One of my favorite things about the holidays are the scents of Christmas. The freshness of a pine tree, the warmth of cinnamon, the delicious aroma of cookies in the oven. There's so much to love about this time of year, and scent is just one of many things I could list.
But to me, scent makes it real. I can look at images of Christmas decorations all day through the summer, I can turn the AC up real high and bundle up in a sweater to make myself believe it's almost December 25th, but until I have a tree in place and can smell all the sweet scents of the season, I can never fully fool myself.
That's why I really wanted to go this particular ornament project. I love to make homemade ornaments and I love the look of gingerbread but most of all, I love that these beautiful decorations for your tree (or really anywhere in your house) are so fragrant. With a whole cup of cinnamon in the dough, how could they not smell like Christmas?
The original plan I retrieved from Martha Stewart but I made a few changes along the way, so this is my adapted how-to guide for Gingerbread Ornaments. And though she used a paper template and traced her shapes out with a knife, I prefer to use cookie cutters for ease and because they provide a wide variety of holiday-centric shapes so your ornaments don't all have to look exactly alike.
- 1 cup ground cinnamon, plus more for rolling
- 1/2 cup applesauce
- 1/2 cup glue
- Cookie cutters
- 1 drinking straw
- Extra glue for decorating (optional)
- Glitter for decorating (optional)
1. To prepare the dough, mix the cinnamon and applesauce in a medium-sized bowl. Then add the glue and stir until combined. The dough mixture should be moist and a bit lumpy.
2. Allow the dough to sit for one hour.
3. Preheat oven to 200 degrees.
4. Spread cinnamon over a flat work surface, as yo would flour when rolling out sugar cookies. Remove dough from the bowl and roll out to 1/4 inch thickness. If it becomes to dry or difficult to roll, spray a little water until desired pliability is achieved. If the dough is too wet or sticks to rolling pin, use more cinnamon.
5. Cut out shapes with cookie cutters as desired. For each shape, poke a hole near the top with a straw to create an opening to string a ribbon for hanging.
6. Bake in 200 degree oven about 2 hours or until completely dry, flipping ornaments once mid-way through.