The day after Christmas, I yelled across the house in my happy Let's-Make-Something-Cool mom voice, "Who wants to make cinnamon ornaments?"
Ella: "I do! I do!"
There you go.
I wanted to try out this recipe, even though cinnamon is one of my least favorite scents ever. Why? Because I planned on making them for the family. And I'm willing to be a craft martyr. Look how much I care! I had my children make these for you because we love you so much and because we're awesome. Also, I had half a jar of applesauce in the refrigerator and I hate waste.
Really, I don't mind a basic baking-in-the-oven cinnamon-mixed-with-something-else smell. I just cannot stand that cinnamon-scented candle /cinnamon-scented pine cone / cinnamon-scented fake fakety fake smell. You know, that super strong smell that hits you in the face when you walk through that certain aisle in your local craft store. I was hoping these would smell real.
I had let Ella pick out some new cookie cutters the other day. Hobby Lobby had about fifty different kinds. My little sweetie picked out the princess crown and the teddy bear. So we pulled those out, plus the star that I had from making the Wired Star Ornaments, and we got to work.
I used this recipe from McCormick, but I changed it up a little bit. I also added a couple tablespoons of white glue, because I heard that it helps make the ornaments a little stronger. Six days and a 25-hour road trip later and our ornaments aren't broken yet, so maybe the glue helped.
Makes 12 to 15 ornaments
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 2 1/2 hours
3/4 cup applesauce
1 bottle (about 4 ounces) ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons Elmer's white glue
1. Preheat oven to 200°F.
2. Mix applesauce, cinnamon, and glue in a small bowl
until a smooth ball of dough is formed. (You may need to use your hands to incorporate all of the cinnamon.)
3. Using about 1/4 of the dough at a time, roll dough to 1/4-inch to 1/3-inch thickness between two sheets of plastic wrap. Peel off the top sheet of plastic wrap. Cut dough into shapes with 2- to 3- inch cookie cutters.
Here's Ella, cutting with all her almost-4-year-old might:
4. Place ornaments on a wax paper-lined baking sheet. Use a straw to poke a little hole in each one.
5. Bake 2 1/2 hours. Cool ornaments on a wire rack.
When they are done baking, and you go to pull them out of the oven, hold your face waaaaay back. I did not hold my face way back. I went right on in like it was nothing and the cinnamon smell came straight up out of the oven and smacked me in the face. And attacked the inside of my nostrils. Like it had something to prove. CINNAMON! GEEZ! I GET IT! YOU'RE STRONG! And honestly, I didn't use McCormick cinnamon. I used the cheapest store-brand cinnamon I could find. So I probably deserved it.
If I got in a fight with cinnamon, it would totally kick my butt. And, in fact, I think we just did get in a fight. Yay for you, cinnamon. I hope you sleep well at night.
Anyway! The first open-the-oven-door cinnamon smack-down was the worst of it. They do have a strong scent, but it's not overwhelming. After they cooled, I strung some raffia through the holes and called the whole adventure a success. They were really easy and really cute. Next year I may even have the kids paint them. I'll just make my husband get them out of the oven.