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Chocolate Valentine Cookies are the perfect chocolate cookie recipe for Valentine’s Day with lots of chocolate and holiday colors. Valentine Cookies are easy to make, super chocolatey, and stay soft for days!
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Best Easy Valentine Cookies
This won’t be a surprise if you’ve been following along, but I am a total sucker for holiday candy desserts. The minute holiday-themed candy hits the store, I grab all of my favorites before they disappear!
Of course, I love all of the Valentine’s Day options like red, pink, and white M&Ms, and what better way to use them than to make cute Valentine cookies?
Why you’ll love this recipe
Pudding cookies are the BEST cookies. If you’ve never made them, you MUST try. The cornstarch in the pudding mix keeps them soft for days, and you can give the cookies an extra punch of flavor from whatever pudding flavor you’re using.
For these M&M cookies, I went with an all-chocolate theme: chocolate pudding mix and Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa powder. It’s a serious double-dose!
The chocolate candy and sprinkles bring all the Valentine vibes – they’re so adorable. These amp up the cuteness in my normal chocolate pudding cookies recipe – for Valentine’s Day!
- Butter: Always start with softened butter. I prefer using unsalted but if you’re using salted butter just omit the added salt in the recipe.
- Extra Liquid: You’ll need to add a little bit of water or brewed coffee – the coffee doesn’t add coffee flavor but instead brings out the flavor of the chocolate.
- Cocoa: You can use special dark or regular cocoa powder – I have not tested this recipe with Dutch Process Cocoa.
- Pudding Mix: This is what keeps the cookies soft for days! We’re using chocolate pudding mix for this. You can use any chocolate flavor as long as it’s INSTANT PUDDING MIX (NOT the cook kind). Use the small box (approximately 3-3.4 ounces) but don’t use sugar-free.
- Flour: All-purpose flour is what I always use – be sure to measure flour correctly.
- Valentine Colors: Use pink and red M&Ms and sprinkles – or make any color!
How to Make Valentine’s Day Cookies
- Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Cream them together and then mix in the vanilla, egg, cocoa, salt, baking soda, and water (or coffee, if using). Mix until smooth.
- Mix in the pudding mix.
- Add the flour to the butter mixture and mix until just combined.
- Stir in the M&Ms and sprinkles.
- Scoop two tablespoons of dough to form each cookie dough ball. Place them on the prepared cookie sheet. Press a few M&Ms and sprinkles on top of each ball. Cover the baking sheet with plastic wrap and chill the dough balls for at least one hour.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a second cookie sheet with parchment or a baking mat. Place the chilled dough balls about two inches apart on the pan.
- Lightly press each cookie dough ball with the palm of your hand. Bake the cookies for 10 to 14 minutes, or until they just start to lose their glossy sheen.
- Cool the cookies on the pan for five minutes and then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
Tips for Making Easy Cookies
- For rich chocolate Valentine cookies, use Hershey’s Special Dark. It has a much deeper chocolate flavor!
- Avoid sugar-free pudding mix, and be sure to get instant pudding mix. You don’t need to prepare it; you just need the dry mix.
- For the best Valentine cookies, don’t skip the chilling step. The dough needs to firm up before baking the cookies, so it doesn’t spread too much. Trust me, it’s worth the wait!
- I like to use jimmies for the sprinkles. I’d avoid using nonpareils because they tend to dissolve.
- I like my cookies slightly underdone, so I bake them for about 11 to 12 minutes. I also like to rotate my cookie sheets in my oven halfway through for even baking.
&M pudding cookies made with two tablespoons of dough will take approximately 10 to 14 minutes.
You can store them in an airtight container for up to three days at room temperature.
Store them in a freezer container, and they will keep well in the freezer for up to three months.
Sometimes you can find them at the grocery store in the baking aisle or the seasonal aisle with other Valentine’s items. Craft stores also carry them or search for options online.
There could be a couple of reasons why your cookies didn’t spread. First, did you accurately measure the flour? Adding too much could be the problem so remember to use the spoon and level measuring method or use a kitchen scale to weigh it.
If your dough was very firm when it came out of the refrigerator, it could also cause the issue. The dough needs to be chilled but not rock hard. If you refrigerate it overnight or for a day, let the dough balls sit out at room temperature to warm up just a bit before baking them.
Did you remember to chill the dough? The cookies can overspread when they bake if you don’t chill the dough beforehand. It could also be your baking soda. Check the expiration date and buy a new box if it’s expired.
Very Valentine Pudding Cookies
- ½ cup (113g) unsalted butter , softened
- ⅔ cup (133g) packed brown sugar
- ¼ cup (50g) granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon (15ml) water or brewed coffee, if you have it
- 2 tablespoons (10g) unsweetened cocoa powder regular or Hershey's Special Dark
- 1 3-3.5 ounce box INSTANT chocolate pudding mix , any flavor (not sugar-free)
- 1 ¼ cup (155g) all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 ¼ cups Valentine M&Ms plus more for topping
- ¼ cup Valentine sprinkles plus more for topping
- Note: this dough requires chilling.
- Line a cookie sheet with a silpat baking mat or parchment paper.
- Cream butter and both sugars in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix in vanilla, egg, and water (or coffee). Add cocoa powder and pudding mix (the powder) and mix until smooth.
- Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Stir in the M&Ms and sprinkles.
- Scoop 2 tablespoon sized balls of dough onto prepared cookie sheet. You don’t have to space them out, this is just for chilling. Press a few M&Ms and sprinkles on the top of each cookie ball. (This is not mandatory, it just makes them look prettier.) Cover with plastic wrap and chill the cookies for at least 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare a second cookie sheet and place cookies about 2” apart on them. Press each cookie dough ball down slightly with the palm of your hand. Bake for 10-14 minutes, until they just start to lose their glossy sheen. I like mine slightly underdone, so I cooked them for about 11-12 minutes. I also like to rotate my cookie sheets in my oven halfway through for even baking.
- Cool cookies on cookie sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
Very Valentine Pudding Cookies are so soft and flavorful, and you can add in any and all of your favorite valentine candies.
Last Updated on January 29, 2023