For the cookies:
- 3 sticks (339 grams) unsalted butter, at cool room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups (300 grams) granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
- 4 1/2 cups (572 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
For the chocolate dip or drizzle:
- 1 cup (170 grams) semisweet or white chocolate chips
- 2 teaspoons refined coconut oil or shortening
- Food coloring, if using white chocolate, if desired
- Sprinkles, for decorating, if desired
Make the cookies:
In a large bowl, use an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or a hand mixer to beat the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, vanilla extract, and almond extract (if using) and beat until combined. Slowly add in the flour and baking powder and beat until incorporated.
Divide the dough into 2 equal portions. Place one dough portion between two sheets of parchment paper and use a rolling pin to roll out to 1/4-inch thickness. Repeat with the remaining portion of dough. Place the two sheets of dough on a baking sheet and chill for at least 1 hour or up to 1 day. You can also freeze for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line large baking sheets with parchment paper.
Remove the dough from the fridge and cut into heart shapes with a 2 1/2 to 3-inch cookie cutter, gently rerolling any scraps and cutting more shapes. Transfer the shapes to the prepared baking sheets. If the dough shapes are too warm to maneuver, freeze for 15 minutes or until firm again.
Bake for 10 minutes, or until the cookies are set and very lightly golden at the edges. Be careful not to over bake. Let the cookies cool for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Baked, un-iced sugar cookies can be sealed and stored at room temperature for up to 3 days or frozen in an airtight container for up to 1 month.
For the chocolate dip:
In a microwave safe bowl, combine the chocolate and oil. Microwave in 15-second bursts, stirring between bursts, until melted and smooth. If using white chocolate, add a couple drops of red, pink, or purple gel food coloring if desired and stir.
Dip in half of each cookie to the chocolate mixture. Or, place the melted chocolate in a small ziptop bag and cut a tiny hole in one corner (a piping bag works great too). Drizzle over cookies.
Garnish with sprinkles while the chocolate is still warm. Let set slightly before serving. If not serving immediately, make sure the chocolate is completely set before layering rows of decorated cookies between sheets of parchment to protect the chocolate, in an airtight container for up to 2 days .