2 pounds homemade or store-bought marzipan, recipe follows
Paste or liquid food color
Vegetable shortening, for hands
Powdered food color
1 pound almond paste
1 box confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
Assorted tools for sculpting, such as pins, scissors, marzipan modeling tool, leaf cutters Small paintbrush
Tint marzipan with liquid food color, slowly adding the coloring in small amounts and working it into the dough with your hands. Rub hands with a small amount of vegetable shortening to prevent marzipan from drying out. Use a 2-ounce ball of marzipan, a little larger than a golf ball, to make each turkey. Pinch the back of the ball to form a fan of tail feathers. Shape the front into the neck, head, and wattle. Sculpt breast and wings with marzipan sculpting tool. Snip wing feather shapes with small scissors. Let dry, 15 to 20 minutes. Use powdered food color and a dry paintbrush to tint the surface. Mix powdered food color in 1/2 teaspoon almond extract for bolder colors. Let dry completely before using.
In a large bowl, combine almond paste, confectioners' sugar, and corn syrup.You may need to work the mixture with your hands to ensure that it is well mixed. To prevent the mixture from drying as you work with it, rub hands with a light coating of vegetable shortening. Wrap tightly in plastic until ready for use.