Tuesday, September 20, 2011

sugar skulls

I have always wanted to make sugar skulls. Not just paintings or papier mache, but real, edible sugar skulls. A few weeks ago, wandering around Michael's, as I am wont to do, I saw that Martha Stewart makes plastic skull molds.

I was delighted on one hand, and on yet another, I was also standing there, my kids spinning in circles in the fake flowers, saying, "What the Fuck?" No, really, Martha?. Skull molds? It is a strange world we live in.

I bought them.

Of course, I friggin' bought them.

Because they are called party molds, I wasn't sure how they were going to turn out for sugar skulls. Sugar skulls are both incredibly easy to make and also a wee bit of magic. My first batch was riddled with first world problems--organic unbleached sugar looks like sand, and so my skulls really looked like sand skulls, which is more DUNE than Dia de los Muertos. And I poured water into my sugar from my Brita filter and too much went in, so it was too wet, which ruined the drying time...see, first world problems.

Let me start with the recipe. One cup of sugar. One teaspoon of meringue powder. A little bit of water, like seriously four drops. Or better, get your hands wet and mix it all together. I went out and bought white sugar, unlike the above picture, and tried again. The consistency is like sand. You mix it, press it into the molds, then flip them onto some cardboard, and they should pop right now. My first brown batch didn't come out of the molds at all--too much water.

So, I mixed the second batch a day later with white sugar, and when I flipped the molds over, the white ones were perfect. I let them sit overnight.

The recipe book I have says, "Mix some food coloring into powdered sugar for icing." Yeah. That didn't work for me. It was terrible. I had cookie icing, and dyed it some colors, and used that, which was very wet. I am terrible at baking and all things delicate. So, they are truly terrible, but I did a few with Beezus screaming--MAKE IT PINK!

The only thing I like about these sugar skulls is that they look like Mexican wrestling masks. But in general, I think they are terrible. I might make some icing for them to experiment, but I really have so much stuff to do, I can't even believe I spent this much time on them. Here are the last four empty slates...still figuring these out.


Tomorrow is Mabon, and we are very excited to be feasting and getting ready for the Autumn. I will blog about our feast and our celebration. With love to all.


HereWeGoAJen said...

I just bought some food coloring markers. I bet they would work for decorating sugar skulls. I found mine at Publix, which I don't think you have there, but try the grocery store.

Amy said...

How strange ( and wonderful!) that Martha Stewart has sugar skull molds. I can see where the icing would be a problem ... nice try though! I wonder if there is anything in craft store made for decorating cakes that would work ... thicker and more controlabe yet still edible?

Nice try though and not bad for you first attempt!