I love the smell of cinnamon and spices around Christmastime. It’s especially nice when the weather has been bad and every one’s been cooped up in the house. My sister used to make these cinnamon-applesauce ornaments. They smell wonderful, and if the scent of them begins to fade, you can just add a bit of cinnamon oil to them and renew their fragrance. Another cool thing about them is that you can use them for so many things! My sister made wreaths out of them, tree ornaments, and swag decorations. You could also use them as scented drawer fresheners (with your kitchen towels might be nice) or you could even use paint pens and make gift tags with them! They are super easy to make so it would be a great project to do with kids – plus it’s inexpensive! Wow, this could possibly be the perfect Christmas activity!
I think these decorations look great plain – they have that “rustic” feel, or you could decorate them to the hilt with glitter and paint, or use royal icing to make them look like storybook gingerbread decorations. Here is the basic recipe, and I’ve included a royal icing recipe – it dries hard and will last!
CINNAMON DOUGH ORNAMENTS
* 1 1/2 cups ground cinnamon
* 1 cup applesauce
* 1/4 cup white school glue (like Elmer’s)
* Plastic wrap
* Rolling pin
* Wax paper
* Cookie cutters or a knife
* Ribbon or yarn for hanging
1. Mix cinnamon, applesauce, and glue together in a bowl. The dough should be as thick as cookie dough. Add a bit of water if the dough is too stiff.
2. Remove from bowl and knead until everything is mixed together well. Return dough to the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let sit for about 30 minutes.
3. Knead again to make sure the dough is smooth. Flatten or roll the dough between waxed paper until it’s roughly 1/4 to 1/8 inch thick.
4. With a cookie cutter, cut out desired shapes. Use a straw to punch a hole for the ribbon.
5. Carefully transfer the cookies to a piece of wax paper. They will take a couple of days to dry. You can speed up the drying by setting the ornaments in a 200 – 250 degree oven until dry. Just keep a close eye and don’t let them burn!
* 3 ounces egg whites (or 3 Tbsp. meringue powder plus 6 Tbsp. water)
* 1 tsp. vanilla
* 4 cups powdered sugar
1. In large bowl the egg whites (or meringue powder and water) and vanilla and beat until frothy.
2. Gradually add powdered sugar and mix on low speed until sugar is incorporated and mixture is shiny.
3. Turn speed up to high and beat until mixture forms stiff, glossy peaks. This should take approximately 5 to 7 minutes. Add food coloring, if desired.
4. Transfer icing to pastry bag or heavy duty ziploc bag and pipe as desired.
Here’s a wreath that you could make – just use hot glue!
Or a nice garland – add oranges, cinnamon sticks, and bay leaves for a “scentsational” decoration
Here’s one of those “gifts in jar” that are really popular around Christmas – I think it would be adorable to tie one of these cinnamon decorations to the lid as a gift tag.
I also saw this photo, now I’m not crazy about the actual arrangement, but it gave me the idea that you could use these cinnamon ornaments in a flower or plant arrangement – hot glue the ornament to a stake and insert. This photo is cute because you could make a small arrangement in a large measuring cup, add some measuring spoons and maybe a hot pad, and a recipe for apple cinnamon crisp and VOILA – adorable gift for a neighbor! (Don’t forget to add your cinnamon decoration gift tag!)
Lastly, don’t forget the glitter, which really, makes everything much better. If you come up with some more ideas on how to use these, I’d love to hear them!