While these adorable red, white, and blue sugar cookies do take a little extra time to prepare, American Flag Heart Decorated Sugar Cookies are definitely worth the effort! They're sure to be a hit at your next patriotic party or event.
For me, Memorial Day and the 4th of July are just the types of special occasions that call for patriotic cookies. Especially when they're these fun American Flag Sugar Cookies.
**Please Note - The printable recipe card with detailed instructions and complete ingredient measurements for making American Flag Heart Decorated Sugar Cookies is available near the end of this post. OR hit the "jump to recipe" button found below and be taken directly to the recipe.Jump to Recipe
In my honest opinion, it's simply the best sugar cookie recipe around because it's delicious with a light lemon flavor, and because the dough holds its shape during baking which is so very important!
The ingredient list for the cookie dough:
**Note - The following lists of ingredients plus kitchen tools and equipment contain affiliate links (highlighted in blue) for your consideration and shopping convenience. #CommissionsEarned
The ingredients for the royal icing:
- confectioners sugar
- warm water
- meringue powder
- light corn syrup
- pure almond extract
- gel food color (red and blue)
Can the cookie dough be made in advance and frozen?
YES!! I do it ALL THE TIME!
Mix up as many batches of cookie dough as you'll need (depending on how many cookies you're making), and then divide the dough in half.
Wrap each half well with plastic wrap (I like to wrap them twice) and store in the freezer for up to three months.
Can the sugar cookies be baked and then frozen?
YES!! I used to do that ALL THE TIME as well!
Make the dough, cut and bake the cookies, cool completely, and then wrap a stack of cookies (maybe 5 or 6 of the same shape) well with plastic wrap.
DO NOT decorate the cookies and then freeze as the freezing and thawing of the iced cookies will spoil the icing design and potentially make the icing weep.
Store the undecorated, baked cookies (wrapped well) in the freezer for up to 2 months.
Can I leave out the lemon zest as an ingredient in the sugar cookies?
Yes, you can, but I beg you not to.
The lemon zest adds only a light lemon flavor (not at all overpowering) and gives the cookies a brightness in flavor, which makes this THE BEST sugar cookie dough you'll find! Please trust me on this.
How many cookies can be made with one batch of sugar cookie dough?
Well, that really depends on what size cookie cutter you're using.
A smaller cookie cutter will yield more cookies per batch of dough, and a larger cutter will yield less.
For this particular design (with the cookie-cutter being 3½"), I got approximately 12 cookies per batch of dough.
Can the cookie dough be re-rolled?
Once you've cut cookies, take the scraps and re-roll the dough until there is no longer enough dough to cut additional cookies.
Can the royal icing me made in advance?
For this recipe, because I've used a meringue powder, as long as it is stored well in an air-tight container, this royal icing will last (unrefrigerated) for up to 2 weeks.
What is the best method for applying royal icing to cookies?
I learned how to apply royal icing by using parchment triangles (to make piping bags), and then by snipping off the tip of the bag to form either a very small opening (for thin lines), or a larger opening (for thicker lines, or flooding).
However, premade piping bags with decorating tips can also be used as they may give you a little more control and accuracy.
That said, zip-top sandwich bags will also work in a pinch, again using the above "snipping method" to make larger or smaller piping capabilities.
If I'm a beginner, can I still be successful at making these decorated sugar cookies?
I believe so, yes!
Follow these simple tips and tricks and you'll be decorating in no time:
- Icing for piping borders needs to be the thickest, so the flooding icing stays in place.
- Make sure to have plenty of bowls and spoons for mixing icing and coloring the royal icing.
- Warm water works best for thinning the icing as needed.
- Use the warm water sparingly until the desired consistency is achieved.
- Pipe borders for each color; the blue section for the stars, and the white section for the stripes.
- Make enough colored icing for both piping and flooding.
- Leave enough of the plain icing (white) for flooding the majority of the cookie.
- Allow the flooded areas of the cookie to dry slightly (about 30 minutes) before piping the red stripes, and the white dots for stars.
- Allow the decorated cookies to dry overnight before stacking or adding to cellophane bags for presentation.
How to make royal icing;
- Place 4 cups of confectioners sugar into a large bowl along with ¼ cup meringue powder.
- Add 1 teaspoon pure almond extract, 2 tablespoons corn syrup, and warm water (start with 2-3 tablespoons, adding more as needed) until you achieve your desired consistency.
**NOTE - For a thicker, outline icing, start by adding a little water. To make a thinner, flooding icing, use more water a little at a time until you reach your desired consistency.
Adding warm water, a little at a time will thin the consistency for piping and flooding.[/caption]
- To store, add the royal icing to a large bowl with a tight-fitting lid.
- No need to refrigerate.
- When you're ready to add color, spoon a selected amount of white royal icing to a bowl or dish, add the gel color along with a bit of water and stir well until the color is uniform.
Add the royal icing to a bowl with a lid and store, unrefrigerated, for 2 weeks.[/caption]
For more red, white, and blue patriotic recipes:
- Red, White, and Blue Sugared Cherries
- Strawberry, Rhubarb, and Blueberry Bread Pudding
- Red, White, and Blue Dessert Nachos
- White Chocolate Covered Frozen Bananas
- Patriotic Cream Cheese Cookies
- Red White and Blue Recipe Roundup
- 4th of July Cookie Bars from A Farm Girl's Dabbles
- Patriotic Chocolate Covered Strawberries from Princess Pinky Girl
- Brownie Flag Recipe from Spicy Southern Kitchen
Below is the printable recipe card along with nutritional information for today's American Flag Heart Decorated Sugar Cookies.
Royal Icing for Decorating American Flag Heart Sugar Cookies
- 2 pounds confectioners sugar
- ¼ cup meringue powder
- 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
- 1½ teaspoon pure almond extract
- warm water
- gel food color, red and blue
- Add the sugar, meringue powder, corn syrup, and almond extract into a large bowl.
- Slowly add warm water to the sugar mixture and blend on low speed until you've reached your desired consistency. Adding more water will make it thinner and less water will keep it thicker.
- Place the royal icing in an airtight container with a tight-fitting lid. No need to refrigerate.
I sincerely hope you've enjoyed today's recipe and video instructions for making these Patriotic American Flag Heart Decorated Sugar Cookies as much as I've enjoyed bringing them to you!