You probably know all about Christmas cookie decorating, but it’s time for Thanksgiving cookies to have their moment. After all, we should celebrate the cozy time of year when the leaves change, long sleeves go back in style, and every coffee gets a hit of pumpkin spice before Santa gets his turn. This year, decorate your Thanksgiving spread with these adorable, easy cookies. It only takes a little bit of effort to make your dessert tray look finished and festive. These fun shapes leave you plenty of room for decorating, but feel free to find your own signature shapes, like a football or simple cornucopia. With this guide, even your kids can create their own cookie masterpieces.    The Cookies For a cookie that retains its cut-out shape (but still tastes delicious), try our sugar cookie recipe. For a fall spin, you can even add a hint of your favorite seasonal spices to the dough, like cinnamon and cardamom. Not only will these cookies hold their shape, but they’ll stay soft for days. Don’t be afraid to freeze leftovers for later use! Chilling the dough for at least an hour is essential to prevent over-spreading, and we like to roll the dough before it heads to the fridge so it’s easier to work with (your forearms will thank you). Roll the dough evenly until it reaches about one-fourth inch in thickness, dusting your rolling pin with flour if the dough sticks too much. If you’re making multiple batches, you can stack them up, separating each layer with sheets of parchment paper, before chilling.  After cutting out your shapes, carefully transfer the cookies to a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat. Make sure to watch closely as they bake to prevent any browning.   The Icing Royal icing will be your best tool for decorating because it dries quickly, and you can create it in brilliant colors by adding a few drops of food coloring. Our royal icing recipe couldn’t be easier to whip up—all you need is sugar, water, and meringue powder or egg whites—and it’s not just decorative, it’s also delicious. Separate your icing into a few bowls and use red, yellow, blue, and black to create different shades of your favorite fall colors. Remember to go light on the food coloring—a single drop goes a long way. Note that gel food coloring won’t alter the icing consistency as much as liquid food coloring can.  Transfer to ziplock bags and cut a tiny hole on the corner to create a makeshift piping bag, or utilize an old squeeze bottle that's been thoroughly cleaned. We recommend keeping toothpicks on hand to smooth out the icing or create more detail. Piping an outline first, then going back to fill in the center sections (a method known as flooding) will make it easier to bring your design ideas to life. Using two hands will also give you greater control, but don’t stress about reaching perfection. A sloppily iced cookie is still a delicious cookie. 

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