As I’ve said in the past, we don’t do Halloween, we celebrate our own modified version of Dia de los Muertos instead.  This year, we made sugar skulls.

It was… an experience.

I am not a baker or a chef by any stretch of the imagination.  If it doesn’t come in a package with instructions, I don’t know much about it.  In the past few years I’ve branched out, tried some new recipes, experimented with familiar ones.  But this was my first attempt ever at making Sugar Skulls.

All the recipes online said I should use something called “Meringue Powder”, but I haven’t a clue where to find this stuff.  I found a recipe in the back of our book, Festival of Bones, that called for powdered sugar and lite corn syrup. Those things I know where to find in the store!  So that’s the recipe I used.

Did you know that you have to mix this stuff by hand?  I’m not a big fan of getting my fingers gooey and sticky, in fact, I just can’t handle it.  Did you know that when you mix powdered sugar with lite corn syrup, one egg, a bit of cornstarch, and a hint of vanilla, you get something the consistency of glue?  Oh yes.  The more I tried to scrape it off my fingers, the more of it got stuck.  My wonderful husband just sat there, laughing and laughing as I tried vainly to un-sticky myself and salvage as much of the goo as I could.  I heard someone whimpering about the sticky, ooey-gooey mess, then realized that was me.  Finally, I could take it no more, and washed my hands.  Then I had to push this stuff into the molds.  I didn’t have real molds, I had some cheapo ice cube tray thingy from Walmart, but it worked.

At least, it worked until it was time to get the mess back out of the mold.  *sigh*  I managed to get a few out, but most of them looked horribly deformed.  Oh well.  Not bad for my first try!

Sugar Skulls - before
One of the better ones, at least this one doesn't have it's face caved in.

I let them dry over night, and this afternoon, each child had a chance to decorate 2 skulls.  I didn’t give them any instruction, or show them any pictures of other sugar skulls.  I just let them have at it with the food coloring and icing. We ended up with some pretty cool looking candies.

Sugar skulls - after
I let the four year old play with food coloring because I'm daring like that.

The kids had fun with the decorating, the eating… not so much.  Both GeekBoy and ThePinkDiva said it tasted “funny” and “weird.”  BigBoy, on the other hand, cracked out on the sugar. *S*

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