Thanksgiving Turkey

Thanksgiving Turkey

November: U.S. Thanksgiving Day (Fourth Thursday in November)

Gobble gobble! Many Americans traditionally gobble up turkey on Thanksgiving Day. The famous fowl graces the table as the centerpiece and is surrounded by other stereotypical side dishes, such as stuffing, gravy, sweet potatoes, cranberries, bread rolls and pumpkin pie. Some people feel pressured to prepare a picturesque turkey with all the trimmings. Perhaps that is why Islander jokes it is not in their marriage contract for her to cook the turkey at Thanksgiving. In our home, Highlander is in charge of making the meal for this major holiday. He keeps things basic (no brining—just baking) and the turkey turns out to be terrific and tasty! We like all the leftovers, too, which means we can take a break from cooking for a few days and spend more time watching football, shopping the sales or relaxing with loved ones and guests.

We thank God for a bounty of blessings! Happy Thanksgiving to all of our family, friends and fans of HI Cookery.

Recipe

(Adapted from Reynolds Oven Bags)

Ingredients

  • Turkey, thawed
  • Oil or butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste (we also sprinkle a little garlic powder)
  • 1 tablespoon flour, if using an oven bag (we used Reynolds brand)

Directions

Thaw the frozen turkey in the refrigerator a few days before Thanksgiving. Rinse with water and remove any neck and giblet packaging from the interior/cavity. Rub the skin with oil or butter. Generously season with salt and pepper or other favorite herbs and spices. Secure the wings with toothpicks and tie the legs together with kitchen twine.

Thanksgiving Turkey

Put the turkey in an oven bag dusted with flour to keep the meat moist and to prevent it from sticking. Tie the bag then insert a meat thermometer into the turkey. Place in a large roasting pan. Cut a few slits in the bag to allow steam to vent. Bake at 350 degrees F in a preheated oven, according to the size and weight of the turkey:

  • 12-16 pounds = 2 – 2 ½ hours
  • 16-20 pounds = 2 ½ – 3 hours
  • 20-24 pounds = 3 – 3 ½ hours

The turkey is cooked when the meat thermometer reads 180 degrees F. During the last 15 minutes of cooking time, carefully remove or cut the bag from the turkey (beware of escaping steam and splattering liquids). Continue to cook until the skin turns golden brown. Remove from the oven. Let stand for another 15 minutes. Place the turkey on a platter. Carve and serve.

Thanksgiving Turkey

Notes

  • The date of Canadian Thanksgiving Day is the second Monday of October.
  • We personally do not cook or eat the giblets that are included in the turkey package. But our parents used to chop them up finely to add flavor to giblet gravy made from turkey drippings.
  • If using stuffing in the turkey, add another half an hour to the total cooking time.
  • Our turkeys turn out tanned now but when Highlander started cooking them in our early years of marriage, they were a bit albino-looking!
  • We placed our turkey on a platter lined with lettuce leaves. Then we garnished it with fresh parsley and fruits that we had on hand for the final food photo above.
  • Try our turkey cookies made with Oreos for a unique Thanksgiving Day dessert or decoration.
  • We sometimes volunteer serving turkey meals to the poor at Thanksgiving-themed community gatherings organized by churches and charitable organizations. Please consider donating your time, talents and/or treasure to help those who are less fortunate during the holidays.

Turkey Cookies

Turkey Cookies

November: Thanksgiving

Guests are guaranteed to “gobble gobble” up turkey cookies on Thanksgiving! These too-cute cookies are combined with candy to create the famous fowl. And they are photogenic, festive and a favorite for fall functions. It has been our tradition now to take these treats to Thanksgiving gatherings where the hosts are happy to have an alternate dessert to pies at their buffet table. The main parts of the original turkey cookie include Oreos, candy corn and chocolate peanut butter cups held together with frosting. We modified ours with round Nutter Butters, caramel candy corn and marzipan balls secured with peanut butter. Make both versions when you gather together with family and friends for Thanksgiving. They will be grateful for your generosity in sharing these turkey cookies!

Recipe

(Adapted from Coopet Photography)

For each Oreo turkey cookie

  • 2 Oreo cookies (Double Stuff recommended)
  • 1 Reese’s mini peanut butter cup, refrigerated
  • 1 Hershey’s Whopper malted milk ball
  • 6 candy corn
  • 1 mini chocolate chip
  • white frosting
  • chocolate frosting
  • black gel tube icing
  • orange tube icing

Directions

Carefully pull apart one of the Oreo cookies. Gently press the candy corn onto the “double stuff” to make a fan-tail shape. Spread white frosting on the other half of the Oreo cookie. Press together. Refrigerate to set.

Turkey Cookies

Unwrap the chilled Reese’s mini peanut butter cup. Slice a small section off the side for the body of the turkey cookie. Use chocolate frosting to secure the wide side of the Reese’s to the Oreo turkey tail and the sliced flat bottom to the other Oreo cookie base. Put a small amount of chocolate frosting on a Whopper to secure the head of the turkey.

Turkey Cookies

Carefully dab the flat end of a mini chocolate chip with frosting and position it on the Whopper for the turkey beak. Using a small round tip, pipe the eyeballs with white frosting, pressing down lightly with your fingertip on the white points. Dab black gel icing on top of the white eyeballs. Finish the feet details with orange tube icing.

Turkey Cookies

For each Nutter Butter turkey cookie

  • 2 round Nutter Butter cookies
  • 1 potato-shaped marzipan
  • Reese’s Whopper peanut butter-flavored malted milk ball
  • 6 caramel candy corn
  • 1 mini chocolate chip
  • peanut butter, chilled
  • white frosting
  • chocolate frosting
  • black gel tube icing
  • orange tube icing

Directions

Carefully pull apart one of the round Nutter Butter cookies. Gently press the caramel candy corn onto the peanut butter filling to make a fan-tail shape. Spread peanut butter on the other half of the Nutter Butter cookie. Press together. Refrigerate to set.

Turkey Cookies

Flatten with your fingers the bottom of a potato-shaped marzipan. Use peanut butter to secure a Whopper on the marzipan for the head of the turkey. Generously slather on peanut butter on the bottom of the Nutter Butter turkey tail and place on other Nutter Butter cookie base. Secure with more peanut butter and add the marzipan-Whopper body.

Turkey Cookies

Carefully dab the flat end of a mini chocolate chip with frosting and position it on the Whopper for the turkey beak. Using a small round tip, pipe the eyeballs with white frosting, pressing down lightly with your fingertip on the white points. Dab black gel icing on top of the white eyeballs. Finish the feet details with orange tube icing.

Turkey Cookies

Notes

  • The date of Thanksgiving varies annually. In the United States, it is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November. In Canada, it is observed the second Monday of October.
  • Thanks to Lisa L. for sending us our first batch of potato-shaped marzipan from Germany. We also found them at World Market here in America.
  • The round Nutter Butter cookies and peanut butter-flavored malted milk balls are available at Walgreens.
  • Use red tube icing to make the turkey wattle (optional).
  • Experiment with different colors and flavors of candy corn for the turkey tail.
  • Thanks to Islander’s brother, Kahuna, for creating the turkey cookies video tutorial above. It is our first YouTube post!