a round-up of last-minute Jack-o-lanterns to make before Halloween
and a description of the vegan sugar skulls that I made and had the girls decorate:
I might turn el Dia de los Muertos into a larger study next year (I lived for a while in Texas, so it's a celebration that I'm fond of), but these particular sugar skulls got made rather spontaneously, after the girls and I attended a yoga class at the Mathers Museum of World Cultures last week, and the craft time after the class consisted of... decorating sugar skulls! I figured that they couldn't be TOO hard to make if the instructor was willing to make two dozen of them just for small children to decorate.
It turns out that sugar skulls ARE very easy to make! Conventional sugar skull recipes call for meringue powder, but my secret trick is, if a recipe looks complicated or has weird ingredients, to search for a vegan version, and yep, cornstarch IS easier to find than meringue powder.
Will went minimalistic on her sugar skull, although she's received a lot of compliments on those creepy, sequined eyes:
She had a lot more fun, I think, and made her skull a lot more elaborate, at the Mathers, where there were a ton more things to put on the skulls that we don't have at home--rhinestones, pom poms, googly eyes in lots of sizes, feathers, etc.--so that the hoarder in me wonders if I'm stalling her creativity by not having a bunch of random crap on hand to glue to things. Perhaps I'll set a small bin in the study where we can deposit found objects of decorative potential?
Syd didn't end up gluing anything to her sugar skull, but she and I sat down together before she began and looked at lots of images of sugar skulls online, so her work ends up looking quite traditional, I think, considering that I gave her Sharpies instead of royal icing:
I LOVE how the sugar skulls turned out, and how sturdy they are:
I don't own any other large molds like this, but I'm already thinking of sugar decorations for other holidays...
DEFINITELY a sugar Christmas tree!