Wednesday, December 9, 2015

::December:: 8/31

::Cinnamon and Spice::

This is our second year making cinnamon ornaments. They smell so good and the boys love rolling the dough. It's the next best thing to the "real dough" they say. I want to eat one every time I pass the counter where they are drying.  

Homemade Cinnamon Ornaments

What you’ll need:  (only 3 ingredients!)
1 cup of applesauce
1 1/2 cups cinnamon (I found cinnamon for $1.00 at Dollar Tree. I bought 4 bottles and only used 2 for one batch.)
2 Tablespoons cloves optional (the little boys think cloves smell very strong so I only put a pinch in, although next time I'll definitely put more as it really boosts the smell after they are dry)
Cookie cutters in different sizes (our boys are old enough at this point to be responsible with a small kitchen knife so I let them get creative with making their own shapes and designs)
String for hanging (this is the fun part! You can use your imagination and hang them with anything! I have some cute bakers twine and leather strips.)
I also added 1/4 cup glue to the mixture. This is optional. Last year I left this ingredient out (because we didn't have any on hand) but this year I did add it hoping to make the ornaments more durable. I believe it did make them a little more firm. Small confession. We still didn't have any "kid" craft glue on hand so I recruited Peter to run down to Dads shed and "borrow" some of his wood glue. This worked great! Deviating from the recipe can be a good thing! :) 
Mix 1 cup of applesauce with 1 cup of cinnamon in a large bowl. Mix, mix, mix. This is the kinda recipe where you’ll need to really incorporate the spices. Make sure you don’t miss any wet spots. Add the additional 1/2 cup of cinnamon, cloves and continue to incorporate. If it’s too wet add more cinnamon, too dry add more applesauce. But be patient. It takes time to mix so don’t add cinnamon or applesauce till you’re absolutely sure it’s well mixed. Also, you can use your hands if you'd like, but I used a spoon for the mixing part as cinnamon is very drying for the hands. Once the little guys start rolling and shaping it's not too bad because you have less contact. I kept my trusty bottle of Curel nearby for the little fingers afterwards.
Scatter some cinnamon (like if you were rolling out cookies with flour) and roll out applesauce/cinnamon dough to 1/4″ thick. If the dough is too wet it will make a huge mess and stick to your rolling pin.
Use your cookie cutters to cut out the shapes. I noticed the first time around my dough was too wet and the edges were straggly. Once I added more cinnamon the edges were clean.
Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the shapes on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. The shapes can be really close together but not touching; they won’t rise in the oven. Using a straw to carefully make a hole through each shape. Stick the ornaments in the oven for 2 hours. The juice from the applesauce needs to evaporate. The range in cooking time depends on your house, humidity and climate. My house is warm so I had them in for 2 hours and then took them out and let dry for 24 hours. Some recipes say the ornaments should be rock hard but mine do have some bend-ability. We are fine with that. If you feel like yours are too soft, give them some more time in the oven and let air dry for longer. 
We haven't decorated our ornaments yet but we plan on using fabric paint to give ours some bedazzlement. Fabric paint it perfect for this because it dries very nicely and isn't messy. Use your bakers twine, yarn or string of choice and thread through your ornaments. Also, you don't have to keep these ornaments strictly for a Christmas tree. Use them as name tags for presents and packages or place in your package for an extra spicy aroma. Make a garland with them! Our little guys want to hang a few in in their room to "make it fresh". Not a bad thing for  a little boy room right?
Enjoy and Merry Christmas!!

P.S. the ornaments are not edible. Do. not. eat.

1 comment:

  1. Hmm, maybe (some day ;-) I'll try this with my kids!..... Could u please give me your "absolutely delicious" cheese Danish recipe, that u brought Thanksgiving??