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dia de los muertos + vegan skull sugar cookies

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around the world, different cultures have celebrations honoring the dead in some way.  in America, we have Halloween (OBVIOUSLY), in Mexico, it’s Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead), and All Saint’s Day is celebrated throughout Russia, Latin America and so on.  the one i wish we celebrated here in the US is Dia de los Muertos – i love the traditional decorations and the art that is inspired by this holiday.  it’s celebrated right after Halloween, on November 1st.   many families build altars or shrines in their homes to honor the deceased.

the decorations and skulls associated with this holiday make awesome halloween costumes, and it requires face paint! check hers out:

she used the normal costume make up you can purchase at any halloween store.  using powder helps keep the white even looking and used black eyeliner around the corners of her mouth.

the most common symbol of this holiday is the skull – also called “Calavera.” the skull is used in costumes, or in the form of food, that you give to both the living and the dead. in a little diversion from traditional sugar skulls, Mr. Vegan Eats and Treats went ahead and made his own version: skull-adorned sugar cookies!  his recipe:

Vegan Sugar Cookie Recipe:  36 cookies.

1 cup margarine 3 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup white sugar 2 teaspoons baking powder
2 whole egg replacements (Ener-G) 1/4 cup tofu cream cheese (Tofutti)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

1.  In a large bowl, cream together the margarine and sugar. Stir in the egg replacements and vanilla. Gradually add the flour, baking powder and tofu cream cheese. You may have to use your hands at this point to finish the mixing. Form the dough into a long loaf and wrap in cellophane. Refrigerate for a couple hours.
2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease the cookie sheets or use a non-stick foil.
3. On a lightly floured surface (we taped down a sheet of non-stick foil to our countertop instead), roll out the dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters. Place about 1 inch apart cookie on sheets.
4. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes in the preheated oven, until bottoms and edges just start to get light brown. Remove from baking sheet and cool on wire racks. Store in an airtight container.

Vegan Sugar Cookie Icing Recipe:
Each batch is enough to easily coat 24 cookies

2 cups confectioners’ sugar 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract
6-8 teaspoons of soy milk (Silk Vanilla) Assorted food coloring
4 teaspoons of light corn syrup

Directions:

1.  In medium bowl, stir together confectioners’ sugar and soy milk until smooth. Beat in corn syrup and almond extract until icing is smooth and glossy. If icing is too thick, add more corn syrup.
2. Add food coloring to desired intensity. Dip cookies and allow to dry overnight.

It’s obviously up to you how to decorate the skulls, but I love the way he decorated them! Have a great halloween and feliz dia de los muertos!

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