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Turkey cookies are super-cute and they’re perfect for Thanksgiving. With their candy corn tail feathers, candy eyes and butterscotch chip beak, they’re instantly recognizable as our favorite autumn bird. These whimsical little treats also have a pumpkin cream cheese frosting inside, just like a kind of sweet stuffing. So, consider making these cute Thanksgiving turkey cookies this year to thrill and impress your dinner guests, especially the kids.

Thanksgiving macarons with candy corn on a plate, perfect as a festive treat for the holiday season.

Everyone will love these macaron based turkey cookies. They’re easy to make and you can gift them to loved ones or make them as an activity and let everyone decorate their own.

Looking for other fun Thanksgiving treats? Check out the recipes for white chocolate cranberry cupcakes or these super easy pumpkin shaped cinnamon rolls. For a savory bite, this hot turkey sandwich is delicious.

A group of turkey cookies with candy corns on a marble table.

Why You’ll Love Them

Oh so cute:  Cookies are always best when they’re homemade and the combination of candy corn, candy sprinkles and butterscotch chips or pumpkin chocolate chips makes these a delight to look at, and of course a delight to eat.
Simple to make: Although it might look like there are lots of different steps in the recipe, there’s nothing difficult in the list of directions. Since the cookies are macarons, read the recipe through carefully first before you start making them.
Ideal for your dessert table: Since these turkey sugar cookies look so good, they can take pride of place on your Thanksgiving table and draw many admiring glances!

Ingredients for Turkey Cookies

These turkey macarons are made with almond flour, powdered sugar, cinnamon, egg whites, cream of tartar, white sugar, and brown food coloring.

The ingredients for turkey macarons are laid out on a marble table.

The buttercream filling is a mixture of butter, cream cheese, pumpkin puree, brown sugar, cinnamon, powdered sugar, and pumpkin spice. And then you need butterscotch chips, candy eyes and candy corn to decorate them.

A plate of pumpkin macarons with pumpkin filling, perfect for indulging in a delicious dessert or satisfying your sweet tooth.

For more detailed instructions with weights and measurements, jump to the printable recipe card.

Prepare the macaron mixture:  Sift the almond meal, powdered sugar and cinnamon in one bowl and beat the egg whites and cream of tartar in another then add the white sugar to the egg mixture.
Finish the macaron batter: Mix half the powdered sugar and almond meal into the egg whites and then add the rest in, along with some food coloring.
Pipe the macaron batter: Pipe the batter onto a silicon baking mat lined baking sheet, let them sit for a while and then bake them.
Make the buttercream frosting: Strain the excess water off the pumpkin puree, then mix it with the other frosting ingredients.
Add the frosting to the macarons: Sandwich together pairs of macarons with the frosting between them.
Decorate the turkey cookies: Melt a few of the butterscotch chips and use it to stick the candy eyes on to the turkey cookies, then add the rest of the butterscotch chips as beaks and use candy corns for the tails, with the candy corn facing the longest edge outwards like in the photos.

Substitutions and Variations

Use different kinds of candy for the turkey cookies decorations if you like, or white frosting with a little blob of black frosting or melted chocolate in the center if you don’t have candy eyes (here).

A plate of turkey macarons, also known as cookies, on a marble table.

Instead of the buttercream frosting you can use chocolate frosting or chocolate icing, or another kind altogether.

A turkey cookie with candy corn on it is a delightful and festive treat. Serve these cookies at your Thanksgiving gathering to impress your guests with their adorable turkey shape and sweet candy corn garnish.

If you like these, but don’t want to make macarons, you can make Oreo turkey cookies instead by frosting Oreos with brown royal icing (which sets dry) and decorating those.

Thanksgiving macarons on a baking sheet with candy corn and candy eyes.

How to Serve Cute

Enjoy these with some other Thanksgiving dishes, such as brie cranberry bites, apple pie jello shots and air fryer cornbread cake.

Thanksgiving cookies that look like a turkey with candy corn tails and candy eyes.

