This blog is the how to step by step for fun and fabulous ornaments made out of cinnamon, glue, applesauce and spices. These smell so good you may want them hanging around all year long.
My Christmas Forest tree for the annual Providence Saint Peter Foundation fundraiser is themed as a “Teddy Bear Christmas Tea Party”, and tea means COOKIES.
The recipe is easy to make, the hardest part was finding a giant container of cinnamon. My Tbear Tree posse person, Carolee, recommended that I look at our local restaurant supply store. Bingo. Giant jar of cinnamon around $15. Enough to make dozens and dozens of cookies! Cinnamon also keeps almost forever if you keep it dry and cool, leftovers can be saved for next year’s fun.
White Glue ……….. 2 Tablespoons
Ground Cloves………1 Tablespoon
Ground Nutmeg……1 Tablespoon
Ground Cinnamon………….1 Cup
By the way, I have discovered this is easy to double and very forgiving.
In a mixing bowl stir together all the dry ingredients,
Use your hands to mix all the ingredients together. If it feels too wet to roll out, add more cinnamon. Too dry? Add a little more applesauce. Knead it well and then grab a chunk of it and your plastic wrap. TIP: It’s easier to roll glue dough or cookies or piecrust or anything you have to roll out with a rolling pin if you roll it between two sheets of plastic wrap. It keeps your rolling pin clean, nothing sticks to the counter and clean up is much easier.
Roll the dough just like cookies and peel off the wrap before cutting. Dust the counter with cinnamon before cutting the ‘cookies’ and if you don’t use plastic wrap, make sure you dust everything very lightly with cinnamon, it acts like flour does when you make real cookies.
If your dough is rolled too thin thin your cookies will curl. If its too thick they dry very, very slowly. Mine worked best a little over a quarter inch thick.
I choose two cutters, one is an old, old heart in hand which I love, love, love and the other is a bear. I collect cookie cutters and I’m always hunting for more unusual ones. If you want to collect something that is inexpensive and fun to find anywhere, go for cookie cutters. I even found one this summer shaped like a chili pepper at the gift shop on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. This past weekend I found a vintage plastic duck and a clown for two bucks each. See? cheap. I’m not a purist, I don’t insist on copper, I only care about the fun factor.
Every year we use those cutters and have a big cookie party and the kids have a ball, and make a huge mess. Notice the tasters slipping into the room? Nothing goes to waste.
Back to these non-edible cookies though: Cut them out and have a sharp edged spatula handy to help slice them loose if they want to stick to your counter. Plastic spats, not so much. One of those old cake decorating spatulas works great.
TIP: Use a plastic straw to poke a good sized hole where you want run your ribbon or string through. I got smart and did this with batch number two.
I covered my cookie sheets with tin foil, there is glue in the dough and I didn’t know what kind of sticky factor I was facing. I was going to use the same foil to make sure I didn’t spread ‘frosting’ all over the place either.
If you live where the sun shines and the air is dry, you can air dry your ‘cookies’ over several days. I however, live in damp Washington State, so into the oven they went at 180 degrees for several hours. After about 4 hours, I flipped them over so they dried evenly.
They are very nice just the way they are and they smell wonderful. I really like the nutmeg and cloves added in this recipe because it does cut down the overpowering cinnamon smell a little bit. While these bake your house is going to smell like a craft shop at Christmas so open a window if cinnamon overpowers your nasal passages.
I can never let well enough alone. I thought for awhile about using plastic or joint compound to pipe on decorations that would be permanent and not spoil but I had a better idea. Ah ha! Fabric paint! I used yet another coupon from Michael’s and got two three dollar bottles of puffy fabric paint. It worked perfectly! After an all night drying the paint looks just like frosting.
I made life difficult for myself by not putting in big enough holes, which meant I had to take my dremel tool and drill holes in my cookies. Not bright, but it worked well. You could use string or cord to hang your cutouts but I love the way narrow ribbon looks.
I also discovered glue will put broken ‘cookies’ back together. I had to stick a finger back on and you can’t see the mend.
They really look cute and I made a few to keep for my family too.
The only person who didn’t like the cookies was Mooshka who was hoping for real cookies. Fun, easy to do with your family too.