How to make Mexican Dia de los Muertos sugar skulls

Via the BB Submitterator, Internet sock-puppet pal Monkey says, "It's time to crack out the big bag-o-sugar & the molds to make this years batch of dia de los muertos sugar skulls. You'll be glad you did." As always, Monkey's instructions are straightforward enough to be accessible for younger people, and the photos really help. Link: Do it Yourself Sugar Skulls.

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  1. This person is using way too much meringue powder. For awesome molds, powder, and other cool things you didn’t even know you needed check out http://www.mexicansugarskull.com/

    PS. In my experience, often people are a little taken aback when you give them a skull. Do a little research on the holiday so you know what you’re talking about. Skulls to the living, bread to the dead.

    1. @Anon #3: Pretty much all recipes specify the same proportion: 1/4 cup of meringue powder to 5 lbs of sugar (including the site that you listed). If you think that is too much, what do you recommend?

  2. Burroughs reads that story on the ‘Dead City Radio’ album Sonic Youth put out with him. I don’t know why that album isn’t better known, it’s fantastic stuff.

  3. the recipe and proportions are from angela at mexicansugarskulls.com of course, i’m sure there are many variations and i’d love to hear about them. this particular proportion gives a very sturdy skull. i still have a few skulls i made 7 years ago lolling about the house in good condition.

    as far as my research goes, yes, skulls for the living and bread for the dead is a rule of thumb. the families i gained my knowledge from decorate their alters with skulls in memory of their departed according to their families traditions.

  4. Any ideas as to how to make a quick mold without ordering them? I’d be trying to make edible skulls, but I don’t think I want to order $10-$12 molds from the website just to give it a try.

    Any help would be much appreciated!

    1. the sugar is almost mold-able by hand with enough compression. you could try molding it into a tea cup or small bowl and then carving the features out when dry, but that seems like a lot of trouble. to my mind, the money for the molds is nothing compared to the convenience. (plus you can mold other things – chocolate, rice crispie treats, plaster, or jello in them.)

      maybe some mold making wizard over at make or instructables would have a suggestion for you. keep me posted if they do (via email, ok?)

  5. Thanks very much! I will do some experimenting and keep you posted of any successes. If it pans out, perhaps my family will be receiving morbid Santa skulls in a couple months as well :)

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