sup epalz! today i made calaveras, otherwise known as sugar skulls, with the children and nullcherri (technically a bunch of other people were also here but they didn't make calaveras so they don't count). the recipe i use is from my grandmother and is the same one used throughout mexico, and central and latin america:
first you will need to find calaveras molds, or at least some sort of skull shaped mold. the ones i use are oaxacan and made of plastic, but you can find a variety products by searching "day of the dead molds" or "calaveras molds". also now is the time of year when they are carried in most hispanic or latino markets. I love these guys: http://www.mexicansugarskull.com/sugar_skulls/index.html
the ingredients are mixed as follows: for every cup of granulated sugar, add 1 teaspoon meringue powder & 1 teaspoon water. mix evenly with hands until it reaches the texture of beach sand. add paste food coloring to the mix if you wish to tint the skulls. water food coloring will throw off the mix so add slightly less water. make a batch of sugar base sized depending on how big of molds you are using. today we used mini molds so i made 4cups. this yielded roughly 35 mini skulls.
pack mold full with sugar and tamp down. use a thick flat piece of cardboard to tamp and then scrape off excess until back is flat. let sit for about 10mins for mini, 20mins for small, 30mins for medium, 40 for large, and 1hr for the extra large (6 cups of sugar base per skull) calaveras. if making large size calaveras, hollow out the back before removing from molds.
preheat oven to 200F. on foiled baking sheet, invert molds and work to gently eject the calaveras. bake in the oven for 10-30mins depending on size, until hardened. let cool.
decorate with royal icing. i use Alton Brown's recipe because it is supremely easy, but any royal icing recipe will do. tint to the colors you like, and pipe decorations onto skulls, also using sequins, feathers, and various other decorations.