Grab your apron and rolling pin! We’re baking up some cookies that just might raise the dead! Well, at the very least these cookies will help praise the dead. Day of the Dead celebrations are about gathering the family and remembering ancestors. If this sounds like the beginning of a party to you, then we’re on the same page.
During the traditional festivities of Día de Muertos, offering tables are filled with sweet rolls, flowers and candies alongside the favorite foods of deceased ancestors to honor and remember them. This is where what is commonly known as sugar skulls, or calaveras would also be offered. Though typically made of sugar through and through, we thought they deserved a delicious and decorated twist, so the obvious choice for us was decorated sugar cookies. When building your ofrendas (offering tables in español) mix these Sugar Skull cookies into the display for a twist on tradition.
Before you start baking, get tips on how to plan a Day of the Dead party right here. When the party is over send your guests home with a keepsake cookie favor.
These cookies are the brainchild of our favorite cookie decorator, Cherylin. Check out what she keeps her cookie jar filled with on her Instagram, @treat_yo_self_treats.
Sugar Cookie Dough
The dough and icing recipes can be found here along with in-depth directions. On top of the cookie and icing ingredients, I recommend making a few different color icings for the details, a food-safe marker to plan out your design, this template and a fresh, clean paintbrush.
- Once you have made the dough and chilled it for an hour, print and cut out the skull template.
- Cut out as many cookies as your dough will yield and chill in the fridge for a minimum of 30 minutes and up to a day.
- Heat oven to 325° and bake for 10-12 minutes.
- Allow them to cool completely.
Prepare the icing recipe found here. This recipe makes enough for about 4 batches of dough, so I recommend halving it.
- Divide the icing into bowls according to how many colors you will be using. Make sure there is enough of your base cookie color, whether it is white, black or a specific color.
- When coloring your icing, keep all of the detail colors pretty thick, only adding a few drops of water to thin it down. The thicker the icing, the better it will hold the detail.
- Thin down your base color to a 20-second icing so that it spreads easily, but is not too running. Reference 20-second icing consistency here.
Dab some icing on the middle of the cookie, and use the brush to smooth it out across the surface. This will be the peek of color inside of the eyes and nose.
Once completely dry, use a food-safe marker to draw guides for the eyes and nose on top of the part that was just painted with icing.
Apply white icing on the guide and around the border of the cookie to hold in the icing.
Fill the area with white icing and allow to dry, 12-24 hours depending on humidity.
Using your food safe marker, plan our your details for the rest of the design.
Pipe over your guide work using a variety of colors and allow this portion to dry completely.
Fill the teeth in with white and allow to dry before plating or transporting.
Make your to the cookie platter sparkle with the Silver Round Placemats.
Cut the black tassel garland and tie them onto bagged cookies as a festive favor.
Share these sweet Sugar Skulls on Pinterest!