Thanksgiving “Turkey” Cookies

MacSuzie| Thanksgiving Turkey Cookies - A bit of frosting and candy transform hand print cookies into festive turkeys!

This post is for my Aunt Margie, who is forever cutting projects and Dear Abby articles out of newspapers and magazines in order to better the lives of her family, and maybe annoy them a little, too… Moral of the story – make time for fun family activities, mind your manners, and above all, don’t forget to unplug the hair dryer!!!!!


Before Turkey Cookies were hip and cool, way, waaaay back in the day when my mom (I love you, Mom!) and her brothers and sisters were little, they made these adorable Apple Turkeys every Thanksgiving. My cousins and I did when we were little, too.

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

Until that fateful November day in 1995 when the Thanksgiving issue of Better Homes and Gardens hit the newsstand. Thanksgiving would NEV-AH be the same AGAIN. Thank you, Aunt Margie!!!!!

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

Enter – the HAND PRINT TURKEY COOKIE!!!! Not that I don’t love the Apple Turkeys, I just love cut out cookies! And yes, this is the original magazine page from *cough* …almost 20 years ago. Man, do I feel old!!!!!

Obviously, these are not cookies made of actual turkey. Rather, they are just shaped like turkeys by way of a hand print. Personally, these cookies are one of my favorite parts of Thanksgiving – although I live pretty far away from most of my family these days, that doesn’t stop me from insisting on making these every. single. year. I just take them wherever I will be celebrating, much to the delight of any children present (and slight dismay of their parents – MUAH HA HA!!!!!). Instant “Cool Aunt” status! BONUS: Parental joking aside, this really is a fun post-dinner Thanksgiving kids activity to give them something to do while grown ups are visiting, playing cards, etc.

There’s no recipe for this one, guys – just a little bit of prep beforehand. Turkey cookies really are that easy. And because you’ll likely be worried about 100 other items on your to do list for the big T-Day, feel free to use as many shortcuts as you need – ready to roll cookie dough, pre-made frosting, etc. Alternatively, you can certainly go all out and make your own cookie dough and buttercream frosting – you KNOW I did, and homemade really does taste the best in my opinion. For other useful tips, see my “tips” section at the end of the post!


You’ll Need:

  • Butter or sugar cookies, cut in a hand print shape – at least one for each child (or adult!) who wants to decorate.
  • Buttercream frosting – plain or tinted light brown
  • Candy for decoration – I use M&M’s (minis are fun too!), candy corn and red licorice
  • Knife or spreader

MacSuzie| Thanksgiving Turkey Cookies - A bit of frosting and candy transform hand print cookies into festive turkeys!

 


 Here’s How:

MacSuzie| Thanksgiving Turkey Cookies - A bit of frosting and candy transform hand print cookies into festive turkeys!

MacSuzie| Thanksgiving Turkey Cookies - A bit of frosting and candy transform hand print cookies into festive turkeys!

MacSuzie| Thanksgiving Turkey Cookies - A bit of frosting and candy transform hand print cookies into festive turkeys!

MacSuzie| Thanksgiving Turkey Cookies - A bit of frosting and candy transform hand print cookies into festive turkeys!

MacSuzie| Thanksgiving Turkey Cookies - A bit of frosting and candy transform hand print cookies into festive turkeys!

MacSuzie| Thanksgiving Turkey Cookies - A bit of frosting and candy transform hand print cookies into festive turkeys!

MacSuzie| Thanksgiving Turkey Cookies - A bit of frosting and candy transform hand print cookies into festive turkeys!

 


 

Tips:

Cookie Dough

  • Use your favorite dough, homemade or pre-made are both fine. Just make sure these aren’t the super soft type of sugar cookie, or they won’t hold up to being handled when decorating.
  • I make my own, but Krusteaz makes a delicious mix to which you just have to add the wet ingredients – a delightful combo between the convenience of store-bought with the flavor of homemade :)
  • Make ahead up to a few days beforehand and store in an airtight container.

Cookie Shape

  • The original hand print cookie cutter (which I still have and use!) is made by Wilton. I don’t think they make that particular one anymore, but I have definitely seen them at craft and kitchen stores. And I am POSITIVE you can order them to be delivered in a “prime” fashion within 48 hours from a certain interwebs ordering store…
  • Alternatively, trace your (or a kiddo’s) hand onto the dough with a skewer and cut out.
  • To keep cookies from sticking while rolling them out, I use powdered sugar instead of flour. No icky flour buildup, plus it lends a nice little crisp to the outside of the cookie.

Frosting

  • A fluffy-ish buttercream frosting is my favorite to use. I always use homemade – always. made ahead to save time. Butter + powdered sugar + cream/milk + vanilla = AMAZING (and so easy!). Made ahead to save time, of course.
  • Buuuuuut, if you are really short on time, you can certainly sub with a can or two of store bought. (After all – that’s what we used when we were kids and clearly had no problems, hahaha!)
  • If you choose to tint your frosting, I like Wilton or other paste-like food coloring. It doesn’t take much to make a saturated color, and these types of food colors are now widely available at craft and grocery stores.

Candy

  • I use M&M’s for the colors and chocolate flavor, but feel free to sub in any colorful candy of choice: Skittles, Sprees, Sixlets, etc. you could also use sprinkles instead. M&Ms minis make GREAT turkey eyes!
  • You can cut your licorice into “waddles” ahead of time and store in a plastic bag, or have each person cut his/her own. Of course, keep extra licorice on had for snacking!
  • BONUS: These cookies are a perfect way to use up leftover Halloween candy – if you have any! Plan ahead next year and save some aside. Don’t forget to buy some on sale when it hits clearance!

Decorating/Serving:

  • I like to make sure I have a several bowls/plates of each item so there is easy access no matter where everyone sits. Alternatively, you could have individual servings already divided up into cute bags with name tags to serve as a favor (that leftover or clearance Halloween candy would really come in handy here!).
  • Make sure to have enough empty plates and spreaders/knives for each decorator to have their own to use while decorating.
  • Cheap disposable containers with lids make easy transport for snacking at a later time, if one hasn’t already “gobbled” (see what I did there?) his/her turkey immediately upon completion. My sister and I always saved ours for our annual Thanksgiving night viewing of It’s A Wonderful Life. (Well, at least I did…)

Have fun and Happy Thanksgiving!

♥ MacSuzie


Want a (semi) healthy alternative to cookies? Check out 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!)

 

2 Responses to Thanksgiving “Turkey” Cookies

  1. You even got the turkey’s wattle! I love these cookies. :)

Let me know what you think!

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