Several Thanksgivings ago, in our tiny kitchen in DC, I made sugar cut-outs in the shape of turkeys, pumpkins, maple leaves, and acorns. Rolling out sugar cookie dough in a galley-style kitchen is next to impossible, but the little dining table we had in our living room worked very well. Decorating sugar cookies is a fun endeavor, and because I had colored sugar that year, I decided to embellish the turkeys so that both toms and hens were on the platter.
When the cookies arrived at Aunt Liz’s house, they were a big hit. My cousin-in-law, Robb, first called the turkeys “anatomically correct,” but we later agreed that “gender specific” was a more appropriate term. Either way, I now make these turkeys every year.
- 1 recipe sugar cut-outs
- 1 recipe Zella’s icing
- Brown gel food coloring
- Miniature chocolate chips, for turkey eyes
- Colored sugar sprinkles, for tom feathers
Bake and cool sugar cut-outs.
Prepare icing; add enough brown food coloring to reach your desired turkey color.
Frost turkeys with a small offset spatula or butter knife, using a swirling motion to make feather patterns.
Press a miniature chocolate chip onto each turkey for the eye.
For the toms: starting on the outside of the feather end, use a teaspoon to sprinkle on a generous amount of colored sugar; repeat with two additional colors. Gently press the sugar into the icing with your finger, then lift the cookie and shake off any excess.
Allow icing to set before storing; store between sheets of parchment or waxed paper.