Thanksgiving Sugar Cookies

Perfectly soft and delicious thanksgiving sugar cookies are perfect for all of your celebrations. Decorated like turkeys, they are super cute and easy to create!

These silly turkeys are simply adorable. The kids will love making AND eating these cuties! Everyone will appreciate the soft and crumbly sugar cookie base. For more kid-adored thanksgiving treats try Oreo Turkeys, Pumpkin Cupcakes, and Pumpkin Snack Mix.

Thanksgiving Sugar Cookies decorated like turkeys

Gobble, Gobble!

We love a good sugar cookie at our house. This recipe is one of our favorites. They are oh so soft and delicious. That hint of almond really takes things to an entirely new level of yumminess. While we do love a simple frosted cookie, it is fun to mix things up…especially around the holidays.

The kids enjoy making crafts, and if that craft happens to be edible all the better!! We set aside time throughout each holiday month to create. It’s one of the highlights our time together celebrating.

These cute turkeys are easy to achieve so it’s a perfect activity to get everyone involved. These also make super cute treats for a class party or family gathering.

Plain sugar cookies before being decorated

How to Make Turkey Day Sugar Cookies

PREP. Preheat the oven to 375°F.

DOUGH. Add the butter, cream cheese, sugars, egg and almond to a large bowl. Use a hand mixer or kitchen aid to cream them together until fluffy. In a separate bowl sift together the dry ingredients- flour, baking powder and salt. Once combined add  the dry ingredients to sugar mixture. Mix until soft dough forms.

ROLL & SHAPE. Roll out the dough. Thin dough will make a crunchier cookie. For a softer cookie roll the dough to about ⅜ inches thick. Cut the dough with a cookie cutter.  {NOTE: Try not to handle the dough too much}

BAKE. Place the cookie cutouts onto a greased baking pan. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Let cool.

FROSTING. Make the frosting by adding the butter, powdered sugar, milk, vanilla and almond to a mixing bowl. Use a hand mixer to combine.

DECORATE. Frost the cookies and sprinkle with brown sprinkles. Decorate each cookie by adding a Reeses’s to the middle with candy corn around the top of the Reese’s. Add candy eyeballs using frosting for glue and pipe on orange frosting feet.

Cookie Tips:

  • Allow the butter and cream cheese to soften a bit before mixing them. They will mix together much easier. Be careful that you do not let them soften too much otherwise the cookies will be too oily.
  • Don’t over mix: This is especially important with sugar cookies since you will be further working the dough as you roll it out. When you add the dry ingredients, mix until it is just incorporated. 
  • Measuring the ingredients correctly: If you find that your dough is too dry and simply will not hold together, then sprinkle some water on the dough and knead it until it holds. On the flip side if your dough is just too sticky to roll, then sprinkle some flour and knead.
  • Chill the dough: Allows the flavor and texture to set and it’s easier to roll and cut.  
  • Do not let sugar cookies brown in the oven. Pull them out just as they are setting, then allow them to cool on the baking pan. The heat from the pan will further cook them before they begin to cool off. 
  • Frosting: Be sure the butter is softened so the frosting mixes up faster and smoother. Use milk to thin it out or powdered sugar to thicken depending on your frosting preference. Before frosting your cookies set aside some frosting that will be colored orange. This will be used to pipe out little turkey feet.

A sugar cookie decorated with candy to look like a turkey

Thanksgiving Sugar Cookie Ideas

We like to use this sugar cookie dough base and frosting to change up the cookies all year long!

For more ideas of sugar cookies you can make for Turkey Day, consider these:

  • CANDY CORN – Use a triangle cookie cutter and decorate with yellow, orange and white frosting
  • LEAVES – Use a leaf cookie cutter and use fall colors for your frosting inspiration
  • PUMPKINS – Use a pumpkin cookie cutter and use orange frosting

With all of these ideas, you can also make a table for decorating at Thanksgiving. Just have the cookies in the middle, with frosting divided into bowls. Cover with a plastic tablecloth and have plates and plastic knives at each spot for the kids to decorate. Kids LOVE it!

Thanksgiving sugar cookies that look like turkeys

Holiday Prep + Storing

Ahead of time: You can store sugar cookie dough in the fridge 4-5 days. Just be sure you wrap it tightly with plastic wrap first. To further extend storage you’ll want to wrap it a second time with foil and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Storage: Store sugar cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for 4-5 days. Be careful when stacking frosted sugar cookies and separate layers with wax paper. Help keep them softer longer by placing a piece of white bread in the container as well. 

Freezer: Undecorated cookies hold up better than those with the turkey decorations, but both can be stored in the freezer. Decorated cookies need to be wrapped individually otherwise separate layers with wax paper, and place them into a freezer safe storage container. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw before eating.

Thanksgiving sugar cookie idea - turkey cookies

For more Thanksgiving treats + kid activities, try:

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Thanksgiving Sugar Cookie Recipe

5 from 5 votes
Soft and delicious thanksgiving sugar cookies are perfect for all of your celebrations. Decorated like turkeys, they are super cute and easy to create!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 18
Calories 426 kcal
Author Lil' Luna

Ingredients

Cookie

  • 3/4 c unsalted butter softened
  • 8 oz cream cheese softened
  • 1 c sugar
  • 1/2 c powdered sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 2 3/4 c all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Frosting & Decorations

  • 1/3 c butter softened
  • 4 1/2 c powdered sugar
  • 1/4 c milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • food coloring
  • Miniature Reese's, candy eyeballs, candy corn, brown sprinkles

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  • Add the butter, cream cheese, sugars, egg and almond to a large bowl. Use a hand mixer or kitchen aid to cream them together until fluffy.
  • In a separate bowl sift together the dry ingredients- flour, baking powder and salt. Once combined add the dry ingredients to sugar mixture. Mix until soft dough forms.
  • Roll out the dough. Thin dough will make a crunchier cookie. For a softer cookie roll the dough to about 3/8 inches thick. Cut the dough with a cookie cutter. {NOTE: Try not to handle the dough too much}
  • Place the cookie cutouts onto a greased baking pan. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Let cool.
  • Make the frosting by adding the butter, powdered sugar, milk, vanilla and almond to a mixing bowl. Use a hand mixer to combine.
  • Frost the cookies and sprinkle with brown sprinkles. Decorate each cookie by adding a Reeses’s to the middle with candy corn around the top of the Reese’s. Add candy eyeballs using frosting for glue and pipe on orange frosting feet.

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About the Author

Kristyn Merkley

My name is Kristyn and I’m the mom of SIX stinkin’ cute kids and the wife to my smokin’ hot hubby, Lo. My mom’s maiden name is Luna, and I’m one of the many crafty “Lil’ Lunas” in the fam. On this site I like to share all things creative - from recipes to home decor to gifts and home decor ideas. Welcome!

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Comments:

  1. 5 stars
    These are perfect for the teens and older kids to make for Thanksgiving! Thanks for this fun and adorable recipe. I can’t wait to have them busy in the kitchen.