In American before Lent people celebrate Fat Tuesday with excess celebrations. In grocery stores around the country you’ll see purple, yellow and green King Cakes. A plastic baby representing baby Jesus is hidden in the cake and the person with that gets the slice with the baby gets special privileges.
The three colors are supposed to represent justice, faith and power.
In the UK they celebrate Shrove Tuesday, otherwise known as Pancake Day. The department stores are filled with frying pan and maple syrup displays. Pancakes represent all the ingredients (butter, sugar and fat) that people give up during Lent.
I used a basic sugar cookie recipe. Split the dough into three sections and made each one a different color. I was a little disappointed with the Wilton gels. They did not turn out very vibrant after being baked.
Mardi Gras Sugar Cookies
adapted from The Cookiepedia (makes 2 dozen)
3 cups plain flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 3/4 cups sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
2 tsp vanilla
Purple, yellow and green gel color
Course vanilla sugar for dusting (regular sugar will do if you don’t have any course sugar)
1. In a medium bowl sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. set aside.
2. In a large bowl beat together the butter and sugars until fluffy. Add the vanilla and eggs and beat until combined.
3. Turn the mixer to low speed and gradually add the flour mixture in three batches. Stop after all the flour has just been combined.
4. Split the dough into three equal portions and color one with green, purple and yellow.
5. Cover the bowls and refrigerate for 45 minutes minimum. Preheat the oven to 325 F/160 C. Roll 1 teaspoon of each color dough together into a 1 inch ball. Roll in the vanilla sugar and place on the baking tray. Keep the cookies 2 inches apart.
6. Press down on the cookies with your palm and bake for 12-15 minutes until lightly brown on the edges. Cool for two minutes and then place on a cooling rack. Store in an airtight container.