Sunday, November 2, 2008

Dia de los Muertos ~ Sugar Skulls

My daughter Tawny currently wants to be a high school Spanish teacher. She's been taking Spanish off and on since she was in the first grade. Last year, at the last minute, she asked me to make Pan de Muertos for her Spanish class. I had no time to make it then she asked for Sugar Skulls. I had no time or supplies to make those either, but told her I'd make them next year. Well... it's next year... so here are the Sugar Skulls. (Last year I did make some pretty cool cookies. I'll post them after this!)

Dia de los Muertos is a Mexican holiday that honors family and friends who have died. It takes place on November 1 and November 2. Sugar Skulls would be used to decorate alters built to honor the dead.

Making the Sugar Skulls was much easier that I thought it would be. I picked up some skull molds from our local Mexican market, Reyna Foods, in Pittsburgh's Strip District.

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The molds I bought could be used for chocolate or sugar. Since I was using them for sugar, they needed to be cut apart.

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Then make sure you have enough stiff cardboard to turn your molds onto.
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To make the Sugar Skulls you need:
1 C Sugar
1 tsp Meringue Powder
1 tsp Water

I doubled the recipe.

Mix Sugar
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And Meringue Powder
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Stir until well blended
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Sprinkle with water
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Mix well with hands
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It should feel like beach sand.

FIRMLY pack molds with sugar
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With a straight edge, scrape off the extra sugar until smooth.
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Immediately turn mold onto cardboard.
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Carefully lift mold off.
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Keep going until you run out of sugar.
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Now let these air day for at least 8 hours or overnight.

Now they are ready to decorate!

I made Royal Icing to decorate. These are completely edible, but aren't really very tasty. They are better for decoration.

Sugar Skulls aren't scary, they're bright and festive!

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Sugar Skulls aren't just to decorate alters, they can be given as gifts too.
It's a really fun family project too. If your kids take Spanish in school. Do this with them next year. Maybe they can get some extra credit!

Oh... and this is Tawny. She was in the Flamenco Troupe last year and the year before. =)

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1 comment:

Bob said...

Awesome. But then, I just love skulls. :D