Thanksgiving Apple Turkeys

MacSuzie | Thanksgiving Apple Turkey - A tradition in my family and a perfect way to keep kids occupied while grown ups are busy prepping dinner!)

The tradition of making apple turkeys on Thanksgiving has been in my family for as long as I can remember. My mom and her brothers and sisters even made them when they were little! My cousins and I used to have so much fun putting these together and it was pretty neat to see them decorate the table while we ate.

Little did we know that it was a secret weapon that our parents used to keep us kids quiet while we waited for the big meal to be ready… Truthfully, it was genius of them. Give us each a paper plate, put some apples in the middle of the table along with bowls of the decorations, and just let us go to town! Really, we didn’t even need supervision, although my ever vigilant Aunt Margie was never too far away (Be careful with those toothpicks and plastic knives! Here, let me cut that for you!). I love you, Aunt Margie…

It was so cool to see how everyone’s turkeys turned out so differently, even though we all had the same ingredients in front of us. Some were more traditional looking and some could be classified as Picasso-esque for sure! The possibilities are endless, so feel free to buy whatever you think looks fun. We always used to have gumdrops, gumdrop “fruit” slices, colored mini marshmallows, red liquorice and raisins. If you wanted to go super healthy, you could even use all fruit for the decorations instead of the candies. Just use your imagination – maybe even let the kids pick a few items. The only must-haves are red apples and red liquorice. Also, the candy or fruit decorations have to be soft enough to push onto toothpicks. That reminds me – don’t forget the toothpicks!

 

MacSuzie | Thanksgiving Apple Turkey - A tradition in my family and a perfect way to keep kids occupied while grown ups are busy prepping dinner!) Here is everything you need to make the one I made. If the table is big, you might want to have multiple bowls of the same candies so that everyone has easy access to all the decorations.  

 

MacSuzie | Thanksgiving Apple Turkey - A tradition in my family and a perfect way to keep kids occupied while grown ups are busy prepping dinner!) I always start with the “feathers.” I assembled all mine at once so I could vary the color combos (I know, I’m a weirdo), but the kids can make and add one at a time if they want. Make sure you leave a little toothpick sticking out so you can poke them into the apple. I chose to use mini gummy bears for all my feathers, but you can use whatever you want in any combination. When I was little, my favorite was the fruity colored mini marshmallows, but they didn’t have those at my grocery. Boo…  

 

MacSuzie | Thanksgiving Apple Turkey - A tradition in my family and a perfect way to keep kids occupied while grown ups are busy prepping dinner!) Ooops – I almost forgot! Before adding your feathers, you’ll need to stabilize your turkey body. Turn the apple on its side with the bottom part of the apple facing forward. Use 2 toothpicks as “legs,” one on each side in what is now the front.  

 

MacSuzie | Thanksgiving Apple Turkey - A tradition in my family and a perfect way to keep kids occupied while grown ups are busy prepping dinner!)

I started with 5 feathers in one row.

 

MacSuzie | Thanksgiving Apple Turkey - A tradition in my family and a perfect way to keep kids occupied while grown ups are busy prepping dinner!)

Then added 4 more staggered in front of the first 5.

 

MacSuzie | Thanksgiving Apple Turkey - A tradition in my family and a perfect way to keep kids occupied while grown ups are busy prepping dinner!)

After the feathers, I added the wings. The toothpicks were a little long, so I broke a bit off of the end of each one.

 

MacSuzie | Thanksgiving Apple Turkey - A tradition in my family and a perfect way to keep kids occupied while grown ups are busy prepping dinner!)

Gumdrop fruit slices work really well for this part because they are already sort of wing-shaped. Purple seemed the logical choice for me (what? I like grape!), but use whichever color you like. 

 

MacSuzie | Thanksgiving Apple Turkey - A tradition in my family and a perfect way to keep kids occupied while grown ups are busy prepping dinner!)

Once I got the feathers on there, my turkey started to lean backwards a bit, so I added a random 3rd “leg” to the back. Depending on the shape of your apple and the type of decorations you use, you may not need to do this.

 

MacSuzie | Thanksgiving Apple Turkey - A tradition in my family and a perfect way to keep kids occupied while grown ups are busy prepping dinner!)

Next, cut a triangle-shaped piece of licorice. This will become the turkey’s “wattle.” I am sure that isn’t the technical term for whatever that red hanging thing on a turkey’s neck really is, but that’s what we always called it, hahaha.

 

MacSuzie | Thanksgiving Apple Turkey - A tradition in my family and a perfect way to keep kids occupied while grown ups are busy prepping dinner!)

Then, I assembled the head/neck piece. I used a yellow fruit slice for the head and the red licorice piece I just cut underneath as the “waddle.”

 

MacSuzie | Thanksgiving Apple Turkey - A tradition in my family and a perfect way to keep kids occupied while grown ups are busy prepping dinner!)

Now add your head. Isn’t he cute?!

 

MacSuzie | Thanksgiving Apple Turkey - A tradition in my family and a perfect way to keep kids occupied while grown ups are busy prepping dinner!)

The kids in your family will love making these – and I’m sure some grown-ups will, too! I hope these are as much for your family as they always were for mine. Who knows? Maybe you will make them a yearly tradition of your own. :-)

Happy Thanksgiving!

♥ MacSuzie


 

For another fun Thanksgiving activity, check out my Turkey Cookies!!!!

ng Turkey Cookies - A bit of frosting and candy transform handprint cookies into festive turkeys!

2 Responses to Thanksgiving Apple Turkeys

  1. Dianne Manago says:

    I remember at your great Grandma’s when we made these as a kids. Loved coming home and eating them. So many holes in the apples because you had to get the feathers just right lol Don’t think i ever did eat the apple had to many holes in it :) lol

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