Monday, February 20, 2012

Mardi Gras Trio Cookies

Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday) begins tomorrow--the day before Ash Wednesday.  This festival of celebration may be different from city to city, but for many it means the last day of eating rich, fatty foods ;-D  My memory of Mardi Gras centers around my mother making pancakes on Shrove Tuesday; something we all looked forward to as the special treat of having breakfast for dinner and then, talking about what we would give up for Lent. 

Today, my daughter, Erin was very ambitious and made this beautiful King's Cake in the celebratory colors.
Maddie holds up the King Cake they'll eat tomorrow!
Since I spent most of the day in my studio, working hard, I opted for a quicker treat to bake.  The Trio Cookies are rolled in sparkling sugars in the traditional colors for Mardi Gras~Purple represents Justice ~ Gold represents Power ~ Green represents Faith and they're flavored appropriately to add a little surprise.

Mardi Gras Trio Cookies
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp. Vanilla extract
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
3 cups King Arthur all-purpose flour (plus another 1/4 cup when mixing in the flavorings)

1/4 cup Pistachios, finely chopped
1/2 tsp. Almond extract
1/2 tsp. Blackberry flavoring 
1/2 tsp. Lemon extract
1 tsp. Lemon zest

Preheat oven o 350F-degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, cream the butter until fluffy.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then, with the mixer running on medium, slowly add the sugar.  Mix in the vanilla extract and scrape down the sides again.

In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking soda and salt.  Add it to the dough, while the mixer is on low.  When all of the dry ingredients are added, turn off the mixer and scrape the dough onto a bread board.
  Divide the dough into thirds for adding the different flavors and colors.
 One, by one, I place a third of the dough in a bowl and stirred in the flavorings I was adding.  You're welcome to be creative and choose the flavorings you want to go with the colors.
Once all the flavorings have been added, pinch off enough dough to make a 1-inch ball and roll into the appropriate colored sugar.
Place on the lined baking sheet.
 Press the balls together and place the baking sheet into the preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes.  The coolies should have a "golden brown" color around the edges.  Remove from the oven and let cool about 5 minutes before transferring to a rack to cool completely.
 I know my family would eat each colored ball separately to savor the flavors better and tomorrow, I will make pancakes.  What is your family tradition for Mardi Gras?  "Laissez les bons temps rouler" --Let the good times roll!  Enjoy!!    



  1. Those cookies look so fun and festive!

  2. My family tradition would be to go out to a street carnival. Oh, right, non here in Denver. I miss my German carnival a lot!
    We bake "Fassnachtskuechle" for Fassnacht. It also shows the tradition to use up all the fat in your pantry before lent. My dad's side of the family is catholic.

    1. My paternal grandparents were Catholic and my maternal grandfather, but we were raised in the Episcopal faith, but the Lent tradition was pretty much the same. I love Fassnachtskuechle, which are very similar to the Paczki I've made, except they're fried. That would be a good choice for Mardi Gras! Thank you for sharing!

  3. My husband and I was just talking about what the colors represented. Those cookies look wonderful.

  4. I like the way you did all the colors of mardi gras and thanks for the explaination...I didn't know what the colors meant.
    stamping sue

  5. Good evening my Dear friend

    I feel like I have been away for so long..I had to visit. Little Maddie has grown so big..I bet Ari is growing too. How have you been? I hope relaxing a little....

    Sending all my love from across the miles.
    Love you

  6. Oh yum! Hope things are going well with you! Moving along here... somehow it will all get done!

  7. These cookies are very festive and I too had no idea that the colors meant anything, thanks for sharing that bit of information.

  8. This looks so yummy and colorful!!!