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Thanksgiving Sugar Cookie Ideas

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Coming up with Thanksgiving sugar cookie ideas is easy if you think about the shapes related to the holiday – turkeys, leaves, apples, pumpkins and acorns.

Decorated sugar cookies on a plate.

These days there are all kinds of cookie cutters available, including boxed sets specific to holidays such as Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving Sugar Cookie Ideas For Decorations

Sugar cookies are traditionally decorated with a run icing, as it is called, which is basically an icing that is thin enough to run to the edges of the icing outline, but not so thin it runs over the edge.

However, shaped cookies decorated with icing is not the only option.

Sprinkles come in all colors these days, so you could use fall colors on top of the icing.

Or better yet, give your cookies a little sparkle by using sparkle icing or sparkling sugar.

There are also many shaped candies that are the perfect size for decorating cookies with.

Let your imagination run wild and don’t forget to let the little ones help do some of the decorating.

Below is my from scratch recipe for sugar cookies.


Thanksgiving Sugar Cookie Ideas

Decorated sugar cookies on a plate.
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  • Author: Sheri Ann Richerson
  • Prep Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 12 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 42 minutes
  • Category: Desserts
  • Method: Oven




  1. Cream the butter and sugar until just combined – do not overmix.
  2. Add the eggs and mix.
  3. Add the flour, cornstarch and salt to the butter mixture and combine.
  4. Mix just until the mixture forms a ball.
  5. Stir in the vanilla bean paste and flavored extract of choice.
  6. Wrap the dough in Saran Wrap and refrigerate for one hour.
  7. Remove the chilled dough from the refrigerator and roll it out to ¼ inch thickness.
  8. Cut out the cookie dough shapes, lay them out on parchment paper lined cookie sheets and put them back in the refrigerator for an hour.
  9. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  10. Place the cookies into the oven on the parchment lined cookie sheets and bake for 9 to 12 minutes.
  11. Cool completely on a wire rack.
  12. Decorate as desired.
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Final Thoughts About These Thanksgiving Sugar Cookie Ideas

The recipe above is known for holding the cookie cutter shape quite well.

Simply follow the directions and do not skimp on the refrigeration time.

Cold cookie dough not only cuts better, but it actually holds the shape better when it is baked.

The real fun with these cookies though is by adding a teaspoon of pumpkin spice flavored extract, you could have pumpkin spice flavored sugar cookies.

Let your imagination run wild with both the flavoring and the decorating of these Thanksgiving sugar cookies!

If you love this cookie recipe, or simply want to know all my tips and tricks for making holiday cookies, then be sure to sign up for my eCourse How To Make Holiday Cookies!

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Decorated sugar cookies on a plate.

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