Now that my daughter is almost 2 1/2, I find myself focusing more on what traditions we want to start as a family. She's getting to the age where she'll start understanding more of what is fun and important during the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons and I wanted to start off some fun traditions this year.
I found this perfect recipe for Turkey Hand Cookies in a Penzey's catalog months ago and hung onto it in anticipation. The cookie recipe itself is delicious and not too sweet, which I think balances the sugary frosting really well. You could sub in your own favorite sugar cookie recipe, of course, but I don't really have one of those yet so I was up for suggestions!
|The easiest way to use "littles" handprints without a mess or injury!|
|I love baking cookies on my stoneware, they always turn out perfectly.|
|Golden brown yumminess!|
For older children it might be safe enough to have them trace their own hands with a duller knife or have you trace around their hands (clean!!) directly into the dough with a small sharp knife, but knowing my daughter, I decided to give a nod to safety instead. I traced her hand on a piece of wax paper and then cut it out and used it as a stencil to cut out toddler-sized handprints in the dough with the tip of a paring knife. It worked really well this way!
The recipe makes about 12-14 toddler-sized cookies, which are still pretty good sized cookies. The frosting is really adaptable, you can add vanilla to it, make it thinner or thicker according to your preference. I kept it sort of at a medium-thickness since I wanted my daughter to be able to "paint" it on the cookies using brushes.
|Sometimes you just can't wait for the finished project, cookies are meant to be eaten!|
|What, doesn't everyone smoosh their face on their baking rack?|
|Happy delicious (vegetarian) turkeys!|
Enjoy the season and Happy Thanksgiving!
Thanksgiving Turkey Cookies
Barely adapted from Penzeys Spices
Ingredients for the Cookies
1 1/2 cups AP flour
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
2 sticks unsalted butter (at room temperature)
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
Ingredients for the Frosting
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tbsp. melted butter
3-5 tbsp. milk (depends on how thick or thin you like it - start with 2-3 and take it from there)
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
Sift flour and salt together and set aside. Beat the butter and sugar together using the paddle attachment in the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat for at least 3 minutes, until the mixture is light and fluffy.
Add in the egg and vanilla, beating well to incorporate. Add the flour in 3 batches, allowing it to completely mix into the dough after each addition. Divide the dough into 2 large balls and press each between 2 sheets of wax paper to make about a 1" thick disc. Wrap well and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 350 and generously flour a clean, smooth surface. Roll out the dough discs to about 1/2" thickness before cutting out your hand shapes (see method for tracing hands, etc. above). I used a sharp-edged metal spatula to gently lift the cookies onto prepared cookie sheets to avoid having them break apart.
These cookies don't spread, so don't worry too much about crowding them on a pan. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until just starting to get golden, not overly brown. Let cool completely before decorating with the frosting.
Mix the frosting by whisking together the sugar, butter, milk and vanilla. Divide into different small bowls and add in desired food colorings to decorate. Store at room temperature in a sealed container.
Printable Thanksgiving Turkey Cookies Recipe