Mar 05


How to Decorate Mardi Gras Mask Cookies

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In the mood for some Mardi Gras sweetness?

When Kim of The TomKat Studio asked me to make something Mardi Gras-themed for my monthly guest posting there (so excited about that b.t.w!), I immediately thought of these.  So fun {and easy} to make and the perfect opportunity to use my favorite, disco dust! UPDATE: Please note that since I’ve made these I have found out new information which states that disco dust is non-toxic but only for decorative purposes. So maybe a sweet which you’re using for display or for a royal icing transfer which would be removed from a cake or cookie before serving. An alternative, although not as sparkly, but pretty nonetheless is FDA approved pearl or luster dusts.


I’ve made them before (one of the first posts on my blog two years ago, right here -don’t laugh too hard ;-) ) and have always wanted to try them again.


The idea is from p. 26 of Peggy Porschen’s book Beautiful Cakes (One of my favorite decorating books with gorgeous cakes, cupcakes and cookies!).

I’ve just tailored them to the Mardi Gras color theme and added a few different designs.

  • If you’d like to make these, you’ll need a cookie recipe of your choice, such as gingerbread or sugar cookies.  I used gingerbread.
  • The cookie cutter is from, although you could just use a mask template made of paper. (File folder paper works well!)
  • UPDATE: Please note that since I’ve made these I have found out new information which states that disco dust is non-toxic but only for decorative purposes. So maybe a sweet which you’re using for display or for a royal icing transfer which would be removed from a cake or cookie before serving. An alternative, although not as sparkly, but pretty nonetheless is FDA approved pearl or luster dusts.


 You’ll also need:


How to Make Decorated Mardi Gras Mask Cookies:

Once you’ve made your cookies & made and colored your royal icing, you’re ready to decorate:

Step 1: Outline cookie with royal icing using a #2 piping tip.

Step 2: Fill in or flood your cookie using the same piping tip.

Step 3: Fold a small piece of parchment in half so that there’s a crease in it.  Open it up and lay your cookie on the parchment. Sprinkle disco dust onto the wet icing.

Step 4: Shake excess disco dust from cookie onto parchment.  Lift parchment and pour extra disco dust into container.  (Try and make less mess than I did! Lol.  The crease helps funnel the disco dust, but it’s hard to take a picture at the same time!)

Step 5: Brush disco dust off the outer edge of the cookie with a soft bristle paintbrush. (Preferably when the cookie is dry so as to not poke the wet icing with your paintbrush).

Step 6: Pipe dots (size and position your preference) using a #1 piping tip and clear piping gel.

Step 7: Using tweezers, place tiny dragées around the piping gel.

That’s it!

(Another tutorial on how to use disco dust HERE and HERE).

A few other quick tips:

  • Although my favorite disco dust is Rainbow, for a more vibrant look match the disco dust to the color of your icing as closely as you can.

  • Note:  The piping gel does not harden… it stays soft and sticky, so bagging or stacking these would be difficult. If you’d like to make them and package them in some way, maybe use cute, clear box. (The kinds they sell for wedding favors).


A quick tip on baking cookie with lollipop sticks:

Press or slide the lollipop stick into the back of the cookie and fortify it with a little piece of dough.  Turn over and bake.

To make blue edible ‘jewels’:

Step 1: Crush the jolly ranch candy of your choice in a ziplock bag.  I place the ziplock bag in between tea towels and use a meat mallet to hammer on the candy. (You can also use lifesavers, but they don’t turn out as transparent.  Isomalt works too.  See a post on using isomalt HERE).

Step 2: Place the powdered jolly rancher in a silicon jewel mold.

Step 3: Heat in microwave for approximately 30 seconds (length of time depends on your microwave).  Long enough to liquefy it, but not burn it!

Step 4: Let cool to room temperature.  You could pop the silicon mold in the fridge or freezer to cool the candy down; just be aware that if you leave them in there too long, they get stickier faster because of the moisture in the fridge or freezer.

Step 5: Pop them out of the mold and apply to your cookie with piping jelly.  (I like the jelly because it’s clear).


To add some sheen to your royal icing:

Lightly spray the dry royal icing with PME Lustre Spray with the colour of your choice.

How to add swirls:

Wet on wet marbling technique:  Pipe dots onto your wet icing and drag a toothpick through the dots.  For a video click HERE, for a how-to post click HERE.

