These soft Red Velvet Kiss Cookies are a perfectly sweet way to bake something special for your Valentine this year! Perfect for Valentine's Day class parties and sharing with friends, these cookies have a buttery red velvet flavor with a chocolate boost from the candy on top.
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If you are looking for a fun and easy Valentine's Day cookie recipe that everybody will love, these red velvet kiss cookies are the answer! We love them with the heart shaped chocolate candies that you can find in any store this time of year, although you can make them anytime with regular Hershey's Kisses or Hershey's Hugs.
The key to making sure they stay soft and chewy is to underbake them slightly. Also, freezing the chocolate hearts before pressing them into the warm cookies helps them retain their shape better because they don't melt as quickly on top.
What You'll Need
Scroll down to the recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.
- All-purpose flour
- Unsweetened cocoa powder
- Baking soda
- Granulated sugar
- Salted butter
- Vanilla extract
- Red gel food coloring
- Hershey's Kisses or Dove Hearts
How to Make Red Velvet Sweethearts Cookies
- Freeze chocolates. This isn't totally necessary, but if using the heart-shaped chocolates I recommend unwrapping and freezing them for 10-20 minutes while making and baking the cookies.
- Cream. Beat the butter and sugar together in a large mixing bowl until creamy and light, about 2 minutes.
- Color. Add the egg, vanilla extract, and red gel food coloring and mix again. Stop to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl so the red velvet cookie dough comes together evenly.
- Add dry ingredients. Add flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix again on low speed just until the dough comes together.
- Scoop. Use a small cookie scoop to scoop heaping tablespoons of cookie dough onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Roll them into balls and space them a couple inches apart.
- Bake. These cookies take about 8-10 minutes in a 350 degree F oven to bake. They should be just set around the edges and starting to crack on top, but still be underdone and soft in the middle.
- Finish. While the cookies are still hot, press an unwrapped Hershey's Kiss or heart-shaped chocolate candy into the center of each cookie.
You can find chocolate hearts made by Hershey's and Dove (as well as a number of other candy makers) at almost any grocery store, Target, or other similar stores during the months of January and February. Specialty candy stores make and sell them too. And if all else fails you can just use regular Hershey's Kisses.
Red velvet desserts typically have a buttery, very light cocoa flavor thanks to a small amount of cocoa powder. These cookies are more chocolatey than a typical red velvet treat thanks to the milk chocolate hearts pressed into the top of each one.
In the old days, the red hue came from a chemical reaction between cocoa powder, vinegar, and baking soda. These days, it's achieved by adding red food coloring. We prefer red gel food coloring because of it's intensity and how well it bakes.
Tips for Success
- Use red gel food coloring . The liquid food coloring typically requires more to achieve the same vibrant red color. Wilton, Americolor, and Chefmaster all make great red gel food coloring and are available at hobby and craft stores or online.
- Refrigerate or freeze the chocolate hearts. They have a tendency to melt into puddles if you aren't careful, so I like to throw them into the freezer while I'm prepping and baking the cookies so they hold their shape better.
Storage & Freezing Instructions
These cookies stay soft & chewy for about 4-5 days in an airtight container on the counter at room temperature.
They also freeze really well for up to 2 months if you want to make them ahead or have some leftover and want to save them for a sweet treat any time you get a craving. Let them thaw on the counter at room temperature for an hour or two or pop them in the microwave to enjoy.
More Valentine's Day Recipes
- Giant Chocolate Chip Cookie
- Red Velvet Earthquake Cake
- Best Red Velvet Cake
- Red Velvet Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Red Velvet Whoopie Pies
Did you make this recipe?
Let me know what you thought with a comment and rating below. You can also take a picture and tag me on Instagram @houseofnasheats or share it on the Pinterest pin so I can see.
Red Velvet Kiss Cookies
- ⅔ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup salted butter, softened
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 Tablespoon red gel food coloring (I used Wilton no-taste red)
- 1 ⅔ cups all-purpose flour (234g)
- 1 Tablespoon cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 18 unwrapped Hershey's Kisses or Dove Hearts
- Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Place unwrapped chocolate Kisses or hearts into the fridge or freezer while preparing the cookie dough.
- In a larger mixing bowl, beat sugar and butter until light.
- Add egg, vanilla, and red food coloring. Mix again, stopping to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl.
- Add flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix again on low speed until combined.
- Scoop heaping tablespoonfuls of dough onto prepared baking sheets and roll into smooth balls. Space them about 2 inches apart so they have room to spread while they bake.
- Bake in center of oven for about 10 minutes, until edges are set, but centers are still soft.
- Remove from oven and press an unwrapped heart into the center of each cookie.
- Tip for Dove Hearts: The Dove Hearts don't always hold their shape quite as well as the Hershey's Kisses do. It helps to refrigerate or freeze the chocolate hearts before putting them on the cookies. It slows down the chocolate getting soft while the cookie is hot, and they’re less likely to lose shape.
- Storage: Keep these in an airtight container on the counter for up to 5 days. These cookies stay soft & chewy for about 4-5 days in an airtight container on the counter at room temperature.
- Freezing: You can freeze the cookies once they have cooled in an airtight, freezer-safe container for up to 2 months. Let them thaw on the counter at room temperature for an hour or two or pop them in the microwave to enjoy.