So, I’m not exactly sure if it was the pre-jet lag, or the time difference, or maybe I’d had a beer too many in New York, but I hadn’t even considered using the WordPress website to post. You know, like how I normally do it at home? Ughh.. dummy! Anyway, let’s carry on with this week’s post, and just ignore the little fit I threw last week, shall we?
I mean, we have important things for me to chat about, like Martha. She’s such a badass. I don’t know about you, but I think the whole “she went to prison” thing gives her even more street cred and versatility. But maybe that’s just me.. Either way, lady knows how to craft. I bookmarked this “recipe” of sorts from her site for cinnamon ornaments a while back to make for the holidays. Then I spotted this recipe on Pinterest that said I didn’t have to use glue and included other ingredients, which I thought was curious. So, I sort of combined the two recipes into what follows but decided to use the creation as gift tags for the delicious Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate Mix and other gifts I’d made for friends and family this year before I left for my NYC-London-Paris trip.
When my lovely mother heard I was in need of cinnamon, she jumped at the opportunity to get rid of some from her cupboard. I think it’s safe to say I have enough to make many batches of these gift tags!
One of the ingredients required for this recipe is applesauce. I was really excited to use my own, homemade applesauce in another recipe! You can find out how to make your own here.
While a very easy recipe, you will get a tad messy. Also, I got creative: apparently, I lost my rolling pin in the great move of 2013, so I sprayed Pam nonstick spray on an empty wine bottle, and used that. It worked just fine.
I poured heaps of cinnamon onto my dough before I rolled it out and then a little more before I used my Christmas-themed cookie cutters to cut out shapes.I didn’t want to take a chance of them sticking to anything.
For good measure, I threw on another healthy coating of cinnamon (not like I was going to run out..) and let them dry over three nights. Probably overkill, but it wasn’t like I had time that week to decorate them anyhow.
- 1 cup ground cinnamon plus more for ”flouring” your rolling surface
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 cup applesauce
- Craft glue (I used Aileen’s Tacky Glue)
Other Items You’ll Need
- Pam or other nonstick spray
- 1 large bowl
- Rolling pin (or empty wine bottle…)
- Cookie cutters or printed out templates
- A straw
- Baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a wire rack
- Ribbon or twine to hang the gift tags
- Decorations (glitter glue, beads, sequins, etc.)
- In a medium bowl, mix together the cinnamon, nutmeg and applesauce using a rubber spatula. The mixture will be crumbly. Note: if you’re using homemade applesauce like I did, be sure to puree it before incorporating it into the cinnamon and nutmeg.
- Stir in the craft glue. Mix the dough until consistency is smooth and dry. Applesauce gives the dough pliability, glue makes it firm, and the spices make it smell like the holidays.
- On a cool, flat surface, use extra cinnamon to “flour” your work area, then turn out dough; flatten with your hands.
- Grease your rolling pin (or empty wine bottle *ahem*) and flatten dough to 1/4 inch thick. If dough becomes too dry, spritz with water. If it sticks to rolling pin or work surface, sprinkle with additional cinnamon.
- Use themed cookie cutters to cut shapes out of the dough. Repeat with any remaining dough.
- Place each gift tag on a parchment lined baking sheet or wire rack. With a straw, poke a hole in dough near the top of the ornament for hanging.
- Air-dry gift tags on a wire rack lined with paper towels for 24 hours, turning them over every 6 hours or so to keep them flat. Alternatively, preheat oven to 200 degrees. Transfer gift tags to a baking sheet; bake, flipping once, until dry, about 2 hours.
- Once the dough has dried completely, use craft supplies to decorate! After the decorations on your gift tags are dry, thread a length of ribbon through each gift tag’s hole, trim the ends to prevent fraying, and knot.
I also used these gift tags on some delicious spiced nuts I made with my mom (recipe soon!) and some of the chocolate candy cane flavored 1, 2, 3 cookies I gave out (see my recipe on Ms. Allie’s blog here!). Maybe next year, I’ll make some to use as actual ornaments for my tree. They smell so delicious!
I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty proud of myself for how crafty I was this Christmas! I even up-cycled glass jars I’d been collecting throughout the year. I cleaned them out, ran them through the dishwasher twice for good measure, spray painted the lids gold, and filled them with my homemade SCHC mix.
Here’s wishing everyone very Merry Christmas from Paris! xx