Maybe because these adorable Thanksgiving Dessert Place cards are waiting for you to set them at your Thanksgiving table! This flock of turkeys is the most festive recipe I've made in a long time and they're about the most functional because they double as a part of your menu and decorations.
Is it just me or do you feel like someone is watching...?
Thanksgiving is a little over 2 weeks away? I swear it was just August. I guess time flies when you're having fun! Zach and I were in Colorado last weekend visiting his grandparents for a long weekend getaway and we had the best time. His grandma is an amazing cook and she feeds us everything you'd ever want.
The trip included a couple of firsts for me. 1) I climbed a mountain for the first time in my life. 2) I attempted (and succeeded) at high altitude baking. Let's chat about the whole climbing a mountain thing. Zach told me we would be climbing a mountain but I don't think I quite understood the concept of actually climbing a mountain until I was half way up. We climbed a mountain that was 12,000 feet high.
I knew it would be challenging but I completely underestimated the fact that climbing mountains is really hard. I was wearing my workout shoes (with zero traction), a flannel and a really light vest. It was the perfect outfit for the first half of the hike. Then the trail thinned and it started raining. And every foot we went up the temperature dropped. For the last part of the hike there was no trail at all and we were climbing rocks on our hands and feet. Then it started snowing! We climbed so high it was snowing! Which was actually pretty awesome.
We made it to the tippy top and sat on the rocks and looked out over the entire mountain range. It was one of the most beautiful views! I only lasted a little while because I thought there was a slight chance I was getting frostbite. No hat/gloves/coat wasn't our best decision. But I felt so accomplished!
That was one of a couple trips I'll be taking between then and the end of the year. I'm currently sitting in the San Fransisco airport heading home to Columbus from a week spent in the Bay area and Napa!? The wine and food situation didn't end. Stay tuned for a post about my favorites spots and a full guide to the best places to go and wineries to visit in Napa.
Until then, my mind is still on Thanksgiving! I'm so excited to make these again for my family Thanksgiving because they're so festive. Any recipe that doubles as a decoration is a winning recipe in my book. Let's hope you're reading the same book as me.
Now that all of us "kids" are older there's no such thing as a kids table anymore. It's kind of a free for all and your seat at the table depends on who you make allegiance with throughout the appetizer/parade watching/sangria drinking time. Don't get me wrong, I'll sit next to any person in my family, after all, we're all equally sane (not). But when we all grab our plates to dig in it's typically a cluster figuring out who's sitting where.
Because my parents are hosting this year I'll have the privelage of being there a couple days early, which means I can make these Thanksgiving Dessert Place Cards and decide who sits where before anyone gets there. The power! Muahhahah. Actually, everyone will just get there and move them around anyway. But I'll pretend that isn't going to happen.
I love this Thanksgiving dessert because it's semi-homemade. My goal was to take the most time focusing on the decorations for this recipe and use a quick option for the base. Because of that, I used Nestle Toll House refrigerated cookie dough for the base by baking cookies in a muffin tin. I made homemade frosting because there's nothing better, obvi.
Then I used 4 different candies to make the Thanksgiving Dessert Place Cards:
- Mini Reese’s
- Candy googly eyes
- Candy Corn
I started by un-sandwiching the Oreo’s and laying the no-cream side face up on a baking sheet. I unwrapped the Reese’s and “glued” the bottom of each one to the bottom half of the Oreo using the frosting. From there I covered the rest of the Oreo with frosting and arranged about 6 candy corn pieces on the Oreo with the pointed side facing the Reese’s to create a fan effect that looks like the turkey’s feathers.
The only thing left to do is make the face! I “glued” on the googly eyes and cut the white tip off of a few candy corns and put them on right underneath to create the nose.
While those were setting I frosted all of the cookie cupcakes and then placed the finished turkeys in the frosting to sit perfectly on top of the cookie cups. Easy Thanksgiving dessert down, decoration to go. That's the fun part! I used festive paper straws that I cut in half and a piece of paper with a sharpie to create the name tags. I just hot glued the paper to the straws and stuffed them in the frosting! Just make sure the straws aren’t too tall or the frosting won’t be able to hold them up.
They're all so adorable I wanted to name every single one and keep them forever. And by forever I man until I got hungry. Festive and functional at it's finest.
- For the cookie cups:
- 2 packages of break and bake chocolate chip refrigerated cookie dough
- For the frosting:
- 2 sticks unsalted butter room temperature
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- For the candy turkeys:
- 12 Oreos
- 12 Mini Reese's
- 1 cup Candy Corn
- 24 googly eyes
- 6 paper straws
- white construction paper and sharpies
- To make the cookie cups, remove the refrigerated cookie dough from the fridge and allow to sit for approximately 10 minutes to soften. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and spray a 12-count muffin tin with non-stick spray and set aside.
- Break 3 pieces of cookie dough off at a time and roll into a large ball. Repeat twelve times and place each ball in one muffin tin. Bake for 22-25 minutes, or until edges are golden brown and tops are set. Remove and allow to cool completely.
- While cookies are cooling, make the frosting. Using a stand mixer or electric mixer, beat the butter on high speed for at least 3 minutes. Sift together the powdered sugar and cocoa powder and add to the butter. Beat on medium for about 2 minutes. Add the heavy cream and vanilla extract and increase speed to high and beat for another full 3 minutes. Transfer to a pastry piping bag and cut of a very small piece of the tip, about 1 centimeter. This will be your tip when you're glueing the turkey together.
- To make the candy turkey, un-sandwich the Oreo's and lay the no-cream side face up on a baking sheet. Unwrap the mini Reese's and "glue" the bottom of each one to the bottom half of the Oreo using the frosting. Cover the rest of the Oreo with frosting and arrang about 6 candy corn pieces on the Oreo with the pointed side facing the Reese's to create a fan effect that looks like the turkey's feathers. Using the frosting, glue the googly eyes and cut the white tip off 12 candy corns and put them on with the point facing up right underneath to create the nose. Allow to set 10 minutes.
- Cut a larger piece from the corner of the frosting bag to pipe the frosting on the top of the cookie cups. Swirl enough frosting on top to set the turkeys in. When turkeys are set, angle them slightly and place toward the front of the cookie cup, leaving a little room behind to add the name tag.
- Cut small pieces of construction paper and write the names on each one. Cut the paper straws in half and hot glue the names to the end. Place the other end of the straw in the frosting right behind the turkey.