Remember the cinnamon-applesauce ornaments you or your children made in preschool, girl/boy scouts or as a fun activity at home with the family? I sure do and since I'm in the process of making handmade decorations for our Christmas tree, I wanted to give this age old technique for making ornaments another try.
The house (and my hands) smell cinnamon-y wonderful! This is probably the best recipe I've used to make these ornaments. And, depending upon the size of the cookie cutter or template you use, you can get anywhere from a dozen to a dozen and a half ornaments from one batch.
One thing to remember is, you can't be in a hurry with these. Of course they are very simple to mix and cut out, but then you must be very patient to let them dry COMPLETELY. You should carefully turn them over during the drying process to insure they are well dried on both sides. I also stuck them in a warm oven at 150 degrees for a couple of hours to speed drying and setting...just be sure to watch them carefully! You aren't baking them! You are merely drying them.
After they are completely dry you can decide if you want to decorate and/or paint them or leave them natural. I really like the brown color and grainy texture of them left plain, but did pull out a couple tubes of Liquid Pearls in red and white to decorate my gingerbread men and a jar of beads and some wire for the stars.
Really a very easy project! They smell wonderful and it is a fun project to involve the kids in...whether youngsters or young-at-heart.
Here is the recipe. I hope you'll give it a try.
- 1 cup of cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon of ground nutmeg
- 1/2 cup of warm applesauce (I warmed the applesauce in the microwave for a few seconds. Be sure to drain excess water)
- 2 tablespoons of white "school glue". Elmers works fine
- Warm up the applesauce in the microwave oven or on the stove top just until warm (not hot!)
- Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl and knead to a stiff dough. You can also put all of the ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer (I used my kitchenade with a dough hook).
- If the "dough" appears too dry, add small amounts more of applesauce just a little at a time. You don't want the dough to be sticky though. It should just hold together enough to allow it to keep from falling apart.
- Roll out the dough between sheets of foil or parchment paper. By rolling between the layers of foil or paper you'll get a smooth piece of dough to work with.
- Roll it out to 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Do NOT roll too thin. The ornaments will be delicate and while the thinner you roll them will allow them to dry more quickly, they also will break much easier.
- Be patient and allow your ornaments to dry completely. It may take 24 to 48 hours but you'll be so happy you waited patiently.
Until next time,