When I was a kid, a friend of mine gave me a cinnamon applesauce heart, and I remember keeping it as one of my special treasures for quite some time. I think I kept it in one of my dresser drawers, and I remember that it smelled good for ages.
I’d kind of forgotten about that until recently, when I saw a couple of cinnamon applesauce ornament recipes circulating around the web. So, I though it would be fun to make a batch of them with my kids.
Fortunately, they’re really simple and they require only a few inexpensive ingredients: applesauce, cinnamon, and glue (which, as I’ll explain in a moment, is quite optional.)
I used cheap unsweetened commercial applesauce because heaven knows I’m not going to waste my precious homemade applesauce on inedible ornaments.
And you can get cinnamon for $1 or less…it’s $0.99 at Aldi, and I think you can sometimes get it for $0.50 a bottle at dollar stores.
The glue showed up in some recipes I saw and not in others, so we made a batch with glue and a batch without, and I have to say, there was no appreciable difference. So, I’d label that as an optional ingredient.
To make the dough for these, just mix 2 cups of applesauce and two cups of cinnamon (and a tablespoon of glue if you like.)
The dough should be fairly stiff, or it’ll be too sticky to roll out. So if it seems too wet, just mix in a bit more cinnamon.
Dust your countertop with cinnamon, and roll the dough out, just like you would if you were making real cookies.
Use your favorite cookie cutters to cut out shapes. I wouldn’t choose anything too large because the possibility of breakage is higher with a large ornament.
Incidentally, I’m so used to snitching small bits of cookie dough, I very nearly ate this dough several times because it looks like a delicious sort of ginger cookie. Fortunately, I caught myself in time.
Place the ornaments on a cookie sheet, and reroll the scraps to make more ornaments.
Use a toothpick to make a hole at the top of the ornaments. Make the hole bigger than you think it should be, since the ornaments will shrink some as they dry. I just wiggled the toothpick around until the hole was large enough.
Now, several of the recipes I came across suggested baking these at 200° F for 2.5 hours, but on the day we made these, we didn’t have time for that.
So, we just left ours on the baking sheets to dry at room temperature (which does take longer, but you don’t have to actually be involved in the process!)
This took a few days, but of course, that can vary a lot depending on how dry the air in your house is. I didn’t find it necessary to put ours on racks, and I didn’t turn them until the very end, when they were quite firm and there was just a small wet spot on the bottom.
If the edges of your ornaments are a little ragged (ours were!), you can use a small piece of sandpaper to clean them up, and then they’ll look all lovely and neat.
Sanded on the left, not sanded on the right:
You can use a variety of things to make the hanger for these ornaments. I just rummaged around in my jar of spare ribbons and came up these.
Hey, did you know that if your ribbon is polyester, you can melt the ends so that they don’t fray? I just light a match, and hold the ribbon above it until the ends melt.
(Please do be careful since matches are fire and all. )
Hang your ornaments on your tree. Or attach them to a package. Or make a garland with them (I think stars would be perfect for that!)
Cinnamon Applesauce Ornaments
2 cups applesauce
2 cups cinnamon
Mix applesauce and cinnamon together, adding more cinnamon if dough seems too wet, and more applesauce if dough is too dry.
Sprinkle countertop with cinnamon, and then roll dough out to 1/4 inch thick. Cut with cookie cutters, and place ornaments on a baking sheet. Reroll scraps to make more ornaments.
Let ornaments dry on baking sheets for several days, or until completely dry. Alternatively, bake in a 200° F oven for 2.5 hours.
If desired, lightly sand edges to smooth any rough spots.