Cute Turtle Cookies

Turtle cookies on a baking sheet.

These turtle cookies are a great conversation starter with children and adults alike. Feed your kids or coworkers these cookies while telling them facts about protecting them or why sea turtles help keep the oceans balanced. They’re super easy to make!

First, let me acknowledge that I got this idea from an old Ranger Rick magazine. Their recipe is on their website if you subscribe to their free newsletter. But most shortbread or sugar cookie (or even peanut butter cookie) recipes should work. You’ll want a cookie dough that doesn’t spread or change shape during baking.

Turtle cookies in the oven.

Once you’ve made the cookie dough, add green food gel or coloring until you achieve the desired hue. Roll out large balls for the bodies and flatten them slightly with your hand. Then roll 5 small balls per cookie to add the head and legs. Crisscross the bodies with a floured fork to make it look like a turtle shell. Then bake as directed by the recipe you’re using.

After baking, let them cool for just a minute or two and then place the eyes using chocolate chips or M&Ms. I recommend using a mini size, but all I had on hand were regular size. They do not have to be perfect.

Turtle cookies on tray with chocolate chip eyes.

Finish cooling, and serve!

Turtle cookies on a blue dish.

There are many variations you could try, such as using two dough colors, one for the shell and one for the head and legs. You could elongate the legs to make them appear more like flippers. Or, decorate the shells with candies or sprinkles! Get creative!