When I was young (middle school ish) my aunt came to the US to study abroad. Since she was studying in New Orleans, we went to visit her. I don’t remember much. Mostly I remember the T-shirts she got us from her school because, at the time, the thought of owning a College T-shirt was very exciting. I don’t remember much about New Orleans, which is why I hope to go back very soon to take it all in and actually appreciate it this time. What I do remember quite vividly is my parents buying me several ceramic masks that later hung on my bedroom walls. They were bright, beautiful, and I loved them. So for this year’s Mardi Gras, I decided to make these masks into cookies. And I’d like to share the process with you, in case you’d like to try as well!
What you will need:
Roll out cookie dough
Paper plate/Cardboard/Plastic Lid
Royal icing in white, purple, black, yellow, and green
Piping tips #1 and #2
To begin, you’ll have to find a mask template that you like. I used this graphic as my template because it wasn’t too big (the size of my actual face) but it was big enough to pipe enough detail.
Using this, I cut out a template from a paper plate to use as my cookie cutter. You can use a paper plate, cardboard, a plastic lid, etc.
Before cutting out my shape, I rolled my cookie dough between two sheets of wax paper and let it chill for 20 minutes in the fridge. This will make the cutting process much easier. Using your template, cut out the mask shapes with a sharp knife. Note: I did not cut out the eyes in the cookies and chose to pipe them on instead with black royal icing. You can choose to cut them out if you’d like.
Once the shapes are cut out, place them in the freezer for 5 minutes. This will help avoid expansion while baking.
Bake your cookies as you normally would. The minute your cookies come out of the oven, use a plastic straw to punch out two holes on either side of the mask, for the ribbon.
When your cookies are finished cooling, take your white royal icing in a bag with a #2 tip and outline the masks and the holes. Let them dry for 5 minutes.
Once they are dry, flood the cookies entirely with the white royal icing. Let these dry overnight.
Before decorating your cookies, you’ll want to pipe on some eyes, a nose, and a mouth. I tried to stay pretty simple with these in order to save time, but you can get as elaborate as you want. You’ll notice that my facial features are pretty small and that’s because I didn’t space the holes properly. Just know that if you do the same, it’s ok and it still works out.
Once your facial features are dry, start the first layer of your designs. You can make outlines in black first or immediately start decorating with the colors. Go online and search for inspiration as well. Remember: make it bright and bold! For large details, use your #2 tip. For much smaller details, use your #1 tip. Once you are done with the first layer of decoration, let this dry for 30 minutes or so to avoid bleeding.
Then, continue to add details to your masks. Fill in the outlines, highlight certain areas, and add some sanding sugar. Once your cookies are completely dry, take some ribbon and tie it around the masks.
When you’re through, you’ll have beautiful Mardi Gras masks!