Cookies Without Cookie Cutter
No cookie cutter? No problem! You can still make heart shaped cookies!
- Using a knife: Roll out the dough then have fun shaping your cookies with a knife. Just try making them about the same size so that they bake evenly.
- Using your hands: If you don’t want to use a rolling pin either, you can simply portion the dough then pat it into a heart shaped cookie with your fingers.
Cut Out Chocolate Chip Cookies Spread Too Much
If you notice your beautifully shaped cookies turning into puddles in the oven, don’t lose hope! Take the cookies out of the oven and reshape them using the back of a spoon. Place them back in the oven and repeat this process if needed.
To prevent cookie spread next time, there are a few things you can do:
- Chill the dough: The dough should be cold before going into the oven or the butter will melt before the structure sets. If you’re in a rush, you can simply freeze the dough while you preheat the oven as we’ll be doing in today’s recipe.
- Don’t place the dough onto a hot baking sheet: If you only have one baking sheet to use, rinse it with cold water and pat it dry before using it for the next batch.
- Don’t mix the butter and sugar for too long: I recommend mixing by hand, if possible, to avoid overmixing the dough.
- Bake at a high temperature: The oven temperature should be high enough to set the structure quickly.
- Tweak the ingredients: If all else fails, try adding a little bit more flour for more structure.
If you want more cookie troubleshooting tips, you can grab your free guide below.