I am pretty sure I invented the original Salt Dough Ornament when I was 10 years old.
I have a very vibrant memory from the age of 10, of asking my Mom if I can bake her Peanut Butter Cookies on my own ….I am sure she reluctantly said yes…but non-the less she let me to my own devices to bake her Peanut Butter Cookies at Christmas-time. I was very much interested in creativity without even knowing it at the time……I thought it was the coolest thing how she used a fork to make the design on the top of the cookie.
I can still remember alot of the details of how it played out….I finished the cookies, put them on a plate and gave one to my Dad who claimed they were delicious! Then I gave one to my Mom…..who took a bite and coughed it out. uh-oh. ‘Amy, something is not right’…..she knew exactly what I did. I measured salt instead of sugar. ….in my defense they are both ‘white’ ingredients right? I guess my Dad was too kind, not to sure if he ate anymore. Imagine a cup of Salt instead of Suger.
….and there you have the original Salt Dough Ornament, courtesy of a 10 year old Classic Amy Joanne.
Little did I know then that Salt Dough Ornaments were going to be a thing. But they are. You can find so many variations to make the decorative ornaments ~ some including applesauce, some cinnamon, some maple syrup, some even Elmer’s glue. I have made a few of the variations and like different qualities about each….but mostly I liked the richness of the look of the darker cookies ~ so I combined recipes to suit my taste.
Classic Salt Dough Ornaments ~ Decorative Only
- 1 Cup All Purpose Flour
- 1/2 Cup Salt
- 4 Tablespoons Cinnamon (or more)
- 1 Tablespoon Ground Cloves
- 1 Tablespoon Ground Nutmeg
- 1/4 Cup Warm Water mixed with 1/4 Cup Dark Molasses
- Optional Whole Cloves or Peppercorns for Gingerbread Eyes and Buttons
- Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees, line cookie sheet with parchment paper. Stir together dry ingredients, then add water and molasses mix. Mix until it comes together. Roll dough to desired thickness between 2 pieces of parchment paper. Use your favorite cookie cutters. Use a straw to make a hole into the top if you would like your shapes to be an ornament. If you would like eyes and buttons on the gingerbread be sure to add before they cool or even before baking ~ I used cloves and/or peppercorns! Bake for 10 minutes. Enjoy the Smell. Let Cool.
If you would like icing on your cookies….use DecoArt Snow Writers in white…it will add some dimension and is easy to use from a squeeze bottle….looks just like icing!
Imagine the pretty possibilities using these pretty Salt Dough Cookies and including all kinds of creative goodies….such as making dehydrated (or oven dry) fruit! I tried all different kinds….some worked beautifully like Pomegranates…. Each providing color and texture.
Add in bay leaves, whole cloves, cinnamon sticks and star anis….oh and don’t forget the baker’s twine and pine branches.
Use as bowl fillers, make a garland or a simple swag to hang from a door knob.
The petite little oranges look so pretty with cloves inserted. mmmmm, maybe I will try drying a few.
Ok, so I was having a little fun with the camera….but now it has me thinking of screen savers, greeting cards, and canvas bag iron-ons. Oh….. to walk a mile in the mind of a Creative, lol!
and one more just because.
It’s beginning to look alot like Christmas as Classic Amