These little bite-sized turkey shaped cookies are just begging to land on your holiday table! With feathers that look like candy corn, these are sure to be a conversation-starter. Well, until they’re gobbled up!
A cookie press, a Turkey disk from Impress!™ Bakeware’s Thanksgiving disk set, some food dye, and a little creativity are all you need to make plain cookie press (spritz) cookies into these fun and festive birds!
First make the basic spritz dough. This is the standard plain recipe I usually use when it’s the decorating or coloring that’s jazzing up the recipe and not an added flavoring.
The key to great spritz cookies is the dough. It has a particular consistency that when made right, presses smoothly, quickly and easily.
Impress!™ Vanilla-Honey Spritz
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter, softened (not melted)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup honey
1 and 1/2 Tablespoons vanilla extract
4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 400°F. Cream the butter well. Add the sugar and cream it very well again. Add the honey, then vanilla and egg; beat well. Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Add it slowly to the butter mixture, just until the flour is mixed in. DO NOT over-mix!
Spritz dough should be soft but not sticky. It has an almost crumbly texture that doesn’t stick to your fingers.
Divide the dough into three bowls and use gel food dye (liquid will change your dough consistency too much) to color one bowlful yellow and the other orange, leaving one plain.
Roll some of the plain dough into a log. Hold one end of this dough log up to the Turkey disk and position it so that it covers the Turkey’s body and just the inside tips of the feathers (i.e. where the white tips would be on candy corn). (Don’t worry about making the log long enough to fill the cookie press barrel- that is often too much to work with effectively. You can always repeat these steps to make more turkeys.) Next flatten part of the orange dough and wrap it around the plain dough log, checking to see that the orange dough covers the middle part of the feathers, leaving room on the outermost edges for the yellow. Then flatten a piece of yellow dough and wrap it around the orange layer of the dough log, making sure your log isn’t getting too fat to fit in the barrel.
Now hold the dough log, turkey disk still attached on the end, and let it gently “fall” into the barrel, shaking it a little if it gets stuck along the way. If it starts to fatten out as you go, just keep your hand there to guide it. Eventually the disk will come to rest at the barrel’s end. Now attach the end ring to the press, using a finger tip to hold the disk in place and not let it turn. This is VERY important so your dough colors will stay aligned correctly with your disk pattern!
Now it’s time to press turkeys. Always make sure you are using an ungreased cookie sheet so the dough will stick.
It’s ok if the first bird or two come out a little funky. Just bake them anyway and gobble up the “mistakes” as taste tests. That’s what we do in our house! Sometimes it takes a few misshapen cookies to get the pressing pressure and cookie size right. Be patient and keep it fun, get in to an even pressing rhythm, and don’t worry about a few mistakes. Normally I throw bad shapes back in the dough bowl, but in this case with the aligned multicolored dough, it’s too tough to re-use the dough. Better to just bake them all and eat the mistakes- they’ll still taste great.
Repeat this process until the dough is used up. Clean the barrel in between pressings if your colors start to blend too much around the edges.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes until the edges begin to brown. All ovens are different, so check that first batch early- at 6 or 7 minutes to gauge your baking time. Let sit for just a minute or two then remove from the cookie sheet and cool on rack.
These festive fall birdies are cute just as they are, but if you like, add small candy eyes (available at some specialty cookware stores) or my favorites are made by The Baker’s Kitchen™ and available online. Just attach the eyes with a little icing and watch your Turkeys take on a whole new personality!
Enjoy! Happy Thanksgiving, Happy Baking, and gobble gobble!
Disk Designer/Recipe Developer at Impress! Bakeware, LLC
Our website with more recipes and over 200 disks in 30 disk themes: http://stores.impressbakeware.com/
Our Amazon Store: https://www.amazon.com/Impress-Bakeware/pages/12702786011
Here is the Thanksgiving Disk Set:
Purchase the set here: http://stores.impressbakeware.com/thanksgiving-8-disk-set/
If you’d like to see more disks, be sure to check out www.impressbakeware.com for over 200 disk designs and many more recipes and ways to use a cookie press. You can press icing decorations on cupcakes, make chocolate truffles, crackers, peanut butter spreads, pumpkin mousse parfaits, and much more.
The candy eyes I used here can be found at: http://www.thebakerskitchen.net/3/16-in-Candy-Eyes-Assorted-Colors—1000-Count-Pack.aspx