I don’t have much planned for Valentine’s Day this year.  Usually we avoid restaurants – too crowded and usually overpriced.  If we do anything, we cook a nice dinner at home and I might make some special dessert.  I made this raspberry cobbler with dark chocolate biscuits a few weeks ago and pretty much can’t stop thinking about it so that may be happening again.  But I also wanted to do something fun for the kids.  I had some sugar cookie dough already made in the fridge, so I decided to make some miniature XOXO cookies.  I didn’t feel like messing with any sort of detailed icing design, so I just went with a simple royal icing, no edging or flooding, and sprinkled some with sparkling sugar.  Andrew walked past as the cookies were sitting on the cooling rack and exclaimed, “Cool!  Tic tac toe cookies!”  Well, that idea was just too fun to pass up.

I used a set of mini Valentine cutters made by Wilton.  I found my set at Joann’s.  If your craft store doesn’t have this particular set, they should have small alphabet and heart cutters for fondant that would work too.  Or you could simply use a small round cutter to make circles and then add the X’s and O’s yourself.  Obviously, you could easily draw a grid or print one out, but I saw a roll of washi tape sitting on my desk and decided to make use of it.  For the royal icing, I made a consistency somewhere between what I normally use for edging and for flooding, so that it would not overflow but would still flow together, if that makes sense.  It made for very quick and easy decorating.  This set up was a hit with the kids, even if Caroline is still a bit too young to fully understand the concept of tic tac toe.  If you have kids, this is a fun Valentine activity that doubles as dessert!

  • So cute! I always loved royal iced sugar cookies and these are so perfect for the kids for Valentine’s Day!

  • Amelia

    This is incredibly cute and creative! It gives a whole new meaning to ‘playing with your food’. :)
    We don’t do anything for valentines either for the same reasons you mentioned. However, we are having a small dinner party tomorrow night. It’s very casual, but I still want to make something nice. I’m off to search your past parties for ideas. I have no clue what to make for 4 grown men and myself. Thoughts?

  • annieseats

    Thanks! Have you tried the cabernet braised short ribs yet? Those would be at the top of my list. I’ll add a few Valentine menu suggestions to the menu page later today as well.

  • Amelia

    Not yet, but I think that would be perfect for these boys! I would most likely make them and serve the short ribs as an entire piece rather than adding to pasta (more for convenience sake). Are they really heavy or can I get away with serving them with an au gratin potato or mac & cheese? I’ll check out the menu page later on too. Thanks :)

  • Liz @ Tip Top Shape

    These are adorable!

  • Jamie Noble

    Thanks! I came here looking for valentines ideas since we like to avoid the crowded restaurants. Now I’m just hoping the snow and ice melts in Atlanta so I can make it to the grocery.

  • annieseats

    I don’t eat a lot of red meat, so to me they are kind of rich/heavy, but I think most guys would be totally fine eating them with either of those sides. Still sounds delicious to me!

  • SK

    These are adorable. So after trying royal icing for the first time during Christmas and huge success… I am on a roll…. I look forward to holidays to make and decorate cookies. Thanks to you now I am a Royal icing expert (lol) I made a batch of the sugar cookies… They turned out so cute. Wish I could post pictures. Thank you for teasing/tempting/teaching me techniques and dishes I would have never tried otherwise.

  • Adorable!! I kind of feel like I should host some kind of VDay party now just so I have an excuse to make these. I mean, I could just make them for the.boy but I don’t think he’ll appreciate the concept as much as some of my female friends will.

  • Joy

    So cute!!!! What a great idea.

  • I’ve seen chocolate tic tac toe sets in the shops but this seems like an equally delicious but a lot less messy version!

  • Amber

    Thanks for the fun idea! I had just pulled some dough out of the freezer this morning for tomorrow, and was trying to think of something fun besides the usual hearts! And we have the X & O shapes already! :)

  • annieseats

    That is an excellent idea :)

  • annieseats

    I love to hear that!

  • Lorena

    Hi Annie! I couldn’t find the answer in q&a, but do you bake for shorter amount of time since they’re smaller cookies?

  • annieseats

    I think it was a slightly shorter time, yes. I just kept an eye on them.