Thanksgiving TV Dinner Cookies

Fun Kid-Friendly Thanksgiving TV Dinner Cookies

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Are you looking for the perfect Thanksgiving activity for kids? Or maybe you’re looking for a fun way to say “thanks” to your kid’s teacher? Well, these Thanksgiving TV dinner cookies are exactly what you’re looking for!

The online cookie community is so creative. Lately, these super fun turkey dinner cookies have been making their rounds on the internet.

These TV dinners feature turkey drumsticks, mashed potatoes, and peas. So cute.

To make these dinners yourself, all you need is a few ingredients and some TV trays.

If you need a fun activity to help entertain the kids while dinner is cooking, set a few of these trays out to share among the children. They can frost and decorate their own drumstick cookies. Plus, eating one cookie a few hours before dinner probably won’t ruin their appetite.

Follow along for the easy DIY tutorial to make these Thanksgiving TV dinner cookies.

*This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. Please see my full disclosure for further information.*

Part 1: Supplies Needed to Make the Turkey Dinner Cookies

Here is a link to a video tutorial for how to make these Thanksgiving TV Dinner Cookies.

To create your own Thanksgiving TV dinner cookies, you will want to gather:

Part 2: Baking the Turkey Drumstick Sugar Cookies

Find the recipe below for my sugar cookie recipe. Use the turkey drumstick sugar cookie cutter to cut out as many drumsticks as you can, probably around 18 cookies.

how to decorate dinosaur cookies with buttercream frosting

Easy No Chill No Spread Sugar Cookie Dough

Leah Buehler
These classic vanilla cut out sugar cookies are so easy! There is no need to put these into the refrigerator before baking - simply mix, roll, cut out, and bake all at once!
5 from 8 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 24 cookies depending on the size of your cookie

Equipment

  • Stand Mixer with Paddle Attachment
  • Measuring Bowls & Spoons

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup cold salted butter cut into cubes
  • 1 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1.5 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions
 

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a large bowl, mix your flour and baking powder together. When measuring the flour, make sure to scoop up the flour with a spoon and add it to your measuring cup, one spoonful at a time. This helps obtain the correct amount of flour without needing to weigh it. Once you have a cup, level it out by running a knife across the top of the measuring cup. Then, add it to the large mixing bowl and repeat for the remaining flour. Set the mixture of flour and baking powder aside for a minute.
  • In your electric mixer, combine the sugar and butter using the paddle attachment until they are creamed together.
  • Add in your egg and vanilla extract and mix to combine.
  • Slowly add in one cup (or whatever your mixer can handle) at a time of the flour mixture to the wet ingredients. The mixture should be slightly sticky but still form a nice ball.
  • On a floured surface, roll out the dough to about a 1/4 of an inch thick & cut out your cookies. A great tip is to flour your rolling pin and any cookie cutters you may be using. Transfer the cut out cookies to a baking sheet lined with a  silicone mat using a large flat spatula.
  • Bake for about 10 minutes and let cool on the baking sheet. The dough will be done when the center of the dough doesn’t look wet and the edges are golden.

Notes

Place in an air tight container in the freezer if you aren't decorating these cookies within 24 hours. Allow the cookies to come back to room temperature before frosting. Find my crusting buttercream recipe here: Crusting Buttercream Icing for Sugar Cookies and my tips for getting started with decorating buttercream sugar cookies here: How to Decorate Buttercream Sugar Cookies for Beginners 
Keyword No Chill No Spread Sugar Cookie Dough

Part 3: Preparing the Buttercream Frosting for the Mashed Potatoes

Here is the recipe to make buttercream frosting. There is a lot of powdered sugar in this recipe, as it is a crusting buttercream recipe which is used for cookie decorating.

You can certainly reduce the amount of frosting to your taste or you can keep it as! Kids will love it either way, probably more so than the mashed potatoes that will be on the dinner table later.

You can also substitute a half cup of butter for the half cup of shortening.

Shortening, again, is a decorating advantage as it is more stable in warmer temperatures. For this activity, the kids probably aren’t near the oven so the TV dinner will be perfectly safe!

crusting buttercream icing for sugar cookies

All American Crusting Buttercream Frosting Recipe

Leah Buehler
I recommend using a crusting buttercream when decorating buttercream sugar cookies. This allows the buttercream to form an outside crust, giving them a bit more protection from getting accidentally squished. This is essential if you plan to transport these cookies from your house to another location or if you want to stack or seal them.
Prep Time 1 hr
Mixing Time 5 mins
Total Time 1 hr 5 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American

Equipment

  • Stand Mixer with Paddle Attachment
  • Measuring Spoons & Bowls

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup room temperature unsalted butter
  • 1 cup vegetable shortening such as Crisco
  • 2 lbs. plus 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp. clear vanilla extract I use artificial
  • 2-4 tbsp. give or take room temperature whole milk

Instructions
 

  • In your electric mixer, use the paddle attachment to mix the butter and vegetable shortening together. 
  • Slowly mix in the powdered sugar, only adding as much as your electric mixer can handle at a time.
  • Mix in the vanilla extract and 2 tbsp. of milk. If the mixture is too stiff, add more milk. I prefer a consistency of smooth peanut butter for cookies that have a lot of line work and a slightly stiffer consistency for piping flowers.

Notes

This recipe will store nicely in the fridge for a few weeks in an airtight container. You can also leave your decorated cookies at room temperature for several days, as the frosting will be shelf-stable due to the mixture of sugar and fat.
Keyword Crusting All American Buttercream Icing

Part 4: Putting it All Together to Make Turkey Dinner Cookies

Thanksgiving TV Dinner Cookies Turkey Dinner Cookies

Here is the fun part! In your 3-compartment meal prep containers, place 3-5 turkey drumstick cookies in the largest compartment. The amount will depend on how many kids will be sharing each tray and how large the container is.

Next, scoop out some buttercream frosting and spoon it into one of the smaller compartments. Use a butter knife to form the buttercream to appear more like mashed potatoes. Make a “bowl” in the buttercream for the gravy to sit.

Take your caramel syrup and pour it over the mashed potato frosting.

Pour some Sixlets into the last compartment for the peas.

That’s it! Set the trays out on the activity table at Thanksgiving and let the kids dip their turkey drumsticks into the mashed potatoes and gravy. They can cover the drumsticks with peas or eat their veggies last in typical kid behavior.

To go even further, add a yellow Starburst on top of the gravy and mix in some orange Mike n’ Ikes to the peas for a peas and carrots vegetable side.  

Save the Tutorial for These Kid Friendly Thanksgiving TV Dinner Cookies

Use the image below to pin these fun turkey dinner cookies to your Thanksgiving board on Pinterest. Alternatively, use any of the social share icons on the top of the page to share it to your favorite social media site.

Turkey Dinner Cookies for Thanksgiving Kids Activity

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