In Mexico the Sabbat of Samhain is celebrated as Día de los Muertos, or the Day of the Dead. OK technically it is the two days after but I'm close. It is during these days that they clean the tombstones of their ancestors and offer up prayers for them.
They also have the tradition of making sugar skulls. And while I have never made one of these I wanted to share the recipe with you all.
Mix together well in large bowl:
1 teaspoon Meringue Powder for every cup of granulated sugar used. Mix dry ingredients well. Sprinkle sugar mixture with 1 teaspoon water per cup of sugar used.
Mix well with hands until every bit of sugar is moistened. If your fingerprints remain when you squeeze the sugar in your hand, it is ready to mold. It should feel like cool "beach sand."
If it doesn't hold together, mixture is too dry.
Remember, water sinks, so keep the sugar mixture mixed up frequently as you make your sugar skulls.
Pack sugar mixture FIRMLY into mold with special attention to chins & edges. Use a straight edge to scrape the back of the mold flat. Pack down some more until perfectly tight.
Place a stiff cardboard square (approx. 5" x 6") over mold and invert immediately.
Lift mold off carefully. Throw any "mistakes" back into your bowl, stir up and try again.
If mix is too dry, spritz with a water bottle.
To decorate you are going to need some Royal Icing; Mix 2/3 cup water, 1/2 cup meringue powder and 2 pounds powdered sugar with an electric/stand mixer until icing peaks (about 9 minutes!)
In this you can mix different colors to 'paint' on the skull.
All of this is courtesy of http://www.mexicansugarskull.com/sugar_skulls/instructions.html
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Sunday, October 9, 2011