Celebrating the Day of the Dead
I don't remember any interest in Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebrations around here before this year, but because the National Honey Board sent me a recipe and good art and I got an e-mail from a reader about the holiday, I decided it's worthy of a post.
How can you not love a recipe that "makes 50 small skulls"?
Day of the Dead has always fascinated me more than Halloween for some reason. (Teenagers coming to my door with no costumes demanding candy has nothing to do with it.) ...
Here's the e-mail I got from Tara:
...I am trying to find molds to make mexican sugar skulls for an at home Dias De Los Muertos celebration. Do you or any of your readers know of somewhere locally I could purchase these molds? I have tried Michaels, but no. Maybe a mexican grocery I wasn't aware of? I was going to order them online but the shipping for this short a time is outrageous (I've never been good at planning ahead). Thanks!
I had no idea, but I suggested Something Else (1611 Sulgrave Ave.) in Mount Washington because I got my Day of the Dead figurines there.
Then I got a second e-mail from Tara saying she had found the molds at Milagro (1005 W. 36th St.) in Hampden.
Anyway, this is the recipe I got from the National Honey Board. Honey, apparently is "a customary ingredient that, according to legend, gives a unique sweetness to the journey from life on earth to life after death."
I couldn't figure out why I was getting a recipe that had only one tablespoon of honey in it, but then I realized most folks will still have to buy a whole jar of honey to make it (and then watch the honey slowly crystallize as they never get around to making anything with the rest.)
Makes 50 small skulls
2 egg whites
1 tablespoons pure honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups granulated sugar
Combine egg whites, honey and vanilla extract; mix well. Pour honey mixture over sugar. With your hands, thoroughly combine sugar and honey until you have a consistency similar to wet sand. (Mixture should form a ball when squeezed in your hand.)
Tightly pack the sugar mix into the skull molds and wipe off excess. Invert onto a flat surface and allow to dry for 24 hours.
Decorate skulls using royal icing,* sequins and/or edible paint.
*Royal Icing: 1 egg white for every 3 cups of powdered sugar. Add food coloring of your choice. Mix ingredients until completely blended.
(Photo courtesy of the National Honey Board)