5 from 5 votes
Easy Thanksgiving Shortbread Cookies
Easy Thanksgiving Shortbread Cookies
Prep Time
20 mins
Total Time
34 mins
These one-bowl, no-mixer Thanksgiving Shortbread Cookies are perfect for snacks, gifts and entertaining. Each one is a work of art!
Course: Dessert/Cookies
Keyword: Thanksgiving Shortbread Cookies
Servings: 12
Calories: 244 kcal
Author: Chris Scheuer
For the cookies:
  • 8 ounces very soft butter
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
For the glaze:
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 4-5 tablespoons half and half
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 3-4 containers of gel food coloring
For the cookies:
  1. Line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper. Set aside. Place soft butter in a medium-size mixing bowl. Stir with a wooden spoon or sturdy spatula until nice and smooth. Add powdered sugar and vanilla. Mix together by hand for about 30 seconds until well blended.
  2. Add the flour and cornstarch. Stir until dry ingredients are incorporated. The dough will be a little shaggy. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and gather into a ball. Knead 5-6 times until fairly smooth.
  3. Form into a ball again and flatten with your hand to form a flat disk. Turn the disk to coat both sides with flour.
  4. Roll out the dough to an approximate ¼-inch thickness (see Café Tips above in the post). Keep work surface, dough and rolling pin lightly dusted with flour. Cut out turkeys and transfer to prepared pans with a thin, metal spatula. Re-roll scraps as many times as needed to use up the dough. Place cutouts in the refrigerator for at least one hour or up to 24 hours.

  5. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375˚F. Remove 1 pan of cutouts from the refrigerator and bake for 12-14 minutes, or until just beginning to turn golden at the edges. Rotate pans halfway through for even browning. Repeat with the second pan of cutouts. Cool completely before icing.
For the glaze:
  1. Combine powdered sugar, 4 tablespoons half and half and extracts in a medium-size bowl. Mix until smooth. The glaze should be fairly thick, but pourable. Add a little more half and half if too thick. Taste the glaze and add more extract, if a more intense flavor is desired. Transfer the glaze to a small shallow bowl (a little bigger than your cookies).
  2. With a toothpick, add a small amount of each desired color of gel food coloring swirl lightly through the icing. Don’t swirl too much or the icing will become a solid color. Use a light hand with the gel food coloring. A little goes a long way!
  3. To glaze the cookies, hold onto the edges of a cookie and dip the top surface into the glaze, being sure all of the top touches the glaze. Pull cookie straight up and out of the glaze. Allow excess glaze to drip back into the bowl for about 15-20 seconds. (see pictures above in post).

  4. When glaze stops dripping, quickly flip the cookie to the right side up and give it a gentle jiggle to allow the glaze to flow evenly over the surface. Repeat with remaining cookies. Place cookies on a cooling rack and allow glaze to dry for 20-30 minutes.
Recipe Notes

Makes 10-12 cookies, depending on the size of your cookie cutter.

See Café Tips above in post for more detailed instructions and tips.

I got my turkey cookie cutter from Amazon.

Nutrition Facts
Easy Thanksgiving Shortbread Cookies
Amount Per Serving
Calories 244 Calories from Fat 135
% Daily Value*
Fat 15g23%
Saturated Fat 9g56%
Cholesterol 41mg14%
Sodium 136mg6%
Potassium 24mg1%
Carbohydrates 23g8%
Fiber 0g0%
Sugar 7g8%
Protein 2g4%
Vitamin A 475IU10%
Calcium 9mg1%
Iron 0.8mg4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.