Similar to a classic thumbprint cookie, these valentine cookies use candy melts instead of jam. Makes a great valentine treat for that special someone!
Every year, I try to publish two or three recipes for each occasion and Valentine’s Day is no exception. This year, I’m so happy with these Valentine Candy Melt Cookies. It’s all about pink and red for me. If you take a look back at the recipes from previous years, you’ll certainly see the red and pink trend.
This particular recipe came to mind when I was thinking about how to use up my leftover candy melts. I had quite a few colours on hand from when I made my Springtime Party Snack Mix. I love making cookies that are simple and pretty, and that can be packed into bags or boxes for gift-giving.
As a food blogger, I’m always way ahead of the game though when it comes to food. For example, you’ll most likely read this recipe post a few days before Valentine’s Day, but I baked and photographed the cookies on January 9th.
I have two people – John.e and McKenna – who are always very willing and eager to tote baked goods off to work or school. I think this particular batch went with McKenna. She basically shares them with her friends and her teachers too.
In exchange, I get to bake as much as I want and not have to eat it all myself. I get to give it away. That’s a win-win for me! Alright, let’s talk about these pretty little cookies.
WHAT ARE CANDY MELTS?
Candy melts are a small, round disc that is made to emulate white chocolate. They come in a wide range of colours and are usually melted down and used in confections such as the coating on cake pops. I think the term candy melts is owned by Wilton, which is the only type I’ll use.
I use Wilton’s because I have used the brand many times before and have never been disappointed, but also because they have a lot of different colours to choose from. Oh, and the price is always good too!
If you cannot find candy melts, you can either order them online here, or you can use generic brands that can be found at your local baking supply store. The generic brands and sometimes called melting wafers. As you can see, I used red, a light pink, and a vibrant pink.
IS SANDING SUGAR AND GRANULATED SUGAR THE SAME THING?
I get so many questions about the different kinds of sugars. Unless you’re a full time baker, or really in-tune with baking ingredients, it can be a little overwhelming.
I use sanding sugar quite often and I hope it’s not too difficult for you to find. Sanding sugar is sometimes referred to as baking sugar, and there are some substitutes.
You can use other sugars – which are basically the same, but named something differently – there’s pearl sugar and coarse sugar. You cannot, however, use granulated sugar. Let me explain why.
Whereas an individual granule of sanding sugar is large and hard, a single granule of granulated sugar is quite small. Sanding sugar will hold up to the heat in your oven without melting; granulated sugar will not.
If you can only find granulated sugar, you can either skip the coating in sugar step, or you can use turbinado sugar. Turbinado sugar is a golden brown though, so it will throw off the colour of your finished cookie. Wilton calls it sparkling sugar.
I think these cookies are great to give to your loved ones. Let them cool completely and then package them in cellophane bags and tie a ribbon around the top. I’m sure they will be much more appreciated then a card!
You will note in the photographs that I rolled some of the cookies in sprinkles and others in sanding sugar. I think doing both adds some contrast to the cookies. You can do the same or just roll all of yours in either the sugar or the sprinkles. You can use all of one colour of candy melts too!
Whatever you do, have fun! That’s what baking for occassions like Valentine’s Day is all about! And, whether you celebrate with your special someone or avoid the day like the plague, it doesn’t matter. Happy Valentine’s Day anyway!
Valentine Candy Melt Cookies
- 1 cup salted butter, softened
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 1/3 cups all purpose flour
- 3 ounces candy melts (or white chocolate wafers)
- 1/2 cup sanding sugar (or sprinkles)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, use a hand-held mixer to beat together the butter and sugar until well incorporated.
- Next, beat in the egg yolks and vanilla extract.
- Lastly, mix in the flour. The mixture will be crumbly at first and might not look like a cookie dough, but keep beating on medium speed and a cookie dough will form. This is not an overly wet dough, so don't be alarmed.
- Portion two teaspoons of the cookie dough and roll into a ball. Roll the ball into the sanding sugar or sprinkles.
- Place the ball onto the prepared baking sheet. Gently, but firmly, press one candy melt into the center of the cookie, flattening the cookie as you do so.
- Bake for 12 minutes. Remove from oven and allow cookies to cool for 3-5 minutes before transferring them to a wire cooling rack to finish cooling.