Are you looking for a fun and creative way to set your Thanksgiving day table? Then look no further than these adorable Thanksgiving Cookie Cupcakes! They’re quick and easy desserts topped with a DIY turkey face and then you can add the name of everyone in your family to tell them where to sit at the table. Delicious and functional at it’s finest!
Hey there! My name is Molly and I’m the recipe developer behind these place cards and all the recipes over on What Molly Made. I’m a huge fan of dessert, both indulgent and healthy:) I love to create new twists on classic recipes and I share all my baking tips along the way. Can’t wait to share this Thanksgiving dessert recipe with you!
My thought process behind these desserts is that that we’ll be spending a little more time on the decorating and creating the fun name tags so I wanted to keep the actual recipe pretty simple. I don’t know about you, but it’s hard to keep all of the Thanksgiving recipes straight.
I wanted to create a fun and creative recipe that’s also not going to result in you slaving over the oven most of the morning. You can even make these a day or two in advance!
The base of these cookie cupcakes are pre-made refrigerated cookie dough. I used the Nestle Toll House break and bake refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough, but you can use any brand and flavor you want! The White Chip Brownie and Cherry Chocolate cookie dough from Nestle would also be delicious!
Make no mistake, even though this cookie cups are easy to make they aren’t lacking in size or flavor! I rolled up 3 (yes, 3!) of the squares to make one cup. It’s Thanksgiving, you guys. Go big or go home. Amiright?
I greased a regular size 12-count muffin tin and rolled the pieces into a ball and placed one rounded cookie dough ball in each muffin tin cup. They don’t necessarily look like they are going to fit, but when they start baking they spread and rise to the perfect height in the tin!
Next comes the fun part! Homemade chocolate frosting and the adorable candy turkeys! I’m a sucker for homemade frosting, it just elevates any dessert to the next level. The trick to a great buttercream is to make sure your butter is nice and soft when you start. Then you have to beat it for a solid 3 or 4 minutes. This incorporates air in to the butter and gives you the light and fluffy frosting you need.
I always make sure to sift my cocoa powder (if I’m making chocolate frosting) and powdered sugar to eliminate any lumps in the frosting. The smoother the better! You obviously want to frost your cookie cup with this delicious frosting, but it’s also going to be used as glue for the creative turkey that goes on top.
Now, let’s talk about that adorable turkey topper!👇🏼 I’ve seen a million different ways on Pinterest to create a turkey out of candy/food, but I just think this one is so adorable! I love the actual googly eyes, they give the turkey so much life! Do you kind of feel like it’s staring at you?
You create this little guy by using a few different candies:
- 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.
Now for 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.
At my house it’s always a big to-do figuring out who is going to sit where. If you’re hosting, these are perfect! You can arrange everyone’s seats ahead of time and they can feel free to move and swap seats as they please. Just place them on the plate at each seat and they instantly become part of the decor! And they taste delicious too.🍂
- 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.