Step-by-Step Instructions for Turkey-Themed Sugar Cookie Decorations

This simple tutorial, complete with video, will show you how much fun it is to decorate your own turkey sugar cookies, and they'll be the talk of the table at your Thanksgiving celebration.

If you want your Thanksgiving feast to be a success, serve these eye-catching sugar cookies. Learn how to make your own festive Thanksgiving turkey sugar cookies with the help of this straightforward guide and accompanying video.

easy turkey cookies decorated with buttercream frosting and arranged on a wood serving platter

Everyone enjoys taking a look at beautifully decorated cookies. In a nutshell, they're entertaining. There are countless possibilities for cookie-themed parties, and hardly any occasions for which they would be out of place. Now is the time to start serving cookies at your Thanksgiving gatherings if you haven't already. Start the holiday off right with a platter of these simple turkey sugar cookies. One of the best parts is that you can decide how involved you want these to be. Allow me to show you how to make these adorable turkey cookies; I even made a video for you to follow. Okay, so let's begin.

Sugar Cookie Ingredients for a Thanksgiving Turkey

The best part about this sugar cookie pattern is that it can be used with or without baking. You really should try it with one of my sugar cookie recipes, but if you're really pressed for time or counter space, you don't have to. A slice-and-bake sugar cookie is ideal because you only need a round(ish) cookie base. Simple round sugar cookies found in the bakery section of some supermarkets are also delicious. A round sugar cookie with enough thickness to support some buttercream icing is all that's required.

When it comes to icing, I always turn to my tried-and-true American buttercream recipe. It's simple, extremely well-liked, and delicious. I got about 10 cookies out of the reduced recipe for frosting, which only yielded about 2 cups. Children's participation in the decorating process may necessitate a larger budget. My kids go through a lot of frosting whenever they do any sort of decorating.

I refuse to bake the icing. The store sells canned goods. Simply dye the white frosting shades of red, yellow, and orange. The turkey's body can be frosted with chocolate icing. Black frosting or the "decorating gel" tubes found in craft stores can be used to add the finishing touches. Sprinkles, as seen in the video and some of the pictures, also do a great job.

You won't need much in the way of non-edible materials. You'll need piping bags and a spoon, knife, or offset spatula to decorate your baked goods. I use both regular piping bags and a smaller tipless piping bag for the details in the video. Use whichever one you prefer. The only thing you'll need is a tool that makes it simple to pipe beads onto your cookie. The entire cookie is covered in tiny beads.

Modelling a Cookie

These cookies can be made without a cookie cutter. Hooray To form the shape, we roll out some sugar cookie dough, cut out a circle, and then trim the bottom with a knife. Remove a small amount from the bottom to make a flat "base" on which your turkey cookie can sit.

round sugar cookie dough with a little cut off the bottom of a circle to show how to get the shape for these turkey sugar cookies

Pre-baked cookies should still be soft enough to slice off a small portion.

Decoration Methods and Advice

We only employ one method for piping the frosting onto the cookies, as I mentioned before. For beautiful cookies, all you need to do is concentrate on piping tiny, colorful beads. Why do I refer to these beads as "piping pretty"? Here, let me demonstrate

My first piece of advice for making beautiful beads centers on consistency. Ideally, the beads should all be roughly the same size for the most aesthetically pleasing feathers. I find that counting while I pipe helps me accomplish this. I'm going to begin piping by holding the bag with the hand farthest from the tip to guide and applying pressure with the hand closer to the middle. After two counts, release the pressure. You can make uniformly sized beads by following this method and applying moderate to light pressure.

Keep the bead caps as flat as possible, which brings us to our second point. Applying force as you pull the bag away from the cookie will cause the dough to form peaks rather than beads. You can avoid this by releasing the pressure BEFORE you pull the bag away from the bead. Then, without pressing down on the bag at all, give it a gentle twist to "cut off" the frosting and squeeze it out. A slight peak may persist, but that's really not a problem at all. You will undoubtedly smooth out the feather beads if and when they develop peaks. Also, if your turkey's body has a peak, you can easily smooth it down.

Keep an eye on the frosting's temperature, especially if you live in a warm climate. If your frosting softens too much while you're working with it, chill it for 5 minutes and try again. If the frosting gets too warm, you won't be able to pipe the pretty beads.

For my fellow people who learn best when shown things, I made a video tutorial. Some of the aforementioned advice is included, and some additional methodical pointers are provided as well:

Hello, sweeties! I really hope you find some motivation in this tutorial. Have fun sprucing up your home!

  1. Sugar cookies should be prepared as directed on the package or by the recipe. The dough can be sliced into 3-inch rounds; then, using a butter knife or bench scraper, you can level the bottoms of the cookies for your turkey decoration.
  2. Make the buttercream frosting after the cookies have cooled completely. Now is the time to add color to store-bought frosting. Colors created with gels are the most vibrant.
  3. Cut the frosting into 5 equal parts. Only use about a third of a cup of black frosting for the details. Roughly 1 1/4 cups of yellow frosting, 1 cup of orange frosting, 2/3 cup of red frosting, and 2/3 cup of brown frosting are needed to frost a dozen cookies. It's important to remember that these are just rough estimates. A wide range of actual costs exists
  4. You can decorate your cookie by piping a ring of beads around the circumference. To do this, you can either use a small knife, offset spatula, or spoon to work your way inward from the center of the bead to the cookie's center.
  5. You can begin piping the orange beads for the second row halfway down the first set of feathers. Making use of a clean spatula, fashion feathers. If your cookie's frosting is starting to accumulate in the middle, simply scrape it off.
  6. Replace the red feathers in the back row with a new set.
  7. Head and body of the turkey can be piped by stacking one small bead on top of a larger bead. To make the eyes, beak, and gobble, use sprinkles and your accent icing to pipe on the appropriate features. You can make a cute gobble with heart sprinkles.
  8. Have fun with the treats Cookies can be kept for 2 days at room temperature or 1 week in the fridge if stored in an airtight container.
  • These cookies can't be shipped because of the buttercream frosting, and they should be stored in a single layer. It's not a good idea to stack, as it will ruin your carefully crafted layout.

If you have anything to say or want to share, you can do so in the comments section or by uploading a photo to Instagram.

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