How to Store the Turkey Treats

Store: These will keep for up to 5 days in an airtight container in the fridge.
Freeze: Freeze the turkey cookies for up to a month and thaw them overnight in the fridge.

A group of turkey cookies adorned with candy corn.
Can I use regular flour instead of almond meal?

No, you need to use almond meal here because that’s one of the main ingredients in macarons and using regular flour won’t work here.

What kind of food coloring works best for the turkey cookies?

Use either gel, liquid or powder, adding a little bit at a time.

Thanksgiving macarons with candy corn tail feathers and candy eyes, perfect for Turkey Day.

Thanksgiving Turkey Cookies with Candy Corn

5 from 32 votes

Turkey Macarons

By: Bella Bucchiotti
These turkey cookies will look adorable alongside with your Thanksgiving pies and desserts. They are easy to make with kids.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
Servings: 30 macarons

Ingredients 

Macaron Shells

  • 140 Grams almond flour
  • 125 Grams powdered sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon cinnamon
  • 105 Grams egg whites
  • ¼ Teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 105 Grams granulated sugar
  • gel food coloring, Brown

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Buttercream

  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 Ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • ¼ Cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • ½ Tteaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ Teaspoon pumpkin spice
  • 2 Cups powdered sugar, may use up to 1/2 cup more

Decorations:

  • ½ Cup butterscotch chips
  • Candy sprinkles eyes
  • 1 Bag candy corn

Other

  • Vinegar

Instructions 

  • Before starting, wipe down bowls, attachments, spatulas, and baking mats with vinegar to eliminate any grease or residue. This is essential to help make sure your macarons come out correctly.
  • Sift together the almond meal, powdered sugar, and cinnamon into a medium bowl. Set bowl aside.
  • Add the egg whites and cream of tartar to the bowl of a stand mixer. Turn on the stand mixer on low and mix the egg whites until foamy for 1 to 2 minutes.
  • With the mixer running, slowly start to add the granulated sugar to the egg whites. Once all the sugar has been added, increase the stand mixer speed to medium speed and continue to mix until your meringue reaches stiff peaks. This takes around 5 to 6 minutes, but be sure to check it often to avoid over-mixing.
  • Remove the mixing bowl from the mixer.
  • Begin the macaronage process. Add half of the powdered sugar/almond meal mixture to the egg whites. With a large flexible spatula fold until combined. Then add the remaining mixture to the egg whites and fold in until incorporated. Once all the almond flour is added, begin adding the green gel food coloring. I added 7 drops to the batter to get color in the photos. (Note: you can add coloring during the meringue process too, but adding it during the macaronage process helps to get a deeper color.)
  • Continue mixing by scraping the batter against the side of the bowl. The batter is done being mixed once the batter flows in ribbons off the spatula. Test the batter for doneness by trying to make a figure 8 with the batter while is it falling off the spatula into the bowl. It’s done if the ribbon does not break. Be careful not to over-mix.
  • Line an upside-down baking sheet with silicon baking mats, preferably ones with circle templates for macarons.
  • Fill a piping bag with a round piping tip with the batter. Pipe the batter on the baking mat following the template on the mat. Once done piping, carefully rap or bang the pan on the countertop to get rid of any air bubbles. Using a toothpick or scribe, pop any air bubbles. Quickly then top with the crushed fruity pebbles on the macarons.
  • Preheat your oven to 300 degrees.
  • Allow your macarons to dry for 40 to 45 minutes until a skin forms. This may take longer depending on humidity.
  • Bake each tray separately for 13 to 14 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and allow macarons to cool completely on the mat. Do not remove until completely cooled (about 15 to 20 minutes).
  • While the macarons are baking, start preparing the pumpkin cream cheese buttercream.
  • Take a few paper towels and use them to squeeze the excess moisture our of the pumpkin puree. You can do this over a bowl or sink. You may need to do this twice to remove all the moisture. Please note this is a critical step for making the frosting otherwise you are going to have too much moisture and will use a ton of powdered sugar to get a thick frosting.
  • Add the pumpkin puree, butter, cream cheese, and brown sugar to a bowl. Cream together for 2 minutes.
  • Add the pumpkin spice, cinnamon, and 1 cup of powdered sugar. Mix until combined. Add another cup of powdered sugar and mix until combined again. Add more powdered sugar as needed to get the desired consistency. You want a nice pipeable consistency for the macarons.
  • Put the buttercream into a piping bag.
  • Before filling the macarons, match each up into pairs similar in size.
  • Add the buttercream filling to a shell and then sandwich together.
  • Note I recommend chilling the macarons for at least an hour in the refrigerator before decorating. Please note that macarons need a full 24 hours in the refrigerator to mature, so you can even decorate the next day just bring them to room temperature so that you can add the candy corns to the frosting.
  • To decorate, melt about ¼ cup of the butterscotch chips in the microwave. I recommend doing this slowly in 15 to 20-second increments.
  • Once the butterscotch chips are melted, use a toothpick to apply a small amount of the melted butterscotch to the back of the candy sprinkle eye and then attach it to the macaron.
  • Once both eyes are placed on the macaron, use the toothpick to add some melted butterscotch to a single butterscotch chip and just below the eyes.
  • Next take a few candy corns and place them in the buttercream frosting to create a tail. I recommend using about 4 to 5 candy corns.

