However, with two little ones in a bilingual school, the shift of candy, horror films and slimy gore has turned into understanding the culture and history of Dia de los Muertos or “Day of the Dead.”
Not always able to find ways to help my kids learn about Dia de los Muertos, I was excited to find this recipe in a new organic cookbook SPOOKtacular Gluten-Free Halloween Desserts. A marriage made in heaven, this cookbook by Kanta and Vitura Barrios, also celebrates both Halloween and Dia de los Muertos through food with an added healthy bonus of gluten-free and dairy-free cooking.
So I’m sharing the recipe the Barrios family has given my permission to share in hopes you too will appreciate and enjoy just one part of a beautiful, cultural event, Dia de los Muertos.
- Using an electric mixer, beat the egg white for a few seconds before adding the sugar and half of the lemon juice.
- The icing’s consistency should be smooth and heavy cream-like.
- Add the remaining lemon juice (and more if you feel it’s needed) one drop at a time. You may also add more sugar to suit your liking.
- Just a few drops of liquid, more or less, will alter the icing’s consistency.
- We recommend a thicker icing for outlining the cookie, and thinner icing for filling out the inside.
- Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
- In a mixing bowl, beat the oil, sugar, egg, and vanilla until the mixture is a creamy consistency.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and ground pecans.
- Add the dry mixture to the oil mixture and beat well.
- Transfer the mixture to a board, and knead it just enough to make it a dough.
- Sprinkle some flour on the counter, and roll the dough to ¼-inch thickness. If you are making skulls, cut out the shape using the template provided.
- For the Catrinas, follow the template provided or find a gingerbread lady cookie cutter of a similar size.
- Place the cookies on the lined baking tray and bake for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Let the cookies cool completely before icing and decorating.
- Start by drawing the outline of the Catrina with her skirt, hat, bones, and head straight onto the cookie.
- Pick a color for the Royal Icing (red, green, or yellow) and use that color icing in a piping bag with a #3 tip to outline the skirt and hat. Once the icing sets, fill in the skirt and hat with the same color. Let the icing set.
- Using white icing in the piping bag with a #3 tip, outline the skull, vertebrae, ribs, bone arms, and fingers.
- Fill the eyes, nose, and mouth with the black icing, using a #2 tip.
- Finish with design details on the skirt, hat, and earrings using another color or colors and the #2 tip.