Your children will love to help you make these cookie turkeys for your Thanksgiving dessert table. This fun Thanksgiving kid’s dessert features sugar cookies, peanut butter cups, candy corn and malted milk balls – all fashioned into one adorable cookie in the shape of a turkey.
Sugar cookies are the staple in any cookie decorating project for the holidays from Halloween through until Christmas time.
Your party guests will gobble up these fun turkey cookies. They are the perfect dessert for a “bring your own” offering to a family Thanksgiving gathering, or as a gift for your child’s class for Thanksgiving.
The biggest problem you will encounter is trying to get the kids to stop eating the candy before the turkeys are finished.
This post may contain affiliate links. I earn a small commission, at no extra cost to you if you purchase through an affiliate link.
More candy corn Thanksgiving desserts
Candy corn is one thing that I always have on hand in the fall. There are so many ways to incorporate it into a recipe. Check out these fun ideas for some more inspiration:
- Candy Corn Turkey Cupcakes – Malted milk balls and candy corn do double duty again for these whimsical cupcakes.
- Candy Corn Pretzel Fudge – A salty and sweet combination in one bite that is sure to please.
- Thanksgiving Snack Mix- Candy corn is mixed with other tasty treats in this snack mix that reminds of us our blessings.
- 20 Candy Corn Recipes – Get lots of inspiration for using candy corn in your recipes, all in one place!
- Candy Corn Pecan Fudge Recipe – Two of the flavors of fall combine for this tasty fudge recipe.
- Rice Krispie Turkeys – The kids will love to help you make these adorable turkey pops.
- Owl Cookies – Candy corn and other Halloween candy come together to make this cute Thanksgiving snack.
Today, we’ll be combining candy corn, again, with some other left over Halloween candy to make these no bake decorated Thanksgiving cookies that will be the hit of your gathering.
Cooking with kids is fun. It is a great way to keep those little fingers busy as they enjoy decorating these Thanksgiving turkey sugar cookies!
Making these cookie turkeys for Thanksgiving
Gather your ingredients before you start. You’ll need the following supplies:
- sugar cookies
- mini peanut butter cups
- malted milk balls
- candy corn
- orange frosting
- red frosting
- vanilla frosting
- chocolate frosting
- edible eyeballs
I wanted this to be a no bake Thanksgiving dessert. I don’t know about you, but this is the time of the year when I take lots of short cuts in my dessert making.
Anything that saves me time in the kitchen is a big win in my books!
I used pre-baked sugar cookies. My grocery store had some smallish ones that were perfect for these cookie turkeys.
Making the turkey feathers
Each turkey takes two sugar cookies – one for the base and one for the back and feathers. Make a thin slice off the bottom of each cookie to give it one flat edge. I don’t need to tell you what to do with the cut off slice, do I?
Start by spreading a layer of frosting on the back top area of half of the sugar cookies. Don’t go too close to the edge with frosting, or it will show when you reverse the cookie.
Arrange the candy corn, pointed side down along the top over the frosting and allow it to dry and set to hold the candy corn feathers. Be sure that both the yellow and orange part of the candy corn is above the cookie line.
While the frosting is drying, cut the bottom part off the mini peanut butter cups to give them a flat base. Cut off the white part of some of the candy corn to use for a turkey nose.
Lots of cut off pieces going on here. They can go in the trash, or you can find another use for them which involves treating yourself and your kiddos to a little snack!
Making the turkey heads
The malted milk balls are used to make turkey heads. Since they are round, slicing a sliver off the back of the ball helps to make it sit flat when you start to make the faces.
Add a drop of chocolate frosting on the back of two edible eyes and attach them to the malted milk ball.
Do the same to the candy corn white cut off part and attach as a nose.
Use red frosting to pipe a wattle for the turkey near the nose. Let the frosting on the turkey heads dry completely so that the candy is set.
Making the turkey bottoms
When the frosting is dry and the candy corn is set, add some thick vanilla frosting to the top of the plain cookie and place the cookie with feathers into the frosting so that forms a right angle cookie base.
Working in a pan with sides helps to keep the cookies upright. Let this base dry thoroughly in the fridge so it is well set.
Add a bit of chocolate frosting under the cut peanut butter cup and press down towards the upright sugar cookie.
Add some chocolate frosting to the top of each peanut butter cup and attach the malted milk ball head.
Use orange frosting to pipe two small turkey feet. Allow the frosting to dry so the candy is well set.
The final step is to add a couple of pieces of candy corn for arms on the turkey!
Tada! There you go, just as cute as can be! That’s all there is to making these adorable candy corn turkey cookies.
These easy Thanksgiving cookies also make cute place card holders, too, just by attaching a name card at the top. It can do double duty as a place marker and later as a dessert. Win-win!
Be sure to check out his post for another easy turkey place card holder. It’s also a lot of fun to make.
Note on the frosting for the cookie turkeys: I like to use the pre-filled tubes of colored frosting that you can buy in the baking aisle. For the colored details like the wattle and feet, the little tubes are great.
For the vanilla and chocolate frosting, a normal homemade frosting or the canisters of frosting that you can buy both work well.
Tips on working with the candy for the turkey cookies
As is normal for this type of dessert, round and heavy candy pieces can cause problems when it comes to working with them on the design.
These are some of the tips that helped me when I made the turkey faces and bodies.
Be sure to cut off those extra pieces. Turning a round malted milk ball into one that sits while you make the turkey face will save you from wanting too pull out your hair!
Be sure to give the frosting time to dry. This helps to set the candy in place and you won’t have turkeys lose their feathers and noses when you display them.
I found that putting the faces, feathers, and formed cookie backs and bases into the fridge to set between steps made this process come together more easily.
When making the cookie bases and attaching the cookie turkeys, work in a pan with an edge so the turkeys will remain upright.
Finally, using tube frosting really does help when you spread the frosting on the candy pieces. Having a nozzle right where you need it, instead of having to use a knife make the whole process much easier!
If this type of project is difficult for you, try using edible glue instead of frosting to hold the decorations.
This is a commercial product which is 100% edible and used for attaching decorations to cakes and other baked goods.
Pin these cookie turkeys for later
Would you like a reminder of this fun project for making cute candy corn turkey cookies? Just pin this post to one of your Thanksgiving boards on Pinterest so that you can easily find it later, when you are ready to make the dessert.
You can also watch our turkey cookie video on YouTube.
- 48 sugar cookies - 2 inches each
- 24 miniature peanut butter cups
- 24 malted milk balls
- 220 pieces of candy corn
- 24 pieces of candy corn (trimmed to just the white part)
- 2 teaspoon of red frosting
- 1 teaspoons of orange frosting
- 1 teaspoon of chocolate frosting
- 4 tablespoons of vanilla frosting
- 48 edible eyes
- Trim the bottom of the sugar cookies.
- Spread vanilla frosting on the back of the cut cookies. Attach candy corn with the pointed end into the frosting to make turkey feathers.
- Be sure the orange and yellow colors extend over the top of the cookie.
- Place in the fridge to allow the frosting to dry and the candy feathers to set.
- Slice a sliver off the malted milk balls so that they sit flat on a working surface. Also slice the end off 24 pieces of candy corn and save the white part for turkey noses.
- Attach the edible eyes with a dot of chocolate frosting and also the white part of the candy corn below the eyes as a nose.
- Use the red frosting to pipe a turkey wattle beside the nose. Place the faces in the fridge to set.
- Use white frosting to attach each cut cookie with the feathers on the uncut cookies so it acts as a base. Place in the fridge to set.
- Cut a slice off the peanut butter cups.
- When the cookies have set together, use chocolate frosting to attach the peanut butter cups to the cookie base so that it touches the bottom and back of it.
- Add more chocolate frosting on the top of the peanut butter cup and back of the malted milk ball head. Attach the turkey heads to the peanut butter cup and feather area.
- Use the orange frosting to pipe in two turkey feet near the peanut butter cup.
- Attach one piece of candy corn on each side of the peanut butter body for wings.
- Place the cookies in the fridge until the frosting is dry and the candy is set.
- Store in an air tight container in the fridge until ready to serve. Allow to come to room temperature before serving so the candy won't be too hard.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 451Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 21mgSodium: 291mgCarbohydrates: 63gFiber: 1gSugar: 46gProtein: 5g
Nutritional information is approximate due to natural variation in ingredients and the cook-at-home nature of our meals.