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In the Kitchen with Kathy: Holiday Cookies

Try these Instagram-worthy Thanksgiving treats!

Since many of us won't be spending Thanksgiving this year having to endure hectic travel and relatives asking why we're still single, there’s plenty of time to make holiday cookies! Kathy Jacobs blessed us with the perfect Insta-worthy recipe just in time for the holiday.


Cut-out Sugar Cookies


  • 1 cup butter (iIf you’re using unsalted butter, add a pinch of salt)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. (I like to make the cookies longer at a lower temperature to keep from overbrowning.)

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Using a mixer, cream the butter for 2 to 3 minutes, add the sugar and cream for two more minutes then add the egg and vanilla until incorporated.

Mix flour and baking powder (and salt if using) together in a separate bowl. Then add to the butter mixture in three batches mixing until just incorporated. Use your hands to mush together into dough.

Place flour onto a surface and use a rolling pen to roll out the dough. (These cookies are large so I rolled them out one at a time.)

Using a cookie cutter cut out and transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Bake at 325℉ for10 to 15 minutes (ovens vary).

Don’t bake until the cookies are browned as they will continue to cook a bit after you take them out of the oven.

Allow the cookies to cool before decorating.



  • 4 cups (about 1 lb.) confectioners' sugar
  • 5 tablespoons warm water (you will add more water to thin out later)
  • 3 tablespoons meringue powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract


Beat all ingredients together until icing forms peaks. This could be 4 to 10 minutes depending on your mixer strength.

Once your icing is made you will need to thin out with water a little bit of water. Use a little at a time to reach the cookie icing flow consistency. The general rule is if you drop icing it will incorporate in 10 to 15 seconds. This takes practice to get right so I suggest testing the icing on parchment or wax paper first.

Color the icing with gel food color. You could use liquid as well in this since you are thinning out the icing. Just add the liquid color before the water.

You can use tip #2 to outline and fill or cut a small hole in the tip of a decorator bag.

To make the leaves:

Make sure all of your icing colors are the same consistently. Pipe an outline around the edges using light pressure without going outside the edge of the cookie or the icing can fall off the cookie. Take your time on this step. You can use thicker icing for this step if it’s easier for you to pipe. I would suggest practicing on a piece of parchment paper first.

To fill in the cookie apply more pressure.

Add a few different colors as shown.

Lightly tap the cookie on the counter to mesh the icing colors and fill in any holes or gaps in the icing or fill in with icing gaps if needed. Don’t grab a thin part of the cookie when doing this or you can break the cookie.

Take a toothpick and draw lines as shown. There’s really no right or wrong way to do this part.

Let the cookie dry!

You can add edible gold dust by mixing with vodka and splattering it on with a paintbrush.

To make the Turkey :

I used a sunflower cookie cutter but you could use a flower or shell cookie cutter as well.

Using brown icing (I made chocolate royal icing by substituting 3/4 cup of the powdered sugar for cocoa powder) pipe the turkey body shape.

Add the eyeballs and M&Ms or candy corn candy beak while the icing is still wet

For the eye dots use black icing with a tiny hole like a #1 or #2 tip or cut a tiny hole in a frosting bag.

Pipe on a red gobbler and yellow feet as shown!