So, Mardi Gras is here and I wanted to make some cookies to bring into the office. I was looking at some Nutter Butters a while back and thought they would be a good shape for Mardi Gras masks. I just needed to remember that until the time came…which is now.
The good thing about Mardi Gras masks is you can do really any kind of design. When I lived in New Orleans we were involved in lots of Mardi Gras Krewes. We were Kings, Queens, Debs, Pages and Ball Captains at one time or the other. Having favors for all the guests was essential. I wish I would have had this idea back then. These are not hard to make, keep fresh for a long time and would have been great gifts. Tie them up with purple, green and yellow ribbon and add a fun pin and you’re done. I’m just putting these on a platter for everyone which would work for Mardi Gras parties, too!
So, to begin…you just need some Nutter Butter cookies and bags of purple, green and yellow melting chocolates. I usually add sugar crystals bling to everything but just used the colored chocolates for all the designs this time. If you are going to add the sugar crystals, make sure all the other chocolate is set first. Then add dots of chocolate and sprinkle with matching sugar. Let that set then lightly brush the excess sugar before going to the next color. I used 2 packages of Nutter Butters (each package has 32 cookies) and 2 bags of each color melting chocolate…one bag to dip the cookies and one bag to use to decorate. I ended up with a few extra up-dipped cookies so I used some white melting chocolates and made some “beads” on them and some black chocolate for the eyes of the masks. Of course, ziplock bags to use to decorate.
Start by melting a bag of chocolate in a microwave safe bowl for 1 minute, stir and microwave another 30 seconds. Stir well to make sure there are no solid pieces. Microwave another 15 seconds if needed. Using a fork, dip each cookie in the chocolate, tap the side of the bowl to remove excess chocolate and place on wax paper. Do this with each color. Let cookies set. I use a paring knife to carve around the cookies to clean up the edges.
Put about 1/2 of the other bags of melting chocolates in a ziplock bag, microwave 1 minute, knead the bag and microwave another 30 seconds. Knead the bag to make sure there are no solid pieces. If the chocolate is too thick, like my purple was, add a tablespoon or 2 of vegetable oil in the bag then knead to make sure it’s well mixed. I melted a about 1/4 of a bag of black to start to make the eyes and snipped off a small tip of the corner of the ziplock bag. Don’t cut the hole too big because melted chocolate is runny and will pour out of the hole without having much control. I put 2 large dots of black chocolate on the cookies then used to toothpick to spread the chocolate to make the eye shape. You have to work fast because the chocolate will start to harden as you shape. I did a few by piping the eye shape with chocolate then filled in with more chocolate, like you do when using royal icing on sugar cookies. This was OK but found making the dots worked better. I made 2 cookies with eyes in white chocolate but didn’t ever decorate those. They disappeared so I’m guessing my Hubby ate those…nothing ever wasted here! But, I have done these in white in sugar cookies and used the purple, green and yellow colors to make my designs. They are really pretty if you want to have all the cookies the same color but with all the Mardi Gras colors. Anything goes. Let those all set.
Then, melting each of my other colors the same way I started making my designs. Again, anything goes…just have fun with it. Just make sure to let each design set before adding more. If your bags of chocolates harden in between use just stick it in the microwave for 30 seconds, pinch the hole closed and knead the bag. Add 15-30 seconds more till the chocolate melts.
I decided to make some Mardi Gras beads on the rest of the cookies I dipped in white chocolate. When doing this, leave a space between each dot, then let set and add the dots in between. This way you don’t end up with a long line of chocolate. The chocolate will run together if put side by side. Spacing the dots will give you a beaded look. Repeat with each color weaving the string of beads around each other.
Now, your cookies are finished. I have mine on a platter to take to the office but if you want to put these in bags as gifts you can do that once they are set. I used the candy bags for pretzel rods. They fit perfect, you just need to cut off the excess length. I did these a few different ways. I tied thin purple, green and yellow ribbons on one end and did some with the ribbons on both ends. I took some little Mardi Gras pins and added those to the bags. This would make a nice favor so your guests will still have the pin after the cookie was gone. I had some little purple, green and yellow feathers in a box in the garage but it was too hard to get to. But, that would be really cute to tuck some feathers into the tied ribbon. And that’s it! Happy Mardi Gras! 🙂