TURKEY SPICY CHOCOLATE COOKIES
Thanksgiving is often referred to as Turkey Day and although it is often one of the largest family gathering of the year, children often get bored during the long meal. Keep them entertain by decorating their own turkey cookies. These delicious cookies are an ethnic take on a traditional gingerbread recipe, combining cinnamon and cocoa with yummy honey. Prepare your turkey cookies and icing in advance and let the older kids supervise the youngest ones while you are having some well-deserved adult meal time. This recipe yields 12 to 16 3 to 4” cookies.
For the Cookie Dough:
2 ½ cups All-Purpose Flour (plus more to flour rolling pin and work surface)
¾ cup Golden Honey
½ cup Brown Sugar, packed
2 oz (½ stick) Unsalted Butter, cubed and softened
2 Medium Eggs
1 oz Unsweetened Dutch Cocoa Powder
1 Tbsp Baking Powder
6 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1 small pinch Salt
For the Royal Icing:
4 cups Powdered Sugar, sifted
½ cup Water
3 Tbsp Chefmaster Deluxe Meringue Powder
Chefmaster Liqua-Gel® Sunset Orange food coloring
Chefmaster Liqua-Gel® Diamond Black food coloring
Tools & Utensils:
Stand Mixer with both your whisk and dough hook attachments
Rolling Pink Guide Rings (optional)
Parchment Paper (or Silicone Baking Mat)
Turkey cookie cutter (approx. 4")
Tipless Decorating piping bags or Icing Squeeze Bottles*
*Note: Icing Squeeze Bottles are often easier for younger kids to manage on their own.
- Prepare your Cookie Dough:
- Prepare and measure all your ingredients.
- Put your honey, brown sugar, and butter in a medium saucepan. Heat on medium-low heat while stirring gently, just until the mixture is well-combined and smooth. Immediately remove from heat and let cool approx. 5 minutes.
- Do not stir too fast otherwise you risk to add air into your mixture. Your mixture shouldn’t simmer.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine all your dry ingredients (flour, cocoa powder, spices, baking powder and salt). Stir on low until well combined.
- Slowly pour the warm honey mixture into the bowl stirring on medium-low until smooth and well combined.
- Add eggs one at a time, waiting for the previous egg to be fully incorporated before adding the next one.
- Continue stirring on medium-low until the dough is smooth.
- Scrape the dough and remove from mixer.
- Flatten your dough ball with your hands to form a disk approx. 2 inches high.
- Tightly wrap your dough disk with plastic film and refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours minimum. You can also freeze your dough up to 3 months. Just let it thaw overnight in the fridge before using it.
- Roll, cut and bake your cookies:
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Line your baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Lightly flour your silicon rolling mat and rolling pin.
- Place on disk on the silicon rolling mat.
- Use your rolling pin to roll the dough about 1/5 inch thick (approx. 5mm).
- Dip your cookie cutter in flour before cutting your cookies. This will prevent the dough from sticking to it.
- Cut your cookies and careful place them on your baking sheets.
- Using a large flat spatula will help when transferring larger cookies or delicate shapes into the baking sheets.
- You can gently knead and roll the left-over scraps of dough to cut cookies out of them and not waste dough. If the scraps stayed out for too long and the dough is soft just leave them for 10-15 minutes in the fridge to harden before rolling.
- Place each baking sheet in the refrigerator as you finish filling them for a minimum of 20 to 30 minutes.
- Bake 5 to 7 minutes.
- Remove from oven and let the cookies rest for approx. 10 minutes before transferring them onto cooling racks.
- Let your cookies cooled completely.
- Prepare your Royal Icing:
- Measure water and add to a bowl.
- Shift Powdered Sugar into a separate bowl.
- Stir Chefmaster Deluxe Meringue Powder into the bowl containing water and mix with a hand whisk or a spatula until well incorporated.
- Add meringue mixture to the bowl of your stand mixer equipped with a whisk attachment.
- Slowly add shifted powdered sugar ½ cup to 1 cup at the time into the mixer bowl while stirring on medium/low until well combined.
- Increase the mixer speed to medium/high and mix until icing forms soft peaks (approx. 4 to 10 minutes depending on your mixer).
- Do the “soft peak” test by pulling your spatula above your bowl. The icing should pull upward and hold stiff on its own. If you added too much water and your icing does not create soft peaks, add powdered sugar ½ to 1 Tbsp at the time until you reach the correct consistency. If your icing it too stiff, add water 1 tsp at the time.
- Divide your icing into 2 bowls (2/3 on one and 1/3 on the other).
- Add a couple of drops of Chefmaster Liqua-Gel® Sunset Orange food color into the larger icing bowl and fold with a rubber spatula until the color is evenly distributed and you reach the hue you desire.
- Repeat with Chefmaster Liqua-Gel® Diamond Black in the smaller icing bowl.
- Transfer each color of icing either into a tipless piping bag or an icing squeeze bottle. Close tightly and set aside for up to a week on your counter or 2 weeks refrigerated.
- Prepare your decorating station:
- On the day off, remove royal icing from the refrigerator a couple of hours in advance (if refrigerated).
- Protect a small table with a disposable or stain resistant table cloth.
- Set your cookies, icing, and candies in the center of the table and wait for your little guests to arrive.
Your budding cookie decorators might choose to take a bite of these delicious cookies while decorating or prefer to take them home. Have some clear cookie bags available to wrap them once they are dry. Those cookies also make for great Thanksgiving party favors if you want to involve your children ahead of time and have them prepare a cookie for each guest to use as a place setting or a table décor. These cookies can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for us to 2 weeks once dried. Just wrap them in a nice treat bag with a cute ribbon. Add a hangtag with the name of one of your guests on each cookie and voila! Perfect family friendly place settings that your little ones will be so proud of having created.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!