Thanksgiving and turkeys are pals, except maybe on Thanksgiving. I made some Thanksgiving surprise inside cookies that are a slice and bake cookie that are ideal for making ahead. Simply wrap them in plastic wrap, throw in a Hefty slider freezer bag and pull them out about 20 minutes before you plan on using them. Slice them up and bake them off.
These cookies are a vanilla bean sugar cookie flavor that has been colored. I ended up rolling out the brown dough and cutting out the turkeys using a cookie cutter. I then placed all the cookies on a parchment lined baking sheet and place them in the freezer for about 30 minutes. I wanted the turkeys to keep their shape and the best way to do that is freezing them. I did try it without freezing the turkeys and it did not pan out very well at all. Yep, I'm here to figure out all the mistakes you can possibly make before finally figuring out what you should probably do.
After you've frozen the turkey cookies, stack them on top of each other. Roll out the orange cookie dough into tiny ropes. place them in all of the crevices one strip at a time. So start by placing ropes in the spot between the neck and body and use a skewer to get it all the way against the brown cookie. As you can see, I did not get mine close enough. Also, make ropes for all the v's for the tail feathers and the feet. Place them on the stack of cookies and then start covering the rest of the cookies with ropes.
Wrap the dough with plastic wrap to keep it together and start rolling it to smooth out the orange ropes that we've added to the outside. If you don't wrap it with plastic wrap first, it will break apart in spots and become a pain in the buns.
After I rolled the dough together in the plastic wrap, I unwrapped it and very carefully rolled it in the festive sprinkles. It can definitely still break apart so just hold it with both hands and give it the most support that's possible. Then roll it back up in the plastic wrap you used and place it in the Hefty slider gallon freezer bag. I used the gallon so I know I have enough room for the entire log.
Thanksgiving Surprise Inside Cookies
- In a mixing bowl, add in the butter and granulated sugar. Mix until just combined.
- Add in the egg and vanilla bean paste. Mix until combined.
- Add in the flour and mix just until the dough ball forms.
- Make the first ball just a little less than ¾ of the dough. Add the chocolate color until you have the brown you desire. Mix until combined.
- Add a drop or two of egg yellow and electric orange gel paste to the remaining dough. If you only have an orange, use that.
- Roll out the brown cookie dough. Make the dough about a ½ inch thick.
- Use a turkey cookie cutter, and cut out as many chocolate color turkeys as possible.
- Place them on a parchment lined baking sheet. Line the turkeys up with the cutter by placing it on top of the cut cookie. Sometimes the neck can get a little weird.
- Place in the freezer for about 30 minutes until frozen.
- Remove from the freezer and stack the turkeys. They won't really stick so you have to work carefully.
- Roll tiny ropes to fit into all the detailed crevices like the neck, tail feathers and feet. Press them into each crevice. You can use a skewer to help push the rope into the neck.
- Once all the detail work is covered with the orange cookie dough, make larger ropes and cover the remaining slots. Try to keep the dough spread evenly out.
- Once the turkey is covered, cover with plastic wrap and carefully begin rolling it to make the log into a well shaped log.
- To add the sprinkles, carefully unwrap it and hold it using both hands. It can easily break apart since the turkeys are frozen and not sticking together well.
- Place the sprinkles on a large plate and roll the dough log carefully over the sprinkles to cover it using both hands and holding the ends and center.
- Roll the dough back up into the plastic wrap and place inside a hefty freezer bag.
- Place in the freezer until frozen solid. I left mine overnight.
- Let the dough sit out for about 15 to 20 minutes to slightly soften up. Slice the cookies. This is a good time to preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Place the sliced cookies on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until done.
- Let the cool 5 - 10 minutes on the baking pan and then transfer them onto a cooling rack. Serve!
(Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietitian for special diet advice.)
If you want to find out more tips on storing and freezing Thanksgiving leftovers, head over to Hefty!