Make these healthy vegan Valentine’s cookie treats for your Valentine’s Day party! This heart shaped vegan sugar cookies have a nice crisp around the edges, hints of buttery shortbread notes and flavored with freeze dried strawberries. A perfect vegan valentine dessert / treat that you can put in a box and send as a gift!
If you are looking for a non-chocolate dairy free, refined sugar free treat to make this year on Valentine’s Day, these vegan heart shaped sugar cookies are just for you.
Vegan Valentine’s Day Cookies
Making healthier vegan sugar cookies may be a bit tricky especially when you want them to be low sugar / or without refined sugar entirely. But it’s totally doable. And to reduce the work load I’m not using any vegan frosting or fancy decorations. These vegan Valentines cookies are naturally colored and flavored with freeze dried strawberry powder. This a healthy alternative to artificial dyes and it provides a beautiful red coating just like in this strawberry bliss balls recipe.
Gluten Free Vegan Valentine Cookies
My vegan heart shaped cookies are mix of both shortbread and sugar cookies, they’re egg free and have a nice buttery crumbly texture.
Shortbread and sugar cookies are often confused for one another, they both can be chilled and then rolled and cut out with cookie cutters. Sugar cookies usually contain eggs and a leavening agent, while shortbread cookie do not. Shortbread cookies also have a higher ratio of butter to flour, and they are usually more crumbly and tender.
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Ingredients For Gluten Free Vegan Valentine Cookies
What you need:
- A gluten free flour mix (I used cassava flour + sweet brown rice flour) you can use your preferred one. Cassava is great as it is high in starch and has a similar texture as regular white flour.
- Golden flax seeds – ground + plant base milk – to make a vegan egg substitute.
- Vegan butter for a nice buttery flavor and tenderness.
- Cashew butter – made from dry roasted cashews (it brings a nice nutty flavor to vegan cookies).
- Maple sugar (a healthier white sugar replacement).
- Sea salt
- Baking powder
- Vanilla extract
- Freeze dried strawberries for dusting.
Find the complete printable recipe with measurements below.
Vegan Valentine’s Cookies With Freeze Dried Strawberry
To add a beautiful red color and bring the strawberry flavor, just like I mentioned above, I’m using freeze dried strawberry powder. I made it by grinding sliced freeze dried strawberries.
For those who don’t know, freeze–dried process means the strawberries are dried by removing the water, but they still retain the flavor and nutrients intact because they are not exposed to heat in any way. This is the most advance preservation process known today.
Freeze dried strawberries are excellent in baking because they have a more concentrated flavor and don’t add extra moisture, especially when you want crisp vegan sugar cookies.
Prep Tip For Gluten Free Vegan Cut Out Cookies
The ingredients for these vegan Valentines cookies are all mixed up in just one dish – food processor – which means faster prep and cleanup.
Prepping tip: Start your dough with extra cold butter and try to not overmix. And don’t forget to chill the dough for a minimum of 15 minutes up to an hour.
How To Make Vegan Valentines Cookies
- 1. Mix all ingredients in a food processor. Start by mixing the maple sugar, vegan butter and cashew butter, then proceed with all dry ingredients, finishing with wet ingredients until the mixture comes together in big clumps. See video.
- 2. Form an oval disk and wrap it tightly. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes, or best – an hour or overnight.
- 3. On a flat surface, roll out the cookie dough between two parchment papers with a rolling pin to about 1/4 inch thickness (more or less your choice).
- 4. Cut out heart shapes and carefully transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Depending on the size of your cookies, bake for 12 to 15 minutes.
- 5. Decorate. Allow the vegan Valentines cookies to cool completely before decorating, or enjoy plain. For strawberry powder dusting, grind some freeze dries strawberries and set aside. Brush each cookie with maple syrup, to create a sticky surface and dredge in strawberry powder. Shake the excess, if necessary, gently use a finger to remove the extra powder.
- 6. Allow the vegan sugar cookies to dry for an hour or so before stacking.
Video: How To Make Vegan Valentines Cookies
Work Quickly When Decorating With Strawberry Powder
Brush the cookie surface with maple syrup and while it’s still wet quickly dip in strawberry powder (it will give it a sticky base for the strawberry powder to hold well). When the maple syrup hardens it will keep the powder well in place, so you could stack and pack the vegan Valentines cookies.
Soft Chewy Or Crisp Cut Out Sugar Cookies
If you cut the vegan sugar cookies thick they will still be soft in the center, want them crispier – make them thinner.
If the edges of the cookies start to brown, they are over-cooked. The recommended baking time on my vegan gluten free sugar cookies is 13-15 minutes. They will still continue to cook on the hot pan after they are out.
Cookie Recipe Customization And Substitutions
- Don’t substitute the maple sugar with maple syrup or other liquid sweetener, the sugar cookie dough needs a specific wet to dry ratio if ingredients. Brown sugar or regular granulated sugar would work too.
- Use any other freeze dried fruit to achieve the color you want.
- Use a different mix of gluten free flours, or make your own gluten free flour mix.
- No maple syrup? To a create a sticky surface for dusting you can also use a jam instead.
- Use a large cookie sheet to fit more cookies, bake in one layer, you don’t want to bake 2 sheets at the same time, they will bake unevenly.
- Storing leftovers: Keep the vegan Valentine cookies at room temperature for up to 5 days in an airtight container. To keep moist out. If they loose their crispness, place them on a sheet pan and dry them in a heated (and turned off) oven for 20-30 minutes.
- Freezing: Freeze the cookies for up to 3 months, in an airtight container. For best fresh tasting cookies I think it is best to freeze the dough and thaw when you’re ready to bake.
- Thawing: The best way to thaw is in your refrigerator for at least 24 hours.
More Gluten Free Vegan Cookies Recipes
Did you try this vegan Valentine’s cookies recipe with strawberry flavor?
Then please leave a comment and a rating below, it’s really helpful for me and readers!
Vegan Valentine Cookie Recipe: Strawberry Valentine Hearts
- 3/4 cup +1.5 tbsp cassava flour
- 3/4 cup +1.5 tbsp sweet brown rice flour - you can also use oat or sorghum flour
- 1 tbsp golden flax seeds - ground into flour
- 6 tbsp plant milk
- 6 tbsp vegan butter
- 2 tbsp cashew butter - made from dry roasted cashews
- 1/2 cup maple sugar
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 3/4 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 0.6 oz freeze dried strawberries - ground into powder (about half a bag)
Mix All Ingredients
- In a food processor, start by mixing maple sugar with vegan butter and cashew butter, pulse until all of the butter is incorporated into the sugar and the mixture is clumpy.
- Then proceed with all dry ingredients and pulse until the mixture looks sandy.
- At the end add the "flax egg (ground flax seeds mixed with warm plant milk) and vanilla and pulse until the mixture comes together in big clumps. If the mixture still looks dry, add 1 tbsp of plant milk at a time, and pulse again until it looks and feel right. Just soft enough to be rolled out.
Chill The Cookie Dough
- Form an oval disk and wrap it tightly. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes, or best – an hour or overnight.
Roll Out And Cut
- On a flat surface, roll out the cookie dough between two parchment papers with a rolling pin to about 1/4 – 1/8 inch thickness (more or less your choice).
- Cut out heart shapes and carefully transfer the vegan Valentine cookies to the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough. Gather any scraps into a ball and press into another disc. Chill the disc until firm enough to roll and cut out as many cookies as possible.
- While the oven is preheating at 350F stick the cookie sheet in the freezer to firm up the butter in the cookies.
Bake The Cookies
- Depending on the size of your cookies, bake for 12 to 15 minutes at 350 F.
Decorate With Freeze Dried Strawberry Powder
- Allow to cool completely before decorating.For strawberry powder dusting, grind some freeze dries strawberries and set aside. Brush each cookie with maple syrup, to create a sticky surface and dredge in strawberry powder. Shake the excess, if necessary, gently use a finger to remove the extra powder.
- Allow to dry for an hour or so before stacking.
Tips For Making Perfect Vegan Valentines Cut Out Sugar CookiesChill And Rest the Dough Properly. Rolling out freshly made sugar cookie dough is tough. It’s too soft or too sticky. Placing the soft dough in the freezer to speed things up, won’t work either: The dough needs time to relax and chill in order to hold a well and get a more tender cookie. Don’t replace the maple sugar with maple syrup or other liquid sweetener, the sugar cookie dough needs a specific wet to dry ratio if ingredients. If you don’t want any cashew butter, replace it with more vegan butter. Sweet brown rice flour has a much higher starch content than just brown rice flour, with better thickening and binding properties, so try not to replace it. If you must you can experiment with other gluten free flours like, oat or sorghum flour. Use a large cookie sheet to fit more cookies, bake in one layer, you don’t want to bake 2 sheets at the same time, they will bake unevenly. Cookie cutters – choose smaller size for more cookies or a larger size for saving time. I use these heart shaped cookie cutters. Work Quickly When Decorating – brush the cookie surface with maple syrup and while is still wet quickly dip it in freeze dried strawberry powder (it will give it a sticky base for the strawberry powder to hold well). When the maple syrup hardens it will keep the powder well in place, so you could stack and pack the cookies. Figure out what’s the perfect time for the size of your cookies, larger cookies will need more baking time.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator.
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