Sugar Skull Cookies

22 Mar

A little while back I discovered royal icing and I can’t tell you how amazing it is. It pipes like a dream, it dries perfectly hard and if you make icing shapes on parchment paper they will dry in several days and last indefinitely. If you pipe different colors together wet they meld together like a stain glass window. So after my discovery of this amazing icing the first thing that popped into my head was of course the beautiful bright sugar skulls.sugar skulls

I don’t have a skull cookie cutter so I just used a round one and trimmed the sides away to make the cookies look like skulls. This is such a  fun cookie to make.

What you will need for decorating

  • a box of disposable piping bags
  • about 5-7 of the smallest round decorating tips you can find
  • Americolor food coloring in all your favorite colors
  • a mixer
  • 2-4 bags of royal icing mix (from a craft store)
  • a separate bowl for each color
  • a damp cloth to cover the bowls and prevent the icing from drying out.
  • several pans for drying
  • a place to allow the icing to dry for a full 24 hours.

Cut Out Cookie Recipesugar skulls 2

1 cup butter

2 eggs

1 cup sugar

3 1/2ish cups flour

2 tsp baking powder

Almond extract

Vanilla extract

Mix wet together and add dry bake at 350 for 8-12 mins depending on size.

if you really want the shapes to not spread you can freeze the cookies for 5-10 minutes before adding to the oven. freezing made little difference for me but if you do find that any dough is spreading it always helps to freeze it for about 10 mins. When I bake in the winter I just put the cut out cookies out on the rails of my deck to freeze. That’s just one of the many benefits of living in Canada.

Mix a huge batch of white royal icing following the instructions on the bag. I found for me that the icing required much less water than it called for on the bag so be careful with royal icing because you can’t come back from too much water very easily. If you do add too much you can always buy a container of meringue powder and add that and regular icing sugar to thicken it up again. If you do this though you do run the risk of getting icing that cracks and breaks very easily when it dries. Sticking with the store-bought stuff really is best for beginners because it won’t go wrong.

In several different bowls mix about a half a cup of each color. Americolor food colorings  are amazing. I found a craft store that sells them where I live. I’m sure that almost all independent hobby store will carry them. I strongly recommend them. They cost less money than the grocery store kind of food color and are infinitely better. There is no reason not to use them. Take my word for it. They can always be ordered on-line too.

Fill as many different piping bags as colors that you have and let your creative juices flow. I found that you absolutely should have all the colors ready to use at the same time. Having to rinse out and switch tips is really annoying. I suppose that a person could use couplers to avoid too much hassle but so far I haven’t had much luck with them.

I did a quick search online and found so many beautiful examples of patterns and designs and a couple of not quite so beautiful ones which were also really helpful to see what to avoid as well. Unfortunately I didn’t remember to take these photos until after the bake sale so all of the really good ones were gone but the ones that were left were okay too. I did these cookies for the design, but man, they turned out delicious. this is a cookie recipe that I will use for all the cut out cookies I do in the future.

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