Thursday, November 17, 2011

Turkey Cookie Reboot

There are a whole lot of turkey cookies that happen this time of the year in the lady side of my family.  My mom makes them, my sister makes them, my sister-in-law makes them, and I make them.  I believe a cousin of mine was gifted a cookie cutter this year so she can make her own rather than getting a gift box of them from my mom.  Go turkey cookies!

You know you needs lots of turkey to make these things?  Right?  Lots and lots of turkey if you’re making 12 dozen of these gobblers.  Kidding.  Totally kidding.  Though there has been more than one person who thought “turkey cookies” were made with turkey.  They’re not.

They’re a super yummy gingerbread cookie cut out to look like a turkey.  You’ll have to scour antique stores to find the cookie cutter.  My mom might have beat you to it.  I love my turkey cutter.  And my mom.  And I love turkey cookies.

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Only once a year you’ll find me making these babies.  It’s a workout to roll out dough.  Did you know that?  Especially cold dough.  My abs are talking to me.  Or maybe my counters are too high.

Two years ago I blogged about turkey cookies here.  I didn’t divulge the recipe.  I think I can share it.  I don’t believe it’s a nationally guarded secret.  It’s even in a cookbook.  If you can find a copy of “All Because of Grace” that features more than 200 award-winning children’s authors and illustrators and their favorite recipes…then you’ll find the turkey cookies in there from my sister-in-law.  Check out Yes! Grace Rocks, Inc. to see if they have it.  I couldn’t find it.  Bummer.

Gingerbread Turkey Cookies (Makes about 4 dozen)
  • 1 cup shortening (I use unsalted butter)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup molasses/honey combo (about 1/4 cup dark molasses to 3/4 cup honey)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp cloves
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 6 cups flour
Basic cookie dough directions:

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Cream together butter and sugar.  Add eggs and beat well.  Blend in molasses and honey.  Add salt, baking soda, and other dry ingredients.  Dough should not be sticky.  Chill dough for at least one hour.  If you don’t have time to chill, just deal with it.

Basic cookie shaping and baking directions:

Preheat oven to 375.  Roll dough to 1/8 to 1/4 inch thickness.  I just roll it till the cookie cutter can cut it.
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Place cut out turkeys (gobble, gobble) on a greased baking sheet. Bake for 4-6 minutes.  I do 6 minutes.

Place candy corns in a fan shape on the tail area.  Some people use 3.  I always put a minimum of 5 because I buy the big bags of candy corns on clearance for 74 cents after Halloween.  Some turkeys even get a whole feathered body of candy corns.  Yum.

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Bake 2-4 more minutes or until candy corns are squishy.  I do it 4 minutes.  Sometimes it takes longer if you accidently turned off the oven.  I’m just saying….it’s happened to some people.

Remove from oven and take a fork and press the softened candy corn to flatten it and give the candy a “feathered” appearance.  I spray my fork with a little nonstick spray before squishing.  And you are free to eat all the misshaped candy corns rather than putting them on the tails of the turkeys.  Just eat them.  Leave the turkeys with pretty tail feathers before they get eaten too.

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Let cookies cool on a rack.  A cooling rack.  Not the other kind of rack.  You knew that.

When cool…baste those turkeys.  I mean marinate those turkeys.  No wait…I mean glaze those turkeys.  You can use a glaze of 1-2 tablespoons of butter, hot water, and confectioners sugar.  This year I went all rogue and skipped the butter.  The cookies still get glazed, but have a more sugary look.  You know what I mean….sugary.  Brush that glaze on the turkey.  Let dry.  Eat and eat and eat.  And pass around.  That’s why I’ve made 12 dozen…..people kinda expect these cookies this time of the year now.

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Do you want to know the best part of making turkey cookies?  Well, the eating them ranks right up there.  And I always eat the tail last. But the best part for me this year was making them with my little girl.  I gave Chewy a 1/4 of the dough on Monday this week after I had made up another batch of it and she went to town next to me creating her own cookies.

She rolled out the dough with her own little rolling pin.  She cut out the dough with her own little cookie cutters and my turkey one (which will one day be hers).
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She put on her own candy corns and glaze.  She was quite the dedicated and careful little worker.

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I enjoyed every moment baking with her and being covered in flour with her.  And her cookies turned out delicious.

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What memories are you cooking up this holiday season?


  1. Thank you for the recipe! Now I just have to find one of those cookie cutters or something similar.

  2. Where did you get your cookie cutter? I can't find one this intricate.

  3. This particular cookie cutter is no longer made. It was made by Tupperware, I believe. My mom found mine at an antique store. She has bought quite a few at different antique stores. Maybe check out antique or thrift stores near you. Or search vintage red turkey cookie cutter or red turkey cookie cutter and you will find a slew of them for sale on the Internet. Good luck! Thanks for stopping by!


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