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Frosted Turtle Sugar Cookies Recipe
Today was one of those cold, late January days that demanded cookie baking. I’m never one to ignore the call of the mixer, so I got to work right after breakfast and made these turtle-shaped sugar cookies for my mother.
My mom LOVES sea turtles. I’m pretty sure our home would be covered in floor-to-ceiling turtle decor if she had it her way. She loves them with as great an intensity as she hates mice, so that should give you an idea.
She needed a pick-me-up this week, so I thought I’d surprise her with these. A friend let me borrow her turtle cookie cutter, and my mom has been asking for frosted cookies for a while now, so it seemed like the perfect fit!
These recipes were adapted from my grandmother’s wonderful Betty Crocker cookbook*. She used the original cookie recipe for Valentine’s Day in the past, making heart-shaped cookies and sprinkling them with red or blue sugar for the holiday.
Tips & Tricks
This recipe calls for Crisco butter-flavored shortening. It can be found in stores occasionally or bought online. With all that’s going on, I’d skip trying the store and just order from an online retailer. Most of the big ones have it.
Second, make sure you sift the confectioner’s sugar. It’s a pain to deal with clumps when you’re spreading and piping the frosting. Just remember to check your sifter for dead flies first… I forgot to and had to throw out about half a cup of sugar.
Finally, I can’t give an accurate yield for this since all turtle cookie cutters will be differently shaped and sized, and someone who prefers a thicker or thinner sugar cookie will roll the dough accordingly. I would say that it should make around 6 dozen three-inch-long turtle sugar cookies when made quite thin.
Frosted Turtle Sugar Cookies
- ¾ cup Crisco butter flavor shortening
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2½ cups flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 cups confectioner's sugar sifted
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1-2 tbsp water
- green food coloring
- Beat shortening, sugar, eggs, and vanilla until well mixed and slightly fluffy.
- Add flour, baking powder, and salt; mix well.
- Chill for at least 3 hours.
- Preheat oven to 400°. On a lightly floured pastry cloth, roll out dough fairly thin and cut with a turtle cookie cutter. Place cut cookies on ungreased cookie sheets, and bake for 5-8 minutes. If you prefer thicker sugar cookies, roll them thicker and bake for slightly longer than that.
- Leave on pan for a minute or two, then move cookies to a cooling rack. Cool completely.
- For frosting: Combine sifted confectioner's sugar and vanilla. Split into two bowls, with about 1½ cups of sugar in one and the other ½ cup in the other. Add enough water to create desired consistency in each. For the larger amount, make slightly thinner, with just enough give to easily spread. For the smaller dish, make fairly thick, since this will be for creating eyes and piping designs if desired. Add enough green food coloring to each to make the shades you want. Cut the tip of a sandwich bag and put thicker frosting inside.
- Put down plenty of waxed paper on table or counter. Using a knife or frosting spatula, coat the "shell" area of each with a light coat of frosting from the larger bowl. You can also flood the cookies (like I tried to do in the picture above) by piping the thicker frosting around the edge and spreading thinner frosting in the center. Using the thicker frosting in the sandwich bag, pipe eyes onto each. Keep all frosted turtles in a single layer until dry. Enjoy!