Neat Ideas for Catching The Christmas Spirit
Would you like to make a batch of Christmas spirit? Try today's recipe for Christmas Scent or Cinnamon Christmas ornaments. These concoctions are for smelling rather than tasting, but their rich, sweet aromas will add Christmas flavor to your home.
Put on a pot of Christmas Scent and let it simmer (don't let it burn!) while you wrap gifts or do your Christmas baking.
Make cinnamon gingerbread ornaments to use throughout your house - - hang some in the kitchen, mix some in a bowl with fresh red apples or clove-studded pomanders, tie them on packages or hang them on the tree!
The Gingerbread dough makes ornaments to hang or put in baskets that look and smell like real cookies and are made with normal ingredients but bake up rock hard and keep for years.
Remember, these recipes are not for eating!
3 (4-inch) sticks cinnamon
3 bay leaves
L/4 cup whole cloves
L/2 lemon, halved
L/2 orange, halved
L quart water
Combine all ingredients in a teakettle or saucepan, and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer as long as desired. Check often, and add additional water, if needed. Mixture may be stored in refrigerator several days and reused. Yield: 4 cups.
CINNAMON CHRISTMAS ORNAMENTS
L/2 cup ground cinnamon
L/3 cup applesauce, and
L tablespoon Tacky glue
Mix in bowl and stir until well blended. Work mixture in hands for three minutes to form a ball. If it is too dry, add applesauce, if too wet, add more cinnamon. Knead ball on cinnamon-sprinkled surface until it holds together well.
Roll this out and use cookie cutters for the shapes. Use a drinking straw to cut a hanging hole. These can be air dried for 24 to 48 hours. Turn several times. They can also be baked in a slow oven.
CINNAMON DOUGH BASKET
Use the cinnamon dough recipe. Place about l/2 cup of the dough, shaped into a ball, on a large piece of plastic saran wrap. Cover with another piece of the wrap and roll out into a somewhat circular shape about l/8 inches thick and about 8 to l0 inches in circumference.
Place a drinking glass, pint jar, or anything circular for the shape/size you want the basket to be (as long as it's glass) upside down on a cookie sheet. Spray it VERY LIGHTLY with a cooking spray.
Remove the top piece of plastic wrap, pick up the dough using the bottom piece to handle it and place it centered over the bottom of the glass or jar. Let the dough fold (drape) naturally around the jar.
Place cookie sheet in a l50 degree oven, and bake with the oven door ajar for approximately 3 hours. Let cool, remove from jar and decorate.
Fill with spiced apple potpourri, a couple of dried apple slices, cinnamon stick, and a raffia bow around the basket.
GINGERBREAD CHRISTMAS ORNAMENTS
3 tablespoons shortening
L/2 cup sugar
L/2 cup molasses
L teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup water
3 l/2 cups flour
L teaspoon of cloves, ginger and cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat shortening and sugar together until light and fluffy, stir in molasses. Sift the dry ingredients together. Stir them in to shortening mixture in 3 parts alternating with a l/4 cup of water each time. Dough will be stiff. Refrigerate overnight.
Cut dough into 3 pieces. Knead to warm dough slightly, then roll each piece out about l/4 inch thick. Cut cookie out with a gingerbread pattern of your choice.
Use a drinking straw to punch hole in center if ornaments will be hanging. Place cookies on cookie sheet and bake 20 minutes, turn oven off and let cool in oven.
Remove from cookie sheet and place on rack to dry for about 3 days to totally harden. These cookies are purely for decorative purposes and not to be eaten. If you wish you can seal cookies with 3 coats of clear acrylic and decorate with colorful acrylic pains when dry.