Honey Cardamom Heart Cookies are a delicious and fragrant Valentine’s Day treat, made even sweeter with a cute “Bee Mine” invitation.
For the Honey Cardamom Heart Cookies:
- 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), softened/room temperature
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 egg, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cardamom (for a more subtle cardamom flavor, see notes)
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- all ingredients I used/recommend listed in notes!
For the Royal Icing:
- 3 pasteurized egg whites
- 1 pound powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice (optional)
- Gel food coloring (red, pink, and yellow/black if making your own bees)
Make the Cookies
- In the bowl of a standing mixer with the paddle attached or using a hand-mixer, cream the softened, room-temperature butter with the sugar until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Add in the honey and mix until completely combined.
- Next, add in the egg and vanilla. Mix. (Make sure your egg is also room temperature to prevent the batter from “breaking.” If your batter looks broken, it’s still okay. It will come together when the flour is added.)
- Combine all the dry ingredients together in a bowl (flour, salt, baking powder, and spices) and whisk well to incorporate. Add the dry mix to the butter mixture in 3 additions, scraping the bowl after each addition. Mix thoroughly but do not over-mix.
- When the dough comes together, separate in half and wrap in plastic wrap, forming two disks. Refrigerate the dough at least 4 hours or overnight.
- When ready to roll the cookies out, allow the dough to come to room temperature for 10 minutes. Flour your work surface and roll the dough about 1/4″ thick. Cut into heart shapes and place on parchment-lined baking sheets.
- Bake the cookies at 350 degrees until the edges are golden, about 18 minutes.
- Let cool completely and decorate.
For the Royal Icing:
- With a paddle attachment, beat the egg whites until frothy, about 1 minute. Add the powdered sugar in additions until all of the sugar is added and the mixture is combined. Beat the royal icing on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form and the icing is a bright, crisp white, about 5-7 minutes.
- Transfer the icing into individual bowls to color using gel food coloring. Make sure whatever icing you are not working with is covered with plastic wrap (placed directly on top of the icing, touching), as stiff royal icing dries very, very quickly. Transfer the icing into piping bags.
- To thin the icing to make “flooding” icing, add water to the stiff icing, teaspoon by teaspoon, and stir until you have a nice consistency. The icing should not be too thin, but it should flow easily.
- See the notes for more decorating tips.
For a more subtle cardamom flavor, scale back to 1 teaspoon.
Ingredients I used/recommend: I used Bee Harmony Raw Clover Honey (but I am sure their Wildflower or Orange Blossom varieties would also be lovely), both Wholesome Organic Cane Sugar and Wholesome Organic Powdered Sugar, Bob’s Red Mill Organic Unbleached Flour, Rodelle Pure Vanilla Extract, and Simply Organic Cardamom, Nutmeg, and Cinnamon.
I like to outline my cookies with stiff icing before flooding the cookie. This is not necessary, but it ensures that the icing does not pour over the edges and keeps the look clean.
I love to put my flooding icing in small squeeze bottles when decorating the cookies. This makes flooding cookies a breeze, and squeeze bottles are much easier to refill than piping bags.
When flooding cookies, bring the icing just to the edge but not quite there. You can use a toothpick to ‘push’ the icing to the edges, without it spilling over.
Keep a toothpick handy for several uses. Pop air bubbles that form in the flooded cookies (as soon as you see them and before it starts to dry!). You can also use the toothpick to prick and clear holes of pastry tips or squeeze bottles where icing has started to dry.
For detailed decorating and writing, I use a 2 or 3 pastry tip.
For the bees, either buy edible sugar bees (and attach on cookie with a bit of icing) or make your own by coloring a bit of royal icing yellow and black. Pipe the bees on, decorate with black stripes, and once dry, pipe on their white wings.
- Serving Size: 1 cookie
- Calories: 192
- Sugar: 16g
- Sodium: 64mg
- Fat: 8.1g
- Saturated Fat: 4.9g
- Carbohydrates: 28.3g
- Fiber: .5g
- Protein: 2g
- Cholesterol: 30mg