Just about this time of year, Ruth and I have a tradition of making sugar skulls for Halloween. Yeah, I know. You’d think two old ladies would grow up and settle for giving out caramel apples and popcorn balls. Nope. We just love Halloween, and we like to give out little sugar skulls to those whose costumes are special.
For us, giving out sugar skulls is like awarding an Academy Award. Only the best costumes that come to our door merit our special sugar skull reward. They must possess originality of thought and execution (no pun intended), show creativity, be just spooky or horrific enough to startle or amuse, and rate in the upper quadrant of our 1-10 mental score sheet.
Sorry, all you Cinderellas, only spooky Halloween costumes get our sugar skulls. You see, Ruth and I are serious about Halloween.
So, we make sugar skulls. I bought two sugar skull molds many years ago while visiting Mexico for a celebration called Day of the Dead (aka Dia de los Muertos for our Spanish-reading readers). Our smaller mold is 2-1/2 inches in diameter, and the larger sugar skull mold is 3-1/2 inches in diameter (across the widest part of the sugar skull shape).
Sugar skulls are easy to make. We follow the directions on the sugar skull mold package, and we’ve never had a problem. Basically, for each cup of granulated sugar used, add one teaspoon of meringue powder and one teaspoon of water. Mix well so the sugar becomes moistened with the water and has the consistency of beach sand. Pack the sugar mixture into the molds, turn the sugar skulls out of the molds, and let the sugar skulls air dry about 12 hours.
After the sugar skulls are completely dry and hard, Ruth and I decorate them. We use royal icing in various colors to pipe designs onto our sugar skulls. Some have been quite creative over the years, and many trick-or-treaters beg for a sugar skull at our door.
By the way, a five pound bag of granulated sugar makes about 20 medium sugar skulls, which is just enough to award to those special ghoulies and ghosties on Halloween night.