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Posts Tagged ‘cookies’

There is nothing like making Christmas ornaments to put one in the mood for this special time of year. And, the smells of the season help us to encapsulate a sliver of time that will last as a memory for years—perhaps a lifetime. Some of the smells that activate good Christmas memories for me are seasonings such as cinnamon. I think that is why I like making these ornaments. This is more than a children’s activity though with proper supervision, it proves to be a fun thing to do with kids.

I bought these cookie cutters years ago to make sugar cookies, but they did not work very well no matter what I tried so I have been using them for cinnamon ornaments for almost 15 years now. I love the way they turn out. This is the process I use.

I use a ratio of 1 cup cinnamon to 1 cup plain applesauce. I usually double or triple this amount each time.  Note that extra cinnamon is needed for dusting the cutting board and cookie cutters. I protect my cutting board with foil and use wax paper or plastic wrap on top of the dough to protect my rolling pin.

I measure and then stir ingredients until well blended being sure that there are no dry or wet pockets. I tend to mix with my hands to finish. I then dust my board with small amount of cinnamon adding a bit to the top of the dough. Next, I roll out dough using wax paper or plastic wrap as a shield until the dough is about 1/3 inch thick. By this time I have my foil lined cookie sheet ready to go. I cut shapes being sure the cutters are packed full, then releasing to cookie sheet. I repeat until I have enough ornaments or when dough becomes too dry. I use a straw to make a hole at the top of each ornament for a ribbon hanger—this is important.

After the shapes have been cut and begin to dry, they will tend to curl, so I turn them over a few times a day transferring them to wire cookie racks when they have dried a bit. It takes a few days for them to dry completely. This year is the first time I have used the oven to help me dry the ornaments. If you use this method, don’t heat higher than 200 degrees for more than 2 ½ hours. I noticed some uneven shrinkage, so I will return to the no-heat method next time. This photo was taken before drying.

After the ornaments are dry, I insert a ribbon hanger in each and then package individually.

Other tips:  I dust the cutters with cinnamon between each cut. After I cut each ornament, I smooth the edges of each shape and usually date the back, but I skipped adding the date this year. If I have to break away like I did this year, I cover the bowl containing the dough ball with a wet towel. Here are the ornaments packaged and ready to be sold. These are for the church’s restoration fund.  Each one has a note that says to be sure not to eat and to keep away from children-decoration only.

Happy Gardening and may you enjoy all of your adventures this time of year!

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