Food/ Food Crafting/ Great Gifts/ Holidays

Valentine’s Day Gingerbread Cookies

I am still convinced that a good, simple, homemade cookie is preferable to all the store-bought cookies one can find. — James Beard

Valentine’s day… the thought (ironically) causes a chill in the hearts of most men.  Fears of ‘getting it wrong’ or disappointing their intended often shut them down, or encourage purchase of the worst desperation gift offered by the local Hallmark store, or, here in LA, the enterprising dude by the freeway exit.

According to the National Retail Federation, Valentine’s Day spending is expected to reach $15.7 billion this year.  But I’m always looking for something that will wow without busting the budget.  Truly, a gift made by your own two hands does mean something special.   Call me sentimental, but I think it’s true.  (“You’re sentimental!”)

Valentine's Day Gingerbread

I’m a big fan of the hand made valentine, whether it be a card or something sweeter.  Here’s a recipe sure to elicit kisses in return.  It’s classic gingerbread, is fun to make, and sturdy enough for shipping to loved ones. Oh! Here’s how you can color your own sugar for decorating. 

Valentine's Day Gingerbread

Gingerbread Cookies

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
Dessert, Cookies
By Tamara Berg
Prep Time: 20-30 minutes Cooking Time: 10 minutes Total Time: 1 hour

Easy to make, great for shipping, but still tasty, this hardy cookie is great for all kinds of decorating.


  • 1-1/2 C dark molasses
  • 1 C packed brown sugar
  • 2/3 C cold water
  • 1/3 C shortening
  • 7 C flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground allspice
  • 2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • Royal Icing Ingredients:
  • 1/4 C meringue powder (or 2 egg whites)
  • 1/2 C water (eliminate if you’re using fresh egg whites)
  • 4-1/2 to 5-1/2 C powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • food coloring
  • colored sugar



Heat oven to 350°.  


In a large bowl, mix until smooth: molasses, brown sugar, water and shortening. 


Add remaining ingredients (except frosting).


Roll dough about 1/4” to 3/8” thick on a floured board. 


Cut out with heart-shaped cookie cutter. 


Place on lightly greased cookie sheet – about 1” apart. 


Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. 


Cool and decorate with Royal Icing.


Make Royal Icing:


Combine meringue powder and water, whip to soft peaks (if using fresh eggs, just whip to peaks). 


Add vanilla, then 4-1/2 C powdered sugar to combine.


If icing is too soft, add more sugar, if it gets too stiff, mix in more water by the tablespoon.   


Separate into 3 bowls, and add food coloring.


I outlined my cookies with some piped icing, waited a few minutes for it to harden, then filled in the outline with softer, ‘pooling’ icing. I generally use one or two colors besides the white, and always have sanding sugar (you can make your own!) on hand to add glitz. Have fun!

Gingerbread Hearts

A balanced diet is a cookie in each hand.  ~Author Unknown

You Might Also Like

1 Comment

  • Reply
    Valentine Gingerbread Cookie Boxes – Tamara Central
    February 8, 2022 at 10:38 am

    […] For Valentine’s day this year, I decided to create gingerbread candy boxes! They’re fun, festive, and impressive to give. This is a variation on my Valentine’s day gingerbread cookies from a few years back. […]

  • Leave a Reply