DIY Cinnamon Ornaments Makes for Perfect (and long lasting) Holiday Fun
Ahhhh … the nose knows; especially when it comes to the holidays. There are certain, unmistakable late December scents and aromas that just scream Christmas! Top of the list for lots of folks — Cinnamon.
Cinnamon has been around for thousands of years. In the Middle East and Asia, it was and is still used as a savory spice. It was only around the 16th Century when Europeans came to know cinnamon that its unique flavor was added to sweets and desserts.
There’s a whole lot more history and many more fun facts about cinnamon, but for now … we’re talking Christmas!
There are literally hundreds, if not thousands of DIY ideas floating about out there for the holidays. This one – which I had never heard – comes from Green Diva Gina.
GD Gina and her mom Katie have made this amazingly aromatic ornaments in years past, and GD Gina tells me they smell as good today as they did when they first came out of the oven.
An observation … or is it a “smell-er-vation?
I put a batch in the oven about an hour ago … I cannot describe how wonderful my house smells! WOW!
Here’s what you need
- 3/4 cup applesauce – since I had some apples past their prime, I made my own. Peel and quarter apples. I boil them until they are just soft. Puree. Done.
- Cinnamon – about 4-ounces
- 2 teaspoons Glue – this tip comes from Green Diva Katie who happens to be Green Diva Gina’s mamma.
- Cookie cutters – I’ve been moving my box of cookie cutters from one home to the other for at least 18 years!
- Colorful ribbon – scraps I’ve kept for just this type of an occasion.
- Cooking spray
Makes 12 to 15 ornaments.
Here’s what you do
1. Preheat oven to 200°F. I’m using my CONVECTION oven as I think the hot air will dry the ornaments just a bit faster.
2. Mix applesauce and cinnamon until you get a smooth ball of dough. Green Diva Katie suggests adding the glue here to get everything to stick together better. Good idea!
4 . Peel off top sheet of paper, grab those cookie cutters and have at it!
4a. Here’s where you may need to use a bit of flour on your cookie cutter and your hands. This is UBER sticky stuff.
6. Make a hole at top of ornament – use a drinking straw or skewer or what-have-you or in my case, a fancy bottle pourer (this is NOT rocket science!).
7. Bake 2 and a half hours.
8. Cool ornaments on wire rack for up to 2-days or until thoroughly dry. Turn them over once in awhile.
9. Run ribbon through the hole, tie into a loop and hang.
Having gotten a little bored with cookie cutting, I decided to do my own thing — what else is new?!? I floured my hands picked up some dough and simply started “making worms” (we’ve just always called them that). The “worms” turned into funky Christmas trees, balls and even initials for my Green Diva sisters! There’s an “M” for GD Meg; an “S” for GD Sara and …. 2 “Gs” for GD Gina … hard to see but at the top right hand corner is what looks like a backwards 7. That is the Greek letter “G” – or Gamma – because in case you didn’t know, our GD Gina is Greek American.
Now, the cinnomony cookie ornaments sure do smell yummy, but for some folks, they may look a little blah. So decorate them! Use Sharpie markers, glue on doo-dads or what-have-you, paint the surface with a little glue and sprinkle with glitter, old nail polish … the possibilities are endless! Just go Christmas crazy!
I have some “puff paints” left over from a T-shirt painting project last summer, and I always keep acrylic craft paint handy. I used both. On my “artsy” tree, I dapped white puff paint. I got 3-dimensional snow balls, whereas Mr. Gingerbread was gussied up with acrylic craft paints complete with gold tipped purple buttons, a big red smile and brilliant blue eyes.
GD Gina tells me to store these aromatic gems, place them in an airtight container and when it’s opened again next year and the ornaments are put on your tree, the smell of Christmas will invade your home once again. In fact, GDG says, the smell – while it will fade a bit – has lasted in her home at least 15-years!
Merry Smelly (in a good way) Christmas Everyone!