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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 Coppergifts.com, 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. 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,


  2. 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?


  3. 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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