Thanksgiving Sugar Cookies

This year's Thanksgiving will undoubtedly be different in many ways for everyone.  Small gatherings of immediate family members that live in one's household only is what we should be doing.  Let us follow proper guidelines now so that we can gather with our loved ones to celebrate many more holidays in the future.  I want everyone to be safe and healthy.

Thanksgiving Sugar Cookies

Sitting here on this L.E. Smith Caramel Glass cake stand is a set of Thanksgiving-themed sugar cookies that are absolutely easy to make.  No intricate designs that require skill.  Perfectly baked sugar cookies, a bit of tinted royal icing, a few tools to help you along, and you're good to go!  

Make a small batch of sugar cookies in the shapes of turkeys, acorns, adorable foxes and some apples to have at the dessert table for your family.  Get the kids involved and have them personalize turkeys with the names or initials of those who will be sitting for the feast at the end of the month.  If you want to be generous, make extra treats for good neighbors, friends and other relatives.  

Sugar Cookies on Spode and L.E. Smith Glass

All of the inexpensive cookie cutters such as the apple, turkey and that adorable mother & baby fox can be found online.

Acorn Sugar Cookies

Do you remember those Acorn Sugar Cookies I made for a dear neighbor last year?  Well, they were made once again and I took the liberty of sprinkling the larger of the set with some fall-leaf candies by Wilton.  

Outline and flood the body of the acorn using a #3 piping tip in chocolate brown royal icing. For the smaller cookies, I flocked these areas in clear sanding sugar, and the larger ones were sprinkled with the candies while the icing was still wet.  The caps were outlined and flooded with a #2 piping tip in a different color (I liked orange, lemon yellow and green).  For the larger acorns, the caps can be flocked with clear sanding sugar.  Leave the cookies to dry completely.

Turkey Sugar Cookie on Spode Sorrento

One of my favorite designs this year is this plump turkey.  

Outline and flood the body of the turkey, as shown, using a #3 piping tip and some chocolate brown royal icing.  Let it set.  Using a #2 piping tip and bright orange royal icing, pipe a bead of icing along the outer edge of the turkey feathers following the scalloped pattern.  Immediately pipe a bead of icing with a #2 piping tip in lemon yellow royal icing following the same scalloped pattern.  Using red-red royal icing, and a #2 piping tip, pipe a scalloped bead of icing next to the yellow.  With the bright orange royal icing, immediately fill in the rest of the feather area along the sides of the turkey's body.  Using a scriber tool or a cake decorating pick, drag the wet icing along the scallops toward the turkey as shown.  Let the entire cookie dry completely before continuing.

Pipe a Pilgrim's hat on the turkey using a #2 piping tip and kelly-green royal icing.  Using white royal icing and a #1 piping tip, add dots for eyes and a small upside down triangle for the beak.  Using red royal icing and a #1 piping tip, add the turkey wattle.  Using the chocolate brown royal icing and a #2 piping tip, add dots on the turkey's belly.  Let dry completely.  Done!

Apple Sugar Cookie

Who can resist this delicious apple?  I used a Sweet Sugarbelle cookie cutter for this treat, and I have to say that I'm impressed.  Thanks Sweet Sugarbelle!

Outline and flood the apple using a #3 piping tip and red-red royal icing.  While the icing is wet, add the white dot and curved line to create the apple's "shine".  Using chocolate brown royal icing and a #2 piping tip, add the apple's stem.  With kelly-green royal icing and a #2 piping tip, outline and flood the leaf of the apple.  You can leave it to dry completely and then add a bead of icing to break up the leaf down the middle, as shown.

Mother and Baby Fox Sugar Cookie

This mother fox and baby is a nod to Sweet DaniB.  She loves(!!!) to add hearts to her animal cookies, creatures and other creations, so I decided to do the same for the charming pair.

In order to create a cookie with clearly defined body areas like I have done, you're going to have to do alternating sections of the cookie and let them dry completely before piping anything next to it.  This will allow your cookies to have that nice line/break in the icing between sections.

Using bright orange royal icing and a #2 piping tip, outline and flood the mother fox's head, the baby's head, and the tail portions of the cookie.  You can then pipe the whites of the eye sections and add either a black candy for each pupil or a dot of royal icing.  Let dry.  Outline and flood the rest of the areas, adding hearts on the bodies of the baby and the mother.  Don't forget to add a dot of icing for the nose.  

Martha by Mail Caramel Glass Cake Stand
The piping may take a little bit of practice to give them a professional look, but all of the cookie designs  are within reach of a beginner decorator/crafter.  Can't you imagine those turkeys at each place setting this Thanksgiving sitting on top of your Spode or Wedgwood?  A small tray of apples, acorns and foxes at the dessert table will tempt those individuals who may not want to eat pie this year.    

I hope that my post prompts you to turn off the television and put down the newspaper (leave the unpleasantness for another day).  Gather your baking ingredients, your cookie decorating tools and start decorating.  In no time you will see how calming it is to create a bit of cookie magic for yourself and for those around you.   

Our Thanksgiving holiday may not be what we imagined it would be this year, but let us not forget to be thankful.  There is always something to be thankful for every day.  


  1. Hi David! I love your blog and look forward to each post. Thank you for sharing the CDC guidelines for safely celebrating the holidays this year. I think it's so important to share information like this wherever there is a platform for it, regardless of whether it fits the aesthetic of one's brand or not. The health and safety of oneself and others will always be artful to me. Stay safe!


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