This simple recipe for cinnamon ornaments is a fun holiday project to do with kids in the kitchen, and it will make your house smell amazing!
There is something wonderfully comforting about walking into a home swirling with the smells of Christmas: Gingerbread. Fresh pine boughs. Tangy oranges. And warm, cozy cinnamon!
These cinnamon ornaments are a great way to add some delicious Christmas aromas to your home this month. Plus, they’re an easy project to make with kids that will get everyone feeling festive!
All you need is three ingredients: cinnamon, applesauce, and glue. Super simple.
This really is an easy-peasy project that’s perfect for getting kids involved with you in the kitchen. My five-year-old helped me mix up the dough and cut out all the shapes after I rolled it out. You can reroll the extra pieces of dough and cut out more ornaments after your first go-round, so you don’t have to worry about perfectly aligning your cookie cutters to avoid wasting dough.
I put parchment underneath my dough and placed a sheet of plastic wrap on top, rolling the dough in between the two. I tried using parchment on top first, but the plastic wrap yielded a much flatter, smoother finish.
Once you’ve cut out your shapes, you’ll need to poke a hole in each one for the ribbon/twine to go through. A straw makes really nice, uniform holes that are a little bigger, so it’s easier to string the ribbon through. Just don’t use a silly straw (like I did) because it’s REALLY hard to get the little bits of dough out of the straw when you can’t poke it back out from the other end. Oops.
If you want smaller holes, you can use a bamboo skewer (or even a sharp pencil) to form the hole. You’ll need to gently move the skewer around in a circular motion to make the hole big enough. Be careful so you don’t crack the dough.
After you’ve added the holes, the ornaments need to dry. You can dry them in a warm oven or on the counter. The oven method is faster (about 2-3 hours). Use the “warm” feature if you have it, or set your oven’s temperature to 200 degrees). Alternatively, you can just leave your ornaments out on the counter and they’ll dry that way, too, but it will take a few days. Either way, check on your ornaments from time to time and flip them over once the top is dry to allow the bottom to dry as well.
Once they’re dry, you can string ribbon through them and hang them on your tree, or add them to presents for friends and neighbors.
Ready to make some yourself? Gather your kids, and follow the complete recipe for cinnamon ornaments below to make this easy project!
Note: Be sure to remind kids that although these look like gingerbread cookies, they aren’t edible! None of the ingredients are toxic, but they sure won’t taste good.
- 3/4 c. applesauce
- 1 c. cinnamon
- 2 T. white school glue
- cookie cutters
- rolling pin
- drinking straw (or something to poke holes)
- baking sheet/cooling rack
- baker's twine or ribbon
- In a large bowl, combine applesauce, cinnamon, and glue. Mix well until you have a cohesive dough. You may need to use your hands to really get the ingredients to come together. It's ! (You can always use food prep gloves if you want to keep the mess off your hands, but it really washes off just fine.)
- Once you have a nice dough ball, you are ready to roll! Roll the dough out between two sheets of plastic wrap until it's about 1/3 inch thick.
- Cut out your desired shapes using cookie cutters and transfer carefully to a cookie sheet. Then, use a straw or skewer to make a hole in each ornament. Once you have cut out all the ornaments, you can reroll the leftover pieces of dough and cut some more until you've used it all.
- Allow your ornaments to dry. You can let them sit on the counter (it will probably take a couple of days) or speed up the process by placing them in a warm (200 degree) oven for a few hours. Check on the ornaments periodically and flip them over once the tops feel pretty dry.
- Once the ornaments are completely dry, string ribbon or baker's twine through the hole you made and tie a loop.
- Hang your ornaments from the Christmas tree, or attach them to gifts and give them away!
We made 14 ornaments, plus a few little cinnamon beads with this recipe. Your yield will depend on how big your cookie cutters are.
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Here are a few more tips:
If the dough is too crumbly when you mix it up…
Add a little more applesauce (a Tablespoon at a time) until it comes together. If it’s too sticky, add more cinnamon.
If the edges of your ornaments look a little shaggy/rough…
Use fine-grit sandpaper to smooth the edges.
If you want to add more decoration…
I like the natural, rustic look of the plain ornaments, but if you want to decorate them, feel free! Get creative with puff paint, glitter and glue, acrylic paint or whatever else you can imagine!
If you try out this project, I’d love for you to share it! Tag meg_themanylittlejoys on Instagram so I can see your creativity in action!
Want more Christmas ideas to make your home smell marvelous this holiday season? Try these!