There’s an endless amount of ways you could decorate these cookies.  More piped details, more ‘jewels’, different color jewels, fondant or gumpaste broaches… you could even add some real feathers or flowers as adornments.

I know I’d love to keep playing around with these and am looking forward to seeing what you come up with if you’d like to share on my facebook page HERE.

Have fun decorating yours and happy Mardi Gras!



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  1. March 10, 2011 at 5:12 am | Permalink

    Marion, These cookies are AMAZING!! I love your detail!! The JOLLY RANCHERS for jewels?? That is just brilliant!! I am new to the blog world & I so love your site…. you are the QUEEN of ANYTHING SWEET!! THANK YOU for inspiring us all!! (:

  2. March 14, 2011 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    These are absolutely STUNNING. I love the details – the glitter, the jewels. Please publish these in a cookbook!!

  3. meriam from moorea
    March 14, 2011 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    WAW!!! this post is just AMAZING!!!! the cookies,the pictures ,the tutorial!!! everything is so beautiful,i love the colors,the glitter,the jewels…
    and this is very generous from you to share all of your tips,even though i would never be able to make so wonderful cookies,but never mind,i love to look at yours,you re a great artist!!!
    bravo !!!

  4. March 15, 2011 at 12:47 am | Permalink

    Breathtaking… !!! All of your cookies are absolutely gorgeous.. You are a HUGE inspiration to me. Thank you for sharing

  5. marian
    March 15, 2011 at 4:25 am | Permalink

    Thank you all for your sweet (no pun intended), support! You are a big reason why I like blogging!

  6. March 18, 2011 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    this is too awesome!
    such a neat idea, and totally unique, LOVE IT <3

  7. meriam from moorea
    March 20, 2011 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    hi marian
    i would like to have your help,please,about disco dusts that bring magic to your cookies!! they are sooo amazing,i love them.
    i ve never used them,but i m gonna give them a try(thnaks to you!!),but i can’ t buy all the,could you help me choose the most beautiful colors to begin whith?
    thanks for your help and your gorgeous ideas!!

    • marian
      March 20, 2011 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

      Meriam from Moorea, (love your screen name!); I just love disco dust too! As far as which colors are the most beautiful, well, that’s hard for me to say… it’s a matter of which are YOUR favorite colors! BUT, if you can only buy a few buy the RAINBOW disco dust… it looks kind of white in the container, but really is kind of a clear, shimmery disco dust. It takes on whatever color icing you have underneath.
      Have fun using this gorgeous, but messy LOL stuff! And in case you haven’t seen it, there’s a how-to on using it in the tutorial section.

  8. meriam from moorea
    March 21, 2011 at 1:15 am | Permalink

    thank you,marian,you always take some time to answer ,that ‘s really kind of you.
    i m gonna try the rainbow disco dust as you recommend me. and thanks for the tutorial,i ve seen all of them,i really love your blog and all your gorgeous tutorials,and everything you create…
    happy cooking

  9. March 22, 2011 at 3:39 am | Permalink

    Oh, Marian!

    Swooning over here! These are gorgeous! Totally worthy of a masquerade ball. Stunning!

    I’ve never used piping gel before…thanks for the info about that!

  10. March 22, 2011 at 6:57 am | Permalink

    Wow, wow! I am amazed at how perfect these cookies are. I have never seen the crunched up Jolly Rancher candy in a mold. You are an awesome cookie artist! Thanks for the fabulous pics too!

    Got here via bake at 350 tweet! ~Molly

  11. Heidi Lloyd
    March 24, 2011 at 1:45 am | Permalink

    Wow, that purple one with swirls and half glitter is gorgeous! Love your creations!

  12. holly
    May 26, 2011 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    I tried ordering the disco dust through your link but it says it can not be shipped to my address in Canada?

  13. marian
    May 26, 2011 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    Yes, it’s and they don’t ship everything here. I’m lucky to have a relative with a P.O. Box just accross the border.
    You can try the Bonnie Gordon School in Toronto; she sells it there.

  14. August 6, 2011 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

    I just love the glittered effect on these cookies – they’re gorgeous! I have so many ideas for how to use this technique – pumpkin cookies for Halloween, glittered ornament cookies at Christmas, red hearts for Valentines… but I do have a question about the disco dust. Is it truly edible? I know the ingredients are all listed as non-toxic, but a few suppliers I’ve checked out have recommended it be used for decorative purposes only, on elements that can be removed prior to consumption. I’d love to be able to use it on edible gifts.