Notes

  • Prep and weigh all ingredients before starting. Things move quickly and easier to have everything weighed out to make the macaron shells. 
  • You do not need to age the egg whites.  This recipe can be made with egg whites straight from the refrigerator.  I do not recommend using egg whites from the carton, they do not produce a strong enough meringue. 
  • The cream of tartar is optional but highly recommend it to be used in the recipe.  It helps the egg whites in creating a strong meringue. 
  • Recommended almond flour: Blue Diamond (here – best choice) or Costco almond flour (second choice.  Both of these almond flours are already finely sifted and provide the best texture for this macaron recipe. 
  • You want to flip your baking sheets upside down.  I know this sounds weird, but this helps provide better airflow to the macarons and more even baking.   
  • Having the correct oven temperature for macarons is critical.  I recommend having an oven thermometer.  If you have problems with cracked shells or spreading macaron shells, consider lower the temperature by about 10 – 15 degrees.   You could even pipe a few macarons on the mat to dry and test the oven temperature instead of doing a full pan. 
  • Gel food coloring is what is recommended for making macarons. You can also use powdered food coloring.  You can add the food coloring at the end of the meringue process or when doing the macaronage process (when you are mixing the meringue with the almond flour/powdered sugar mixture). I recommend for a darker shade of green doing it during the macaronage process.  Do not add too much food coloring or it can cause the macarons not to bake properly.  I was able to add 7 drops of gel food coloring during the macaronage process. 
  • For the beak you can use butterscotch or caramel chips found in the baking section.  Other ideas of decorating the beak: melting some orange candy melts and piping on a beak.  Or you could also cut orange Reeses pieces in half.   
  • You could also take your turkey macarons to the next level by giving them expressions.  Get a black edible marker and draw on a smiley face or even a scared face for fun!  You could even give them eye brows.  The fun you have decorating them can be a lot of fun!

Nutrition

Calories: 179kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 6mg | Sodium: 64mg | Potassium: 19mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 31g | Vitamin A: 393IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 15mg | Iron: 0.2mg
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These turkey cookies are super-cute with their candy corn tails and candy eyes. They’re made by sandwiching a pair of homemade macarons together using buttercream frosting. Give these Thanksgiving cookies as a gift or present them on your Thanksgiving table.

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Bella Bucchiotti

Bella Bucchiotti is a Canadian-based syndicated food, travel, and lifestyle writer, photographer, and creator at xoxoBella. She founded xoxoBella in 2015, where she shares her love for food, dogs, sustainability, fitness, crafts, outdoor adventures, travel, and philanthropy to encourage others to run the extra mile, try new recipes, visit unfamiliar places, and stand for a cause. Bella creates stress-free and family-friendly recipes for weeknight dinners and festive feasts.

 

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