The other day at work, my co-worker’s daughter came in excited about something she had just made: a sugar skull.
Of course I had to take a picture of it. And, of course, I had to share it here. This is what it looked like.
Rather a cheerful, bloke . . . er skull, eh?
Here’s the recipe:
1 teaspoon water
1 teaspoon meringue powder
1 cup sugar
Mix with your hands in a small bowl. It should resemble coarse, wet sand. If you press your finger in the sugar and it holds your fingerprint, it is ready to put in the mold. If it doesn’t hold the shape, spritz some water on the sugar and mix it well.
Press the sugar into your mold. Carefully tap it out of the mold. Let your skull dry over night. Decorate by adding colored frosting, sequins, flowers, and other baubles from the craft store.
This one has sequins as part of the eyes. When I took the picture, the flash glared off the right eye making the eyes rather eery.
When you make these with younger grandchildren, I recommend that you just decorate the skulls with them. They may not have the skills or the patience to make the sugar to put into the mold.
I took a moment to learn about Mexican Sugar Skulls. Isn’t this skull colorful?!?
Now, I do not particularly care for the dark, evil, creepy part of Halloween. And for me, skulls tend to fall into that category.
But, as I read up about Mexican sugar skulls, I think their origination is not necessarily dark or creepy.
Sugar Skulls are a traditional folk art from Southern Mexico and are used to celebrate Day of the Dead — October 31, November 1 and November 2.
It is a holiday to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died. Families take flowers and sugar skulls to the cemetery to decorate their graves.
If you decide to make these with your grandchildren, you could share some of the history of sugar skulls. You could even spend a few moments talking about family members who have passed away, share some of their life’s story, and honor them. Sort of like remembering people on Memorial Day who have passed away (even those who did not serve in the military).
Or, if you’d rather, tuck away this idea of making a sugar mold for a different season. You could make hearts for Valentine’s Day, Easter eggs or bunnies at Easter time, or a flag for the 4th of July. Check out your local craft store and see what kind of molds they carry. Then, use this recipe to make a mold that is more joyful and happy.