    • marian
      August 6, 2011 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

      Hi Amanda; Pilar of is working on getting hers FDA approved and should have the documentation ready soon. I can’t wait to get the concrete results!

  15. August 7, 2011 at 1:46 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the info Marian. I’ll be watching what happens with this closely!

  16. Linda
    January 1, 2012 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    That’s a wonderful idea, congrats :D !!!

  17. February 15, 2012 at 6:16 am | Permalink

    these are gorgeous – WELL DONE!!! :)


  18. February 18, 2012 at 1:29 pm | Permalink


  19. February 18, 2012 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

    This is such a fabulous idea, they are absolutely gorgeous!

  20. February 20, 2012 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    This looks delicious! Thanks for the idea…and the Sugar Rush!

  21. Louise
    February 20, 2012 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

    I followed a trail from this sweet collection to this post, and what a happy find! Thanks for the “gem” of a tutorial, along with all the other sweet tips you share!

  22. February 21, 2012 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    These are so gorgeous! Excellent work! I featured them on my site today.

  23. Iain Hale
    November 29, 2012 at 5:06 am | Permalink

    Fantastic tip with the boiled sweets, i have been looking for a way to create dew drops on handmade clay flowers i was looking at expensive resins, but now i can buy some sweets instead,


  24. Mariah
    February 23, 2013 at 11:54 pm | Permalink

    So much fun!!! I’m wondering where to find the silcone gem mold? It’s very cool!! Thanks for sharing!

  25. marian
    March 3, 2013 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    Hi @ Mariah: You can click on the pink words in the post, ‘silcon jewel mold’ and it’s a clickable link to where I got mine. Happy decorating!

  26. Dorry
    May 19, 2013 at 6:48 am | Permalink

    Hi , I’m from the uk and this is the first time I’ve seen any tutorials. I’m blown away with the quality of your work.
    Regarding the clear dew drops and the coloured gems, can any clear/coloured hard boiled sweet work ? I’ve only used clear fruit sweets in stained glass cookies, but they melted in oven whilst the cookie baked.
    My aim is to be able to use clear colours for use in decorating cakes and their boards but not sure how.
    Ps, I’m not a professional cake decorator, I’m just taking it up as a hobby with the hope of expanding enough to turn into a full time job.
    Thankyou for sharing your work. Xx

  27. marian
    May 19, 2013 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    Hi @ Dorry: Thanks for visiting me here!
    I’ve tried all sorts of brands, and they work (colored gems/coloured sweets), but some seem to be clearer than others. The absolute best are jolly ranchers. I hope they sell them in the UK!

  28. Isabella J
    August 10, 2013 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

    Hi Im throughing a masquerade ball and i was wondering what colors of disco dust you used?

  29. Joan Rayners
    August 21, 2013 at 5:35 am | Permalink


    I live in Johannesburg SA, my friend is turning 40 soon and im assisting the theme is mardi gras and these biscuits r excellent. But i have no idea where i can get a cutter like this pls can u help

  30. Lonelle Minesinger
    January 21, 2014 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

    Hello, I am planning an 18th Mardi Gras party for my daughter and these cookies look awesome!! Do you happen to know if I could freeze them after I decorate them? I am trying to save money and do as much as I can myself and before hand!


  31. April 1, 2014 at 3:04 am | Permalink

    Hi Marian! I have a question. I’ve heard that dragees are inedible. Is this true? I bought a bottle of them at TJ Maxx and all they say is that they are “Not suitable for children less than 36 months.” Why is this? They’re so beautiful on my cookies and I want to use them all of the time! The ones I have are Eric Bur’s Perles de Sucre Argent and were made in France and one of the ingredients in them in aluminum.

    Thanks so much for your advice,


  32. Jen k
    January 1, 2015 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

    Now that we know disco dust it not edible (only non-toxic), what do you recommend to get that glittery look? Or is there now an edible glitter?


  33. carmen nixon
    May 14, 2015 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

    Hi Ms. Miriam, I have a question hope you can help me: How many jars of 5 grams of disco dust did you use for your Mardi Gras cookies? I have to make 130 and cover them with disco dust. (I Explain the disco dust policy)
    Hope you can help me Thank you in advance.

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