Five year old me is cheering me on as I write this post. You see, 23 years ago my family made these incredible cinnamon ornaments. Our little hands rolled the dough out and used cookie cutters to make fun Christmassy shapes. We hung them on pipe cleaners and put them on the tree. They became sort of a thing – every year, we’d take them out of the ornament box, smell them, and place them on the tree. We were wondering when they’d lose their cinnamon scent. Of the couple dozen we made so many years ago, there are still about three going strong on my parents’ tree up in Alaska. And they still smell divine.
This is my little family’s first year having Christmas at our own house. That means it’s the first year for having our own tree. We bought some cheap Walmart ornaments to cover it, but the tree looked bare. I remembered those cinnamon ornaments and decided we needed a few.
Alex and I made them together. He’s a little too small for rolling dough, but he loves pressing cookie cutters into it. The only problem was that he thought this must be some kind of cookie dough and he wanted to eat it. I wouldn’t let him, and so he had to go read books with Dada while I finished alone, which brings me to the warning. WARNING: This is NOT edible even though the ingredients are. The dough will make you very, very sick – copious amounts of cinnamon have that effect. So, no matter how yummy these guys look, avoid eating them. If you’re looking for a good ginger-type cookie fix, snack on these Talkeetna Roadhouse Copycat Ginger Molasses Cookies. They’ll keep the snackies at bay 🙂
I hope you love the way cinnamon smells, because you are going to get a huge dose of it! The dough for these ornaments could not be simpler – just mix your applesauce and cinnamon together until you get a soft dough that is not sticky. I actually had to add about a 1/4 cup more cinnamon to mine because it was too sticky to work with.
Once you’ve it the right texture and consistency, you’re going to roll it out. I rolled it out on a piece of wax paper, but you could use a silicon baking mat or parchment paper. Basically, you just want a nice non-stick surface to work with. Once it’s rolled out, you’ll cut your shapes out. We used cookie cutters. Alex managed to make two candy canes before he melted down.
While you’re cutting, you should preheat the oven to 200°. Once your ornaments are cut, you’ll place them on a cookie sheet lined with foil or a baking mat. This is when I poked the holed for hanging. I remember using a straw when I was little, but we didn’t have straws, so I used a size F crochet hook. The holes came out just perfect if you’re planning to hang them with twine!
Remember how I said my dough was too sticky? The white stuff comes from me trying to use flour to roll them out. This was a mistake. The flour stays white even after baking. Learn from my mistakes: just use more cinnamon!
Anyway, bake your ornaments for one to one and half hours. They should feel hard to the touch when you poke them. Allow them to cool complete, then stick your hangers in. When I was five, we used pipe cleaners. This year, I used twine. Bakers twine would also look really cute, as would ribbon.
Last step is to hang them on the tree and enjoy how cute your house looks and how good it smells!
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