Friday, November 25, 2011

Applesauce Ornaments

The Thanksgiving Holiday flew by. Despite the colds my children contracted somewhere this past week (I'm praying they don't share it with me; pregnant with a cold is never fun), it's time to turn my attention towards Christmas. Usually this time of year leaves me feeling like the Grinch. I don't want to think about Christmas until I absolutely have to. I procrastinate on shopping the busy, merchandised stocked stores. Decorating doesn’t happen until last minute. Radio stations playing holiday music get quickly changed. Baa hum bug! It’s all so commercialized and materialist-I can’t seem to get into that spirit.

This year is different. I can already feel anticipation for the season. This is a year of new traditions. We donated out old fake Christmas tree to a local needs-assistance organization a couple weeks ago. We are going as a family to a tree farm and getting a live a tree from here forward! Also, our traditions will start focusing more on making gifts and holiday crafting. So it’s not just the things themselves, but the fun in making them, the thought and effort behind them, and sharing activities as a family, hence making memories in the process. Sure we will still buy our children some thoughtful, tastefully picked toys. But Christmas will be family-centered, putting the emphasis back on the birth of Jesus then on the commercialized, materialistic holiday Christmas has evolved into. I have so many crafts, gifts, and baking plans lined up, I’m gitty just thinking about them! With that said, let me share with you one of our first crafts of the season . . .applesauce ornaments.

As I just mentioned, 'Tis the season for crafting and baking.  For filling your house with sweet aromas. Applesauce ornaments are the best of both worlds--baking and crafting--and make your house smell like cinnamon!  I have wanted to make applesauce ornaments for quite some time. We just never got around to it. It's a very easy project requiring only two ingredients--applesauce and cinnamon--you can't get much simpler than that! There are many recipes out there to choose from- some with more or less cinnamon vs. applesauce, others mix in Elmer's glue. I settled on the McCormick recipe to try.

3/4 cup applesauce
1 bottle (4.12 ounces) cinnamon (or 2 of the smaller bottles)

Preheat oven to 200°F. Mix applesauce and cinnamon in small bowl until a smooth ball of dough is formed. Yes, I used generic brands for this project--money saver! Use your hands to incorporate all of the cinnamon.

Roll dough to 1/4-inch to 1/3-inch thickness.

Cut dough into desired shapes with cookie cutters. Make a hole at top of ornament using a skewer. Place ornaments on baking sheet.

Bake 2 1/2 hours. Cool ornaments on wire rack. (Or, to dry ornaments at room temperature, carefully place them on wire rack. Let stand 1 to 2 days or until thoroughly dry, turning occasionally.)

Insert ribbon through holes and tie to hang. Decorate!