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[Photographs: Carrie Vasios Mullins]

My feelings about Valentine's Day are that you can either go kitsch or go home. If you're opting for the former route, these sugar cookies are a great way to go.

Here's the best part: underneath their glittering pink facade they actually taste good. They're tender, not dry, with soft middles and only the lightest crisp at the edges. The sanding sugar provides some textural contrast (in addition to pizzaz). Though it's worth noting that if you can't find sanding sugar, regular sprinkles or nonpareils will work.

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Thanks to a heavy dose of extract in the dough, the flavor isn't just a dull combination of flour and sugar like so many bad sugar cookies, it's straight-up vanilla.

Sugar cookies that actually have good flavor and texture while still looking adorable? I think that any Valentine can get behind that.

About the author: Carrie Vasios Mullins is the editor of Serious Eats: Sweets. She likes to peruse her large collection of cookbooks while eating jam from the jar. You can follow her on Twitter @carrievasios

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