Thanksgiving Pilgrim Hat Cookies

I recently attended a teaching conference and the speaker emphasized the importance of traditions. She explained that traditions help us feel like we belong and that we are loved. A tradition can be something done in a classroom or it can be something done at home. Holiday traditions that are repeated year after year, give us something to look forward to. Holiday traditions build a sense of family and help create lasting memories.

I share all of this because my oldest recently surprised me with her understanding of our family traditions. I was asking her about Thanksgiving and she said 'Well... for Thanksgiving- we always go to Mimi's and we always make Pilgrim Hat Cookies'. This made me laugh because although I do like making edible crafts with my girls around holiday times, I never considered these fun little cookies to be a 'family tradition'.

But to my girls, they are! These cookies are not just cute and sweet. They are a symbol of our family and our love for each other. And because of that, we will be making these every November! Keep reading for the recipe and ideas for creating your own Thanksgiving traditions. (See our peanut free pilgrim hat cookies here  & the no-bake version here and another one here.)

This Thanksgiving Pilgrim Hat Cookie recipe is from Imperial Sugar's "Kids in the Kitchen" site.

Supplies to make 24 cookies:
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (spoon & sweep method*)
  • 1/2 cup non Dutched (non alkalized) cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, soft
  • 1 cup Imperial Sugar Extra Fine Granulated Sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup Imperial Sugar Powdered Sugar (for rolling dough)
  • 1 bag miniatures peanut buttercups (dark or milk)
  • Royal icing 

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F
  2. Combine and sift together flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking powder. Set aside. 

  3. With hand held mixer or stand mixer beat soft butter and sugar until light and creamy. Add egg and vanilla extract. Add sifted ingredients and mix until dough forms, do not overmix.
  4. Press dough 1/4 inch thick on a cookie sheet lined with plastic food film and place in refrigerator until firm enough to be rolled, about 30-45 minutes. (or refrigerate dough overnight).
  5. Press dough briefly together to form a ball. Place powdered sugar in a sieve and dust the work surface and dough with a thin layer.
  6. Roll dough about 3-4 stacked credit cards thick. Cut into circles nearly 1/4 inch wider than peanut buttercups and place on parchment lined cookies sheets about 1/4 inch apart. 
  7. Place in oven and bake until the surface is set but is still soft, about 11-13 minutes.
  8. Allow to cool completely
  9. Prepare royal icing and if desired add yellow food color. Using royal icing “glue” peanut buttercups onto cookie bottoms. 

  10. With a piping bag, pipe a ribbon of icing along the bottom of peanut buttercups.
*Using a spoon fill a measuring cup with flour until the required amount is obtained. (Scooping a measuring cup directly into a flour bag will firmly pack the flour resulting in too much flour required for the recipe.)
We followed the directions above except we added chocolate candies to the front of the hats as 'buckles'. Adding more chocolate to any recipe is always a good idea right?

We will be making these several times this month. This first batch is for my favorite teachers at my preschool. I made a printable tag to attach to these treats. You can print the tag and use it too by clicking below.

Print here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B10CVMwFMxXJeEFKS1JZZlNkalk/view?usp=sharing

There are lots of fun ideas for edible and non-edible Thanksgiving crafts on the Imperial Sugar website. Whether we know it or not, our kids hold these special holiday moments tightly in their memories, year after year. And it's those memories that form the family traditions our kids will always remember.

Does your family have holiday traditions? What traditions did you look forward to when you were a kid?

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