These cookie tarts are simple to make and a beautiful treat to share with your loved ones on any occasion. Includes vegan friendly and gluten-free alternatives.
With Valentine’s Day this week, what better way to show love to the special people in your life than with homemade treats made from the heart…and even better that they’re shaped like hearts too! These cookie tarts might look intimidating, but they are actually pretty easy to make. They’re just sugar cookies sandwiched together with piped buttercream and decorated with fresh fruit and store-bought meringues. The nice thing about these tarts is that you can decorate them with whatever you’d like! Use Valentine candies instead of fresh fruit or top with or festive sprinkles.
And when it comes to shapes, think outside of the box, or heart, for that matter! Use round or square cutters if you don’t have heart-shaped ones or use star cutters to make these for the 4th of July! The possibilities are endless!
What I like about this cookie recipe is that it doesn’t spread when baking and makes crisp cutout shapes. It also is free of refined sugar and can easily be made gluten-free and vegan friendly using the alternative ingredients.
Feel free to use your go-to buttercream to pipe (chocolate would be a good choice!) as long as thick enough to hold its shape.
However you celebrate Valentine’s, I hope it’s a sweet one and spent with those you love! Enjoy!
Be sure to check out these other Valentine’s Day inspired recipes for more ideas!
- 1–2 batches of Simple Cut-Out Cookies (depending on how big your cutters are and how many tarts you want to make)
- 1–2 batches Buttercream (Vegan-friendly strawberry recipe below or this Refined Sugar Free Swiss Meringue Buttercream)
- 1–2 cups of fresh fruit of choice (I used an assortment of berries)
- other decorations for the top—meringues, sprinkles, candy, etc.
- ½ cup vegan butter (I used Earth Balance sticks. Can also use regular butter if not dairy-free)
- ½ cup all-vegetable shortening (Can substitute with extra real butter, if not dairy-free*)
- 2-3 cups powdered sugar, until it reaches a firm but spreadable consistency
- 2-3 tablespoons ground freeze-dried raspberries, or more to taste (omit for plain vanilla buttercream)
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Make the cookie dough as directed and roll out to ¼-inch thick. To get cookies with centers cut out, you need a large and smaller cutter of the same shape. For these hearts I used these Wilton Heart Nesting Cookie Cutters and smaller cutters from a set like this one. You want the cutters to be a few sizes different, so that the outline of the cookies are wide enough to decorate. I made some with cut-outs in the middle and left the smaller ones whole. You'll want 2 of the same cookie to make a sandwich.
- Place cut-outs onto a parchment lined baking sheet and bake at 350ºF for 10–15 minutes, until edges are lightly brown. Cookies will still be light in color.
- Let cookies cool thoroughly before decorating.
- To decorate, place buttercream into a decorating bag fitted with a large round metal piping tip. I used Wilton 2A for the larger cookies and Wilton Tip #12 for smaller cookies.
- Take one of the two same shaped cookie and pipe a row of "kiss" shaped mounds along the edge of the cookie. To make the mound squeeze the bag to form a mound and then lift up the bag while releasing some pressure so that the mound forms a peak at the top. Continue piping until the bottom of the cookie is filled, like in the photos above.
- Carefully place the second cookie on top of the piped buttercream to form a sandwich. Pipe kisses along the top cookie and decorate with fresh fruit, smaller cookies, meringues, sprinkles, candy, etc.
- Keep cookie tarts refrigerated until needed. Assembled cookie tarts are best served right away.
- Beat butter and shortening until smooth. Add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time and beat until incorporated. Frosting needs to be more on the firm side to work for these sandwiches. Add additional powdered sugar, as needed, until you reach the right consistency. Add strawberry powder and vanilla and continue to beat until light and fluffy, 3-5 minutes. Add more or less strawberry powder to taste.
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