Friday, December 21, 2012

Cinnamon Applesauce Ornaments

121221_CPE_cinnamon ornaments

These fragrant decorations are a wonderful sensory project to make with kids. Your home will smell delicious for days, and the finished ornaments carry the warm smell of cinnamon for years. This season, we used them as package decorations for the boys' gifts to family, friends, and teachers.

These can take several days to air-dry, but you can have finished ornaments within a day or two by using the oven or a dehydrator.

This recipe calls for glue to help make solid, long-lasting ornaments. These are not edible: Be sure your children know the dough is not safe to eat. I've tried fully edible versions, which omit the glue, but we all were frustrated with the crumbly results. If you're craving spiced cookies after this project, wash your cookie cutters and make Agave Gingerbread People!

Cinnamon Applesauce Ornaments

2 cups applesauce
2 cups ground cinnamon (feel free to work in other favorites, such as allspice, cloves, or cardamom)
1/4 cup white glue

In a bowl, stir together cinnamon, glue, and 1 1/2 cups applesauce. If dough is dry, gradually add remaining applesauce as needed to get a workable dough. If the dough ends up too wet, add more cinnamon.

Briefly knead dough on a board dusted with cinnamon. Roll out to 1/4-inch thickness. Use cookie cutters to make shapes and set on a baking sheet covered with a silicone mat, waxed paper, or foil. If you want to hang your ornaments, be sure to poke a hole at the top — a straw works nicely.

To dry: Dry in an oven set no higher than 200 degrees for a few hours, turning every so often. Remove to a wire rack and continue to air dry as needed. If you have a dehydrator, use it!

Hang dried decorations as-is, or get out the glue, glitter, and sequins and decorate as you wish. Enjoy!

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