Go ahead, indulge your inner Martha (or Bree Hodges) and impress your friends, neighbors or those other moms at school. Or just thrill the hearts of your kids. These little treats are oh-so-easy to make! (Although if you want “picture perfect” results, you may want to work faster than your four-year-old helpers.)
The Pilgrim hats were super-easy and came from Family Fun magazine. Althought I’ll link to their original instructions, I’ll add some notes as to what I learned along the way. Ours were a bit sloppy, so with care, you can get neater results, but this is a pic you can use as a reference:
Basically you need:
· some fudge-striped cookies
· some form of chocolate to melt – I used milk chocolate chips
· and one of those small icing tubes you can get in the grocery store in the color yellow (for the buckle) – I recommend NOT GEL icing
· Start out with a cookie tray lined with wax paper.
· Put your fudge striped cookies with the STRIPES DOWN (so you are seeing the chocolate covered back of the cookie). These will be the brim of your hat.
· Melt your chocolate – I did mine in the microwave by pouring one bag of chocolate chips in a glass bowl, then microwaved for 30 seconds, stirred, 30 seconds again, stirred, and then 15 seconds more and stirred. If you do it all at once, you can burn the chocolate, so you have to keep stopping and stirring. Online I noticed some people used a fondue mix, and others used chocolate bark candies instead.
· Stick a toothpick in your marshmallow and dip it into the chocolate until you have it completely covered. You may need to drizzle some on top with a spoon. We were quite sloppy in our dipping/drizzling, so this is where more finesse produces finer results.
· Plop the marshmallow onto a cookie brim, use a second toothpick to help pull out the first toothpick.
· Repeat until you’ve made all the hats. Set them in the fridge for a while to set up.
· Take the frosting tube and make a small square on the marshmallow, but close to the brim to represent the buckle. Now, if you are planning on bagging these, which is what I was originally going to do, you may want to use a harder frosting than the gel or you may want to melt some yellow candy bark, b/c I found the gel icing never set up to be hard enough not to smear. If you are going to serve them on a tray, then don’t worry about it.
This is an adaptation of a recipe I originally found on a scrapbooking board http://www.scrappertalk.com/bbs/ a few years ago. I thought these were so adorable, I couldn’t wait to have kids old enough to do this with! The woman who makes them said her mother always made them until the last year of her life, when the daughter picked up the tradition and now makes them every Thanksgiving in remembrance of her mother — I didn’t keep the original post to remember the name of the woman in order to give her credit, I am sorry to say, I just kept the photo. UPDATE: I have gotten back in touch with the woman who first posted this and she likes to go by “Peggy J” on Scrapbook Addict. Many thanks to Peggy J!
Here’s a picture of the original version:
Here’s a picture of the version we made:
- Ritz crackers (I used the original flavor rather than the whole wheat ones)
- Hershey’s kisses, with foil off
- Candy corns (for tailfeathers and beak)
- Frosting (original version used white frosting, I chose to use chocolate b/c I liked having the Hershey’s kiss body blend in with the frosting color) – I used canned frosting, but a thicker frosting may hold the candy better
- A candy to make the turkey stand up – the original directions used a caramel cube, but I couldn’t find any, so I just used and additional Hershey’s kiss and cemented it with some frosting.
Quick note – apparently candy corn is considered a Halloween candy (who knew?) so I found “Indian Corn” at Wegman’s, which is brown/orange/white instead of the brighter orange/yellow/white of candy corn. So my corn was a different color than the original candy corn, which also guided my choice in using chocolate frosting. I actually like that better because I think it is more turkey-like!
- Start with a wax-paper lined cookie sheet
- Lay out your Ritz crackers – I chose to use the salted part as the front, I’m not sure that it matters
- Spread some frosting all over the front of the cracker – you want a fairly thick layer b/c this is what will hold your candy corn and Hershey’s kiss – I’ve done this two years now and have found that there is a fine line between too thin and too thick — you want it thick enough to hold the candy corns, but not so thick that it won’t “set up” — so don’t do it paper thin but don’t do it overly thick either.
- Arrange some candy corns in an arc on one side of the Ritz, I used 5 per tail, and that seems to be the right amount because more than that and it gets a bit unwieldly when you try to prop it up in the next stage.
- Take your kiss and plop the flat side onto the cracker, pretty much towards the bottom of the cracker from the center part of the tail.
- After I did this for all of them, I put them in the fridge to harden a little before propping them up. You can also put it in the freezer if you have more freezer space than fridge space.
- Do the next steps in either order.
- For the beak, take a candy corn, smear a little frosting on the back, and smoosh it down on the pointy part of the kiss – it is just going to follow the slope of the kiss, I let it hang off a little further than the tip of the beak.
- To prop up the turkey, put either a caramel cube (either slightly melted or with a dab of icing) or a kiss (I did mine with the flat side down, and a blob of icing going up the slope of one side) and smush it against the back of the crackers.
- JavaBory wanted to make eyes, I wasn’t up for it, but I suppose you could with a little dab of icing from one of those small icing tubes.
- These look better when displayed on a tray rather than bagged. This year I put them into little cupcake paper cups and gave them out to the kids that way rather than bagging them (transporting them in my really nifty cupcake carrier).