Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Sugar Skulls for Dia de los Muertos

Last October, I did a pumpkin palooza program that was fun for the whole family. This year, my town was putting on a Halloween/pumpkin thing, so I decided to take my October in a different direction: I made Dia de los Muertos sugar skulls with my tweens. 

I took a lot of instructions and ideas from this website and I highly recommend you check them out. I didn't try another type of meringue powder - I just straight up ordered the one they recommended - but it worked like a charm so I'm willing to believe their expertise on pretty much everything here. 

Anyway, I bought myself one of these pans and the right meringue power and was ready to rumble. Oh, and sugar. LOTS of sugar. Like, a huge bag from Costco. 

I started prepping two days beforehand. I figured that would give me time to find alternate solutions just in case everything fell apart. The Mexican sugar skull ladies knew what they were talking about, though, and it all worked like a dream. 

So first, I made the skulls: 

I had 25 kids signed up for the program and I made 30 skulls just in case. 

Once they came out of the mold, I just let them air dry. 

The pan I bought would have allowed a front and back of the head, but I decided it was too much trouble to do all the scooping, etc., that the sugar skull ladies recommended for large skulls, so I stuck with just the fronts. 

On the day of the program, I made a bunch of frosting in bags and put out sprinkles and mini chocolate chips.

Rubber band the back of the bags! You would not believe how much frosting kids
can squeeze out the back of the bag if you don't! (Yes, this is bitter bitter experience talking, here)

Then I let them go at it. 

I wanted to give the kids a chance to make skulls themselves, so I bought one of these candy molds and had four kids come up at a time to make their own tiny skulls. We mixed the sugar, the meringue powder, and the water and pressed it into the molds. Then we popped them out and I put them out to dry by a fan. 

I was hoping the small size plus the fan would be enough to dry them in an hour, but results were varied. Some worked, some fell apart completely. I did feel it added to the program, though, so I would probably do this again despite the number of crushed skulls. 

This tiny decorated skull had "Princess Leia buns" according to its creator,
but I can't help but see Carmen Miranda. Just me?
All in all, it was a fun program that yielded pretty spectacular results. 

As far as consumability: I told the kids that everything was technically edible, but that it probably wasn't a good idea to eat it considering how long it had been out in the open air. They also learned first hand that the skulls were maybe not the cleanest things when they dug their hands into the sugar mixture to make the mini skulls. 

Feliz Dia de los Muertos! May your carpets remain frosting free!

1 comment:

  1. Stunning result and superb creative!



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