Say ‘I Love You’ with a sweet treat: simple cut out sugar cookies

They say the way to the heart is through the stomach

Sugar cookies aren’t just for Christmas!

sugar cookies
Michelle Chesser bakes up plenty of these sweet treats every year!

For Michelle Chesser, owner of Home Sweet Home Bakery in Millersville, Mo., baking cut out sugar cookies is an annual tradition.

She bakes lots of the sweet treats for Christmas, but she also bakes and decorates hundreds of them for Valentine’s Day!

The good news: Michelle revealed her secret ingredients and a few words of wisdom to help you roll out your next batch.

3 Tips to Perfect Cut Out Sugar Cookies

  • Use almond extract instead of vanilla. Michelle says this secret ingredient will give your sugar cookies a lot of flavor.
  • Don’t skimp on the flour. You need the right flour to leavening ratio to make sure your cookies hold their special shapes but remain chewy. Michelle uses about 4 cups of flour to create a thick dough that can be rolled out right away.
  • Brown sugar helps hold it all together. You don’t need much, just about a cup or so.

Even better news: Michelle gave us her recipe!

Michelle’s Simple Cut Out Sugar Cookies

Ingredients
1 cup slightly softened butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated white sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp. almond extract
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking powder
4-4 1/2 cups flour

Directions
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
Cream the butter and both sugars, making sure you remove any brown sugar clumps.
Add the eggs and almond extract and mix thoroughly.
Mix in the salt and baking powder to your dough.
Slowly add in the flour.
Continue to mix flour in until the dough is no longer sticky and holds together.
It should create a thick mass so you can roll it out right away. If needed, add more flour a 1/2 cup at a time.
Roll dough out on to a flat surface until it’s about 1/4-inch thick.
Cut out your sugar cookie shapes and place them on a greased pan. Michelle prefers to used parchment paper on her baking sheet.
Bake for about 7 minutes, until edges are just turning golden brown.

RELATED: The Perfect Cupcakes for Valentine’s Day