Friday, December 20, 2013

Cinnamon Salt Dough

The first time I made salt dough was the boys first Christmas. Donnas parents came up to Winston-Salem to spend Christmas with us & my mother in law & I made salt dough ornaments with cookie cutters & made handprint Santa faces with the boys little bitty hands.

What survived from our first try

The ornaments were far from perfect! When I baked the salt dough it puffed up, maybe I rolled it too thin??? When we painted our ornaments with the recommended acrylic paint, the paint cracked. I have no idea what happened there?! We went with anyways because it was more about the memories & time together than perfect salt dough ornaments. Unfortunately a lot of them were broken during our move (we had not so wonderful movers) :( including the Santa face handprints. I was able to glue them back together but am waiting until we get to FL & asking my mother in law to reprint the faces since she did them the first time :)

So back to cinnamon salt dough... I wanted to make salt dough again this year & attempt to get more hand prints from the boys before their hands are too big to make ornaments with. I saw on Pinterest some people were making "apple cinnamon dough." I took a look at that recipe & didn't have enough apple sauce or cinnamon (2 CUPS) on hand. That's really a lot of cinnamon huh? So I explored other fragrant dough options & ran across a ladies blog who had simply added a tablespoon of cinnamon to the standard salt dough recipe. A tablespoon I could handle, so I went with that plan. (Sorry, I do not remember the blog title to give credit)

Here is what you need:
  • A flat surface
  • A mixing bowl
  • A cookie sheet
  • A rolling pin
  • An oven ;)
  • 1 cup of flour
  • 1 cup of salt
  • 1 tbsp of cinnamon (this of course is completely optional, if you don't want brown cinnamon smelling dough then leave it out)
  • 1/2 cup water - you will need more but start with 1/2 cup & only add a few drops at a time until the consistency is right.

Here is what you do:
  • Put the flour, salt, cinnamon & water in a bowl & mix it with your hands.
  • Add a few drops of water as needed until the dough is play dough consistency.
  • Sprinkle some flour on your work surface & roll out the dough, this time I rolled mine out to just less than a half inch think.
  • Cut our your shapes using cookie cutters or free hand or however you like to get your shapes.
  • Use anything with a small tip to wiggle a little hole into your ornament & then bake them on a cookie sheet for 2 hours at 200 degrees & enjoy the aroma! They may or may not be completely hard by this time, you can leave them in longer or you can let them air dry the rest of the way. Mine are actually still slightly pliable in the very center but I don't want them to crack so I took them out of the oven, they'll harden all the way eventually :)

For handprints, I roll out the dough right on my cookie sheet, have one of the boys press his hand in it & then I freehand cut a mitten shape around the handprint, then I did the then next hand & then the 3rd hand. After each handprint was made & I cut out around each one I peeled away the excess dough & baked the handprints right on the cookie sheet without having to move them or messing up the print :)

Little blob hands into real hands :)

You can paint your ornaments or add embellishments or just leave them natural.
We did a little of each. I painted faces & buttons on our gingerbread men & left the rest of them natural.  I painted the mitten around the handprint but left the handprint natural and I let the boys paint the rest.

Garren, Caden, Kellan

This years batch turned out much better & I didn't have any of the issues I had the first time. I love the smell of cinnamon & these little beauties smell so good, the pups keep stealing them off the tree to try & eat. Speaking of on the tree... The boys had traded in their trucks & underwear & had been hanging these ornaments up, taking them down & rearranging as they see necessary.

Look closely, they are all on the bottom left side of the tree :)

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