Cherry Funfetti Valentine Cookies

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Unbelievably soft funfetti cookies studded with sweet dried cherries.
An easy recipe for cute Valentine’s Day treats!


These Valentine's Day funfetti cookies are unbelievably soft! They taste really buttery too -- you can't even tell they're skinny!


During elementary school, I generally began preparing for Valentine’s Day at least 3 weeks in advance. As February 14th drew near, I set aside my favorite pretty pink blouse, white lacy socks, and heart-patterned hair ribbons. I practiced full ponytails, half-up hair ’dos, and pigtail braids for hours until I could deftly pull each strand in its place. The weekend before, I scoured every bedroom’s closet shelves until I discovered an abandoned shoebox and commandeered it as my own.  


Sitting at the kitchen table, I somehow sliced a slit down the center of the lid with my hot pink safety scissors before meticulously measuring sheets of red construction paper to paste onto the sides. I then pressed on glittery heart stickers and drew decorative squiggly borders with Mr. Sketch smelly markers until the entire craft project undeniably screamed “Valentine’s Day Mailbox!”


I practically begged my mom to drive me to the store, where I sifted through countless packages of those little fold-in-half greeting cards with various cute quips scrolled across each image. Forever a Disney fan, I gravitated towards the Minnie Mouse and Winnie-the-Pooh themed boxes, and eventually I clutched one to my chest and walked towards the cashier stand as Mom clucked impatiently.


These Valentine's Day funfetti cookies are unbelievably soft! They taste really buttery too -- you can't even tell they're skinny!


Back at home, I sorted through every single card, categorizing them by Disney character and message. I placed the mushiest ones furthest away; I only handed out those to my closest friends who wouldn’t misinterpret the romantic lines. After browsing through the remaining cards, I pulled out those with the friendliest, least lovey-dovey text and scribbled the names of various boys in my class on the corresponding envelopes.


But I always spent over an hour agonizing over which card to send to my crush. It needed to be perfect—slightly cute, a little friendly, borderline romantic—all without appearing too over-the-top and incredibly obvious that I liked the guy.


When I finally checked off the names of every kid in my class, I sealed each envelope shut with a heart-shaped sticker from the package and placed them in my special Valentine shoebox, anxiously awaiting the actual day that wouldn’t come for another week.


These Valentine's Day funfetti cookies are unbelievably soft! They taste really buttery too -- you can't even tell they're skinny!


On February 14th, I slipped into my festive outfit, twisted my hair up with a fancy ribbon, and stood outside the classroom door with my overflowing homemade mailbox tucked neatly under my arm. With the teacher’s permission, a few parents typically organized a party, complete with freshly baked cookies and cupcakes (back before schools banned homemade goodies!) and hundreds of candy conversation hearts.


After lunch, we walked back into the classroom and navigated between the desks, dropping valentines into each student’s shoebox. As I drew near my crush’s chair, I held my breath, praying that nobody would hear my heart thumping louder than a big bass drum, finally plopping back into my own seat after the delivery and nibbling on soft sugar cookies to calm my nerves for the rest of the afternoon.


These Valentine's Day funfetti cookies are unbelievably soft! They taste really buttery too -- you can't even tell they're skinny!


This year, in a momentous act of bravery, I courageously strode across the living room, cuddled up on the couch, and directly asked my crush what he wanted for Valentine’s Day.


Well, maybe I should rephrase…


I actually inquired, “I’m thinking of making funfetti cookies for Valentine’s Day… What else should I put in them?”


Without a single second of hesitation, my guy replied, “Cherries!”


These Valentine's Day funfetti cookies are unbelievably soft! They taste really buttery too -- you can't even tell they're skinny!


Although not the most intuitive combination—sugary sprinkles and dried fruit—I decided to run with it and putzed around the kitchen while he called out hockey play-by-plays from the sofa. Towards the end of the Sharks game, I presented him with a festive plate of cookies, and he glanced up at me.


“You actually did it?”


“Of course! It’s what you asked for!”


These Valentine's Day funfetti cookies are unbelievably soft! They taste really buttery too -- you can't even tell they're skinny!


These Cherry Funfetti Valentine Cookies taste every bit as sweet as they look. Warm buttery flavors permeate throughout every sprinkle-studded bite, highlighted by bright bursts of dried fruit. Their soft comforting texture resembles that of your grandmother’s classic butter-laden treats, but these are secretly skinny!


I began with a base very similar to my favorite low-fat cookie dough. Countless readers have commented that its buttery flavor doesn’t taste healthy at all, shocking even the pickiest of cookie eaters! My secret weapon? Extra vanilla extract. A little additional vanilla extract imitates butter’s flavor without the excess fat and calories. You’ll need 4 teaspoons today for these 2 dozen cookies.


These Valentine's Day funfetti cookies are unbelievably soft! They taste really buttery too -- you can't even tell they're skinny!


As their name suggests, these cookies feature 2 mix-ins: dried cherries and sprinkles. Since dried cherries are slightly larger than raisins or dried cranberries, I generally slice each one into quarters before folding them into the dough. The smaller pieces ensure that every bite contains a morsel of the sweet fruit!


Drawn to their adorable cuteness, I opted for red, white, and pink heart-shaped sprinkles made by Wilton. I’ve spotted the container at multiple grocery stores, as well as Target and Walmart. You could easily substitute Valentine jimmies (the long, thin sprinkles), but avoid nonpareils (the small spherical ones) because they will bleed as you mix them in and turn the cookie dough a very unappetizing shade of gray.


These Valentine's Day funfetti cookies are unbelievably soft! They taste really buttery too -- you can't even tell they're skinny!


Two main factors contribute to these cookies’ extra chewy texture: brown sugar and melted butter. The brown sugar adds extra moisture to the dough, as well as a subtle caramel note. By using melted butter, you can easily mix up these cookies with just a wooden spoon or fork—no electric mixer required!


Even more impressive than these cookies’ chewiness? Their softness. That’s right; these cookies are incredibly tender—almost like biting into a piece of raw dough!—due to another one of my secret weapons: cornstarch. Typically added to soups for thickening purposes, the cornstarch also absorbs moisture in this cookie dough, creating their extraordinarily soft texture.


These Valentine's Day funfetti cookies are unbelievably soft! They taste really buttery too -- you can't even tell they're skinny!


After mixing up the cookie dough, you have a choice: chill it or bake it right away. Chilling reduces the dough’s stickiness and creates thicker cookies that do not spread. Immediately baking the dough yields slightly thinner cookies that do spread on their own in the oven. (I chose the second option—baking right away—for the cookies shown in these photographs.) Either way, the cookies will still turn out incredibly soft and chewy!


Only bake these cookies for 11-13 minutes. Although they appear underdone, you’ll let them sit on the warm metal baking sheet for an additional 10 minutes after removing them from the oven, which allows the centers to continue cooking without the outsides turning crisp and crunchy. This short bake time also helps maintain their soft, chewy texture.


These Valentine's Day funfetti cookies are unbelievably soft! They taste really buttery too -- you can't even tell they're skinny!


I sent these Cherry Funfetti Valentine Cookies with my guy to give to 6 of his friends during their 14-hour volunteer shift last Saturday. Despite their manliness and staunch aversion to all things pink and heart-shaped, his friends completely devoured 3 dozen of these buttery cookies between their lunch and dinner meals! Those boys were no match for the soft chewy dough, the sweet tangy cherries, and adorably inviting Valentine sprinkles.


When my guy brought home the empty containers, he announced that everyone marveled over their soft texture—even to the point of fighting over the last cookie!—and wanted to know how I did it.


With a twinkle in my eye, I replied, “It’s all in the cornstarch!”


Don’t believe me? Try baking them yourself!


These Valentine's Day funfetti cookies are unbelievably soft! They taste really buttery too -- you can't even tell they're skinny!


Cherry Funfetti Valentine Cookies

Yield: 24 cookies

Serving Size: 1 cookie

Cherry Funfetti Valentine Cookies

These cookies are incredibly soft and chewy! The tart-but-sweet dried cherries add a bright flavor to the buttery funfetti cookie base. The cookies will stay soft for up to a week if stored in an airtight container.

2 c all-purpose flour (measured correctly)
1 ½ tsp baking powder
1 ½ tsp cornstarch
¼ tsp salt
4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 eggs, at room temperature
4 tsp vanilla extract
1 c light brown sugar
4 tbsp Valentine sprinkles (heart-shaped or jimmies, NOT nonpareils)
6 tbsp dried cherries, halved or quartered

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F, and line two baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpats.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cornstarch, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the melted butter, eggs, and vanilla. Stir in the brown sugar, smearing out any clumps along the side of the bowl. Add in the flour mixture, stirring just until incorporated. Fold in the sprinkles and 4 tablespoons of dried cherries.
  3. NOTE: For thicker cookies that don’t spread, chill the cookie dough for at least 30 minutes, or up to 1 day. For cookies that do spread, skip this step.
  4. Divide the dough into 24 equal balls, and place on the prepared baking sheets. Press the remaining dried cherries into the tops. If the cookie dough was chilled, flatten the cookies slightly, to about ¾” thick. Bake at 350°F for 11-13 minutes. Cool on the baking sheets for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Notes: Do not use nonpareils (tiny spherical sprinkles). They bleed in the cookie dough, creating an unappetizing gray color.

Chilling this cookie dough results in thick cookies that do not spread. You’ll need to flatten them slightly to ensure they bake all the way through.

© Amys Healthy Baking. Recipe and all images protected. Please obtain my written permission before using images. If republishing this recipe, please rewrite it in your own words or link back to this post.

View Nutrition Information


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  1. Danielle @ says on January 27, 2014 at 11:19 am

    Yum!! These sound great! Thanks for sharing :)

    • Amy says on January 27, 2014 at 1:44 pm

      Thanks Danielle; you’re so sweet! I’m sure you’ve come across plenty of great Valentine’s Day recipes so far, and I can’t wait to see them arrive in my email inbox! :)

  2. Katy says on January 27, 2014 at 11:45 am

    I can just taste these right now, melting in my mouth! Looks like another amazing recipe. Thanks, Amy!

    • Amy says on January 27, 2014 at 1:45 pm

      Katy, you’re just the sweetest — thank you! I wish you could be my official taste tester; we’d have such a fun time!

  3. Megan - The Emotional Baker says on January 27, 2014 at 3:24 pm

    I love this Valentine’s story. I always picked the Winnie the Pooh cards, too.

    These cookies look perfect. I bet the cherries and sprinkles are great together ;)

    • Amy says on January 27, 2014 at 6:39 pm

      Thanks Megan! I think I still have a few of those Winnie the Pooh cards at my parents’ house. Some of them were too cute to give away!

  4. Brittany says on January 27, 2014 at 7:04 pm

    Aww I love how surprised he was that you made these with the cherries!! They look so good! OH MY GOSH I loved Valentines day in elementary school, such a fun time getting to exchange valentines.

    • Amy says on January 28, 2014 at 8:28 pm

      Thanks Brittany! I miss those elementary school Valentine’s Days; collecting the cards (and candy) was so much fun!

  5. Emma says on January 28, 2014 at 1:49 am

    love, love, love these Amy! Your man has good taste too :)

    • Amy says on January 28, 2014 at 8:33 pm

      Thanks Emma! He loves bright fruity flavors — especially berries! — so most of the treats I make for him involve some sort of fruit. ;)

  6. Andrea says on January 28, 2014 at 3:58 pm

    Are you and I twins separated at birth? Pretty sure I used to approach valentine’s day the SAME way… picked the pinkest outfits (even into high school, I think!), agonized over which pre-printed saying to give to which person… and hoped upon hopes that my crush would read between the lines! Haha. My crush this year is not leaving any room for reading inbetween the lines- he proclaimed a few days ago that he’d like to rename Valentine’s Day to “candy day…” A subtle hint at what he wants me to get for him. I’m crossing my fingers that he reciprocates with chocolate!!

    These look great, and I love that you went with your guy’s suggestion! The sweetest!

    • Amy says on January 28, 2014 at 8:39 pm

      I showed my guy your comment about the Mr. renaming Valentine’s Day to “Candy Day.” He’s on board too! So… Let’s call it “Candy & Chocolates Day” so neither of them forget their end of the bargain. ;) And I still pick out pink outfits, even as an adult! Maybe not so over-the-top — one year, I wore a shirt with hundreds of tiny pink hearts! — but I still prefer pink over red. Just the pastel-color-lover in me!

  7. dina says on February 4, 2014 at 5:52 pm

    they look yummy!

    • Amy says on February 4, 2014 at 6:53 pm

      Thanks Dina!


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