Share the love with the whole family this Valentine’s Day. Malinda Nichols, a freelance stylist and content developer, partnering with a variety of clients including Whole Foods and West Elm, brings us her favorite cookie recipe and tips for cooking with kids.

These cookies promise to bring fun memories from the kitchen. Try either the buttercream or royal icing recipes and share a piece of your heart with family and friends.

Kid-friendly Sugar Cookies

Yield: About 3-4 dozen, depending on the size of your cookie cutters


  • 5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sour cream


  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, salt and baking soda, whisking to thoroughly combine.
  3. Cream butter and sugar using a stand mixer.
  4. Add in eggs and vanilla extract, mixing until combined.
  5. Add sour cream and mix until combined.
  6. Slowly add dry ingredients and mix until it all comes together in a thick dough.
  7. Turn dough out on a floured surface and knead slightly until all of the crumbly bits are incorporated and the dough is smooth.
  8. Roll dough onto floured surface to about ¼-inch thick.
  9. Cut out using floured cookie cutters and transfer to a parchment¬-lined baking sheet.
  10. Bake for 7 minutes for a 3-inch cookie (bake longer or less time depending on cookie size). If cookies start to brown on the edges, then they’ve baked too long.
  11. Let cool slightly. ¬Transfer to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely before frosting and decorating.

Kid-friendly Participation: Let kids whisk together the dry ingredients, help them roll out the dough, and they will love to dip the cutters in a pile of flour and then press them into the dough.


Easy Buttercream


  • 1 stick unsalted sweet cream butter
  • 1 pound of confectioners’ sugar
  • 8–10 tablespoons milk or heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or ½ pod of scraped vanilla bean


  1. Cream together butter and 1 cup of powdered sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer.
  2. Add 1 cup of powdered sugar at a time, alternating with milk, until desired consistency. ¬(Add more sugar for a thick buttercream, or add more milk for a thinner buttercream.)
  3. Add vanilla and mix until incorporated.

Kid-friendly Participation: Measure out the milk for kids and let them add it in the mixer, alternating with you adding the sugar.


Easy Royal Icing

Yield: About 1.5 cups, depending on liquidity of eggs and how thick or thin you make it


  • 1 egg white
  • 1 pound of confectioners’ sugar
  • Lemon juice


  1. Put the egg white in a large bowl.
  2. Add sugar 1 cup at a time until you reach your desired consistency. You’ll want a somewhat-thick consistency. If it gets too thick, just add in a tiny amount of lemon juice to thin it back out.
  3. Separate equally into three bowls, and add food coloring.
  4. Fill piping bags fitted with a small round tip. Pipe the outline of the cookie and flood the outline with icing. If you have gaps or if it’s not smooth, use a toothpick to smooth it out. If you want your colors to be separate, wait until the icing has dried before piping your designs.

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Categories: Blog, Food

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