As thoughts turn to fall, I anticipate one my favorite culinary traditions. Each year my family and I prepare our traditional Thanksgiving dessert, one that puts a smile on many people's faces: turkey cookies. I wish I'd come up with this great idea, but that would be far beyond my culinary limitations. I did, however, write a recipe.
One of the neatest things about making these cookies is that there really is no cooking involved. I like to think of this as a craft, which sounds so much better to non-foodie me than cooking.
12-14 oz. carton Whoppers
2 packages Keebler’s striped shortbread cookies (11 oz.- 32 cookies per package)
1 bag candy corn (approx 12 oz. bag–need 128 well-formed candy corns)
3 bags Reese’s miniature peanut butter cups (13 oz.)
Note: You can use York peppermint patties as bases for variety.
1 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips (12 oz.)
2 cookie sheets
Empty Whopper bodies into one bowl and candy corn beaks into another.
Unwrap miniature Reese’s cup bases and arrange on plates upside down about 8-10 per plate so you have room for assembly.
Cut striped shortbread cookies in half, turning cookie so the stripes for the feathers will be diagonal if you like that look or vertical if you want them straight up and down. Note: A gentle sawing action with a serrated knife works best, otherwise the cookies can shatter. Sadly, the cookies have gotten thinner over the years, and you can expect a few to break.
Put about a half cup of the chocolate chips in a small bowl and heat in microwave for about one minute on low. Aim for a spreadable consistency but not too thin. There should be some lumps in the bowl. Stir the melted chocolate with a butter knife to work the lumps out. Melt more chips as needed.
Cover the cookie sheets in aluminum foil. Wrap excess over sides and tape to the bottom.
1) Mount body on base.
Spread a dollop of the chocolate on a malted milk ball using a butter knife. Mount the malted milk ball to one side on top of the upturned miniature Reese’s cup. As each batch is completed, set plate in the freezer a couple of minutes to help the chocolate set up.
2) Mount wings on body.
Spread chocolate in the curved opening of the cookie. Place the cookie with the flat part resting on the open portion of the top of the Reese’s cup, touching the malted milk body. Tilt backward at a slight angle. As each batch is completed, set the plate in the freezer a couple of minutes to help the chocolate set up.
3) Mount head/beak on body.
Spread chocolate on bottom back half of a candy corn—on the skinny side. Place on top of malted milk ball as far back as needed for balance. As each batch is completed, set the plate in the freezer a couple of minutes to help the chocolate set up.
After the cookies have set up, remove them from the plates and set them in rows on the cookie sheets. Place rows of eight across and six deep for a total of 48 cookies per tray. There will be 96 cookies on the trays with a few leftovers, which is helpful in the event that some cookies break during assembly—or you just have to perform a taste test. :-)
Eat and Enjoy!
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Award-winning novelist Keli Gwyn writes inspirational historical romance and is represented by Rachelle Gardner of WordServe Literary. Keli is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America®. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication/Print Journalism. A California native, she lives in a historic Gold Rush-era town at the foot of the majestic Sierra Nevada Mountains. She enjoys her frequent time travels to the 1800s, where she spends countless hours with her characters while fueling her creativity with Taco Bell® and sweet tea.
Keli’s debut novel, A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California, will be released by Barbour Publishing in July 2012.