Each year in Mexico, and in many Hispanic communities around the United States, people celebrate the Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos) between October 31 and November 2. While it may sound a bit macabre, it's actually a joyful celebration, honoring the memories of those who have died in the past year. Today's Day of the Dead festivals are a blend of old Aztec tradition merged with modern Catholic beliefs. One of the most popular customs is that of sugar skulls, which are simple to make, and lots of fun to decorate! Make a batch of your own, and include them in your Samhain celebrations.
- 1 C granulated sugar
- 1 tsp meringue powder
- 1 tsp water
- Food coloring in your choice of colors
Blend the sugar, meringue powder, and water together, and then press into skull-shaped molds. You can get the molds at candy stores, or if you have a Hispanic marketa near you, that's an even better resource. Once the molds are filled, allow to dry for 24 hours or more.
Pop the skulls out of the molds, and put a thin layer of white icing over the skulls. Use the food coloring to decorate with bright colors -- for some great ideas of designs and patterns, check out the photo gallery at About Mexican Food: Sugar Skulls.
The above recipe makes about a dozen small sugar skulls, but you can adjust it accordingly to make more, or to make larger skulls.