Brightly colored turkeys take the spotlight in these festive Thanksgiving spritz cookies! Indulge in some creative family time or me time with this FUN decorating idea made by painting with edible pearl dust. It’s easy like a coloring book or paint-by-numbers – but on a cookie! I find it relaxing and incredibly enjoyable, not to mention super yummy!
As I said in my last post, this is definitely my new favorite decorating technique. If you think it looks difficult, please don’t worry – it’s NOT! If you can do a coloring book or a paint-by-number then you can do this. It’s fun, creative, and artistic, without requiring any talent LOL.
Who knew turkeys could be so darn cute?
For this simple post I’m going to focus on decorating, though I’ll show how some of these shapes press. To make the cookies just choose any un-colored (i.e. not chocolate, gingerbread, red velvet or other already-tinted) dough. I have several recipes in the following posts that will work if you don’t already have a family favorite. The How to make Christmas Trees Cookies post has my gold standard spritz recipe, vanilla-honey spritz; Sparkling Almond Spritz Snowflakes has my Incredibly Almond Spritz recipe, Chicks & Eggs, Bunnies & Carrots- Easter Spritz has a cream cheese spritz recipe; and Colorful Fall Leaves has a powdered sugar spritz recipe. They are all tasty and press great!
If you’re new to cookie pressing please read one of those other recipe posts because I always give tips, advice, troubleshooting, and instruction on how to make superb dough that presses well every time. I also give tips on how to press, plus my video posts show dough-making and pressing from start-to-finish!
I used all of the shapes from our Thanksgiving Disks set plus the Pumpkin from the Halloween set. You can find all of our disks and our press on our website: www.impressbakeware.com
I used my cream cheese spritz recipe for this bake. I pulled out some of the dough and tinted it orange for the pumpkins. Since they’re completely orange it seemed easier to tint the dough than to paint them with dust. You could do the same for the cornucopias, but I painted mine this time.
All of my shapes pressed beautifully! I show you so you can see what well-formed, not too big, not too small cookies should look like.
I really like how cleanly the cream cheese recipe forms shapes.
The orange dough pressed just as well.
Bake your cookies however your recipe instructs. Mine took about 9 minutes at 400 degrees. Check spritz cookies early and often as all ovens are calibrated differently and spritz tend to brown quickly once they start.
After baking, don’t remove spritz too quickly from the cookie sheet or they tend to break. Likewise, don’t let them sit for an hour or they’ll stick 😉 A good guesstimate is 4-8 minutes on the pan. Any more or less and you might have to work a little harder to get them off.
Decorating these little beauties is just too fun. It’s like the adult coloring book fad a few years ago. Very zen. Very creative but not requiring tons of talent.
The decorating on these is SO simple. Using food-safe brushes, mix pearl dust and whatever clear alcohol-based liquid you choose to make a “paint”. Most people use either clear imitation vanilla (that’s what I used here), lemon extract, or vodka. Don’t worry about the alcohol, the taste and alcohol disappear as it dries. Experiment with how thick or thin you want it to create different effects.
My technique is to keep a small dish of liquid ready, and place small piles of dust around a plate like a palette. Just drip a little liquid at a time next to the dust- this keeps the liquid clear and clean. Use a different brush for each color or rinse with water between colors. Mix the dust and liquid until there are no lumps.
Please, make sure your dust is truly edible, not just “non-toxic”! There are plenty of good brands that will show in a quick google search.
If you want a more opaque color that the cookie won’t show through, add white to your color. I found that my Wilton purple pearl dust definitely needed white added to it. Let the paint dry in between colors so they won’t bleed together.
Play around with test cookies till you get the hang of it- or even paint on the bottoms for practice. After you’ve done this technique just once it will seem very easy. I can’t paint like an artist at all (I mean seriously, not at all!!!) but I can do this, because spritz cookies already have their shapes defined. You’ve got lines and shapes to work with just like a coloring book or a paint-by-number. That’s what makes it so relaxing. It isn’t work, it’s fun 🙂
If you need a better tutorial, my last post – the Halloween Shimmering Ghosts, Jack-O-Lanterns & Haunted Houses – has a video on how to do this technique! I also have a good tutorial with photos in Woodland Christmas Spritz Cookies.
Here’s some close-ups of how I painted mine. By all means get creative and come up with your own style. I swear I could have painted turkeys all day. Picking different color patterns and combinations was so much fun!
I painted the one turkey like a candy corn turkey. One of my very first blog posts here way back in 2014 was Candy Corn Turkey Cookies where I showed how to use 3 colors of dough to make them. Here’s a much easier way to get the same effect – just paint!
The pumpkin just to the left of the turkey is from the Halloween Disk Set. The other is the cute squishy little gourd/pumpkin that’s in the Thanksgiving set.
I am a huge fan of colorful mums in the fall. I love how these turned out.
I went for a natural-ish look for the oak leaves. Make them as subtle or as colorful as you like.
The cornucopias and pilgrim hats were just so easy.
By the way, there’s another early 2014 blog – Caramel Apple Sandwich Cookies – that you could use this technique for. Simply paint the apples instead of making 2-color dough, then follow the rest of the recipe. They are SO decadent!
The Indian corn required the most precision, but I enjoyed coming up with different patterns. I can picture doing some in all shades of red, purple, or yellow. Let your imagination guide you.
That’s all there is to it! I hope you all enjoy this as much as I did and have yourself some zen, happy, creative fun.
I wish you all Happy Baking, a very Happy Thanksgiving, and invite you to “Press the possibilities!”
Disk Designer/Co-Owner at Impress! Bakeware, LLC
“Get creative with your cookie press!”
Find all of our disks and our press on our website: www.impressbakeware.com
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The Thanksgiving set:
The Halloween set: