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Mardis Gras Mask Cookies

A classic sugar cookie baked on a stick in the shape of masquerade ball mask, decorated with royal icing in Mardis Gras colors of green, yellow and purple.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Servings 20 cookies
Calories 293kcal
Author Lise Ode

Ingredients

For the cookies

  • 3 cups all purpose flour (or 1 lb if you're weighing your flour)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened (or 2 sticks)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)

For the royal icing

  • 16 ounces powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup meringue powder
  • 1/3 cup water
  • Food grade dowels (found in cake decorating section of department stores or online)

Instructions

For the cookies

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. In a medium bowl, add flour, baking powder & salt (measuring the flour with a scale is the most accurate). Using a whisk, stir to combine and get the lumps out. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, add butter and beat with an electric mixer for 1 minute on medium. Turn to low and gradually add sugar. Turn to medium and beat 3 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and beat another minute. With the mixer on low, gradually add the flour mixture.
  • Blend until the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl. Take the dough out of the bowl and place on a large piece of parchment paper. Use your hands to knead the dough for a few minutes. Divide the dough into two sections and wrap with parchment paper. Let chill in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
  • To roll dough, place dough on a piece of parchment paper, then place another piece on top and roll with a rolling pin until the dough is between 1/8" and 1/4" thick. (To hold the paper in place while you roll, let the edge hang off counter slightly, then lean against the paper with your body to keep it from slipping as you roll the dough out.) Cut into 3" masks and remove the excess dough. CAREFULLY, transfer cookies to a half sheet pan lined with silicone mat or parchment. Place a dowel on one end of mask and press gently. Use two small pieces of dough over the dowel to secure it to the cookie. Press gently to blend the pieces into cookie. You can fit 3 masks per pan. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until slightly golden brown around the edges. Let them cool and decorate with royal icing (or you can freeze them before decorating and keep them for several months). Makes 20 mask cookies.

For the icing

  • Place all ingredients in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer on low for 6 minutes. It will be very thick and fluffy. Add 2 tablespoons of water and mix to combine. That's your medium consistency (it should be like toothpaste). Take half the icing and put in another bowl. Add another tablespoon of water to remaining icing. It should run off the spoon like Elmer's glue. That is your flood consistency. (If it seems too thick, add a little more water. Make sure you only at 1/4 teaspoon at a time until it runs easily off the spoon but you don't want it too liquidy either.) Divide and color as desired to decorate the cookies. Please note: Always keep the icing covered when not using as it will dry out quickly.
  • For these cookies, I divided the icing as follows. Medium consistency: one third of the icing purple, one third green, and the remaining third yellow. Flood icing: I divided equally into 4 bowls - purple, yellow, green and white. Note: I used Americolor food coloring.

Decorating the cookies

  • Place icing into tipless pastry bags (you will need 7 bags total - I ordered them from Amazon, see below). Tie the ends, so icing doesn't leak out the back. Do not cut the tiny tip off until you're ready to pipe. Once you do cut the tips off, just cut a very small hole (about 3/16"). Note: When you're not piping, keep the tips wrapped in a damp paper towel to keep the icing from drying out.
  • For the "tie dye eyes" design, you will be working with one cookie at a time because you will be using flood on flood icing. For example, pipe the entire cookie with purple, then quickly add circles around the eyes in each of the remaining three colors - white, yellow, green. Immediately drag a toothpick from inside the circle out, creating spokes like a bicycle wheel. Set aside to let dry. Continue with as many as you want to make in this design.
  • For the freehand designs, pipe a solid background color onto cookie with the flood icing. Let dry completely. Then use the medium consistency icing to pipe the designs of your choice. Let your creative juices flow.

Nutrition

Calories: 293kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 34mg | Sodium: 240mg | Potassium: 80mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 33g | Vitamin A: 297IU | Calcium: 18mg | Iron: 1mg