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sugar skull cookies


Flowers, food, bright colors, music and sharing memories — Dia de los Muertos is a lot more sweet than scary – and Sugar Skulls have been a part of the celebration for centuries. These Sugar Skull Sugar Cookies are a simplified version of the traditional sugar molds, making them much easier (and faster) to create and enjoy. 



1 1/2 cups Dixie Crystals Extra Fine Granulated Sugar

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour*

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, very soft

1 large egg

2 teaspoons vanilla extract


1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

*Spoon & Sweep method: Use a spoon to fill measuring cup with flour until required amount is obtained. Scooping measuring cup directly into flour bag will firmly pack flour resulting in too much flour required for recipe.


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Beat butter until very light and creamy. Add sugar and continue mixing until light and fluffy. Add egg, vanilla, and salt and beat until very well combined.
  3. Sift flour, baking soda and cream of tartar together and add in one step to above. Mix until dough forms. Do not over mix.
  4. Press dough about 1/2-inch thick onto a plastic food film lined cookie sheet and place in the refrigerator for 30-60 minutes or overnight.
  5. Roll dough on evenly sugared kitchen towel 1/4-inch thick. Using a skull shaped cookie cutter, cut out and place on parchment or lightly buttered cookie sheets.
  6. Place in oven and bake until very pale and edges are very light golden, about 9 minutes.
  7. Prepare royal icing while cookies cool. Tint/color royal icing based on your cookie decoration and decorate with mini M&Ms, chocolate covered sunflower seeds, mini chocolate chips, and sprinkles.