I have a friend/client who every year hosts a Mardi Gras Party; this year she wanted a change to refresh the party, and asked Sydney and I if we could put a few ideas together. The Phantom of the Opera was both mine and Sydney’s first thought, and we began discussing an array of ideas. Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Phantom of the Opera has magical mystic to his operatic play; that leaves a lasting impression to the audience. We started envisioning a party in which the guests would have a similar experience.
Sydney and I began designing invitations that were shaped like masks and Sydney thought mask sugar cookies would be brilliant “name places.” Now we just needed to explain to our client/friend. I was a little apprehensive she might think we went in a completely separate direction from what she was envisioning, but she loved the idea. Whew a breathe of relief! Now the party is a little more than three weeks away. Sydney and I decided to prepare a “test run” of the Almond Mask Sugar cookies.
Mardi Gras Masks: ” Masquerade Paper Faces on Parade:”
- 1-recipe for almond sugar cookies
- 907 grams/ 7 1/2-cup icing sugar
- 180 gram/ 5 to 6 egg whitess
- 1/4-teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/4 teaspoon egg white powder, not meringue powder
- 2-teaspoons almond extract
- food color paste
- paper cones
- decorative tubes
- wooden dowels
- art brushes
- mini spatulas
- 59 gram of water to add to base as needed with 1/2-teaspoon
In the bowl of your standing mixer sift the cream of tartar and icing sugar.
Add the egg whites to the icing sugar mixture and stir by hand for about 30 seconds.
Place the bowl to your standing mixer with the whisk attachment, starting on low ( so you do not end up wearing the icing sugar) gradually increase the speed to medium high for about 2 1/2 minutes. Till the royal icing is thick, and resembles a thick piping texture . Once the icing sugar is thick stop the mixer, as to not add too much excess air.
Now for the fun decorating!
If raw egg whites are a concern here is a recipe for royal icing using meringue powder instead.
Royal Icing with Meringue Powder:
- 80 grams/ 14 cup. plus 2 Tablespoons meringue powder, (NOT EGG WHITE POWDER)
- 236 grams/ 1-cup water
- 907 grams/ 7 1/2-cups icing sugar
- 2-teaspoon almond extract
- Food Color Paste
- Paper Cones/ Plastic Piping bags
- Decorative tubes
- wooden dowels
- Art brushes
- Mini spatulas
- 59 grams water to add to the base as needed with 1/2 teaspoon
Follow the step by step tutorial for Meringue Powder Royal Icing.
Prepare your mise en place, including paper cones, decorating bags, and piping tubes. Sydney and I found for adding the icing sugar prior to drips of water delivers the most vibrate colors.
Decorating the masks:
Out line the cookies with the same color you want the inside color to be. The royal icing for outlining should stretch without breaking the line. Using a paper cone filled 3/4 of the way (close the cone by folding left side down, top over the left side, and finally the other side). Squeeze with even pressure and outline the cookie’s shape, once the outline is dry fill in the center of the cookies, and allow the filling to completely dry. We chose to add Royal Icing piped pansies to the masks shown.
The trial run was a complete success my client loved the look of the cookies and the invitations, and we have the opportunity to tweak the decorations since her event is not until February 18th. Mardi Gras is February 21.
“Masquerade! Paper faces on parade. Masquerade! Hide your face so the world will never find you. Masquerade! Every face a different shade. Masquerade! Look around, there’s another mask behind you.”