Thursday, December 19, 2013

DIY: Cinnamon Applesauce Dough Ornaments

Hello crafty mamas! Today we have a really fun and easy holiday craft that you and the kids can dip your hands into - literally! Provided that no one has an apple or cinnamon allergy!

While browsing Pinterest one day, I came across this recipe for cinnamon ornaments. Turns out that they are the easiest thing to make, and they smell sooooooo good.

First I ran to Dollar Tree and grabbed a couple of jars of cinnamon. You can of course get cinnamon at the grocery store but the Dollar Tree has a great section of common cooking spices for such a bargain. Then I found leftover twine I had laying around in my craft box, but you can use any kind of thin ribbon, string, or yarn that you may already have. The final ingredient is APPLESAUCE. Who knew?! I used my woodland creatures cookie cutters from Ikea (the 6 piece DRÖMMAR set) that were a steal at $2.99, but any cookie cutter shape you have will do - especially with all of the cute holiday shapes out there!

This is such a simple and fun craft to do with the kiddo's and hand out to friends and family. You can use the ornaments to hang on your Christmas tree, make into a garland, or use as gift tags for presents!

The applesauce recipe below is from Katy Elliott's blog, a New England mom with a passion for food, art, and decorating.

What you’ll need:
1 cup of applesauce
1 1/2 cups cinnamon (look for big containers at dollar stores, bulk stores or on Amazon)
2 tablespoons of cloves, optional (grind with a spice grinder) *note we didn't use cloves
Cookie or pastry cutters (we used Ikea's DRÖMMAR set of woodland animals)

Cookie or baking sheet
Silpat baking mat or parchment paper
Straw (for creating holes in the shapes)
Twine or string for hanging

Mix 1 cup of applesauce with 1 cup of cinnamon in a large bowl. Mix, mix, mix. This is the kind of
recipe you’ll need to use your hands to really incorporate the spices. Be sure to not miss any wet spots. Add the additional 1/2 cup of cinnamon, cloves and continue to incorporate. If the mixture is too wet or runny, add more cinnamon, and if too dry, add more applesauce. But be patient. It takes time to mix to get the right consistency, so don’t add cinnamon or applesauce until you’re absolutely sure it’s well mixed. *Note - we just used applesauce and cinnamon for our dough, no cloves!

Scatter some cinnamon (like if you were rolling out cookies with flour) and roll out the applesauce/cinnamon dough to about 1/4″ thick. If the mixture is too wet or runny it will make a huge mess and stick to your rolling pin, so make sure it's like dough!

Use your cookie or pastry cutters to cut out the shapes. Also, if you notice that if your dough cutouts have straggly edges, add more cinnamon and your edges should come out clean. 

Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Place your shapes on a cookie or baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a Silpat baking mat. The shapes can be really close together, but not touching; they won’t rise in the oven like traditional dough. Use the straw to pierce the dough cutouts and create holes for stringing/hanging. Bake the ornaments in the oven for about an hour to an hour and half. The juice from the applesauce needs to evaporate. The range in cooking time depends on your house, humidity and climate. You'll want to turn the oven off and let them set overnight. They should be rock hard, and if they're not, just give them some more time in the oven. *We baked our ornaments for about 1.5 hours as well, and let them sit outside of the oven to cool overnight and they were ready the next day!

The following day - or whenever you have a free moment ;) loop a string through each of the holes to hang on the tree, string together to make a garland, or attach to a package. Enjoy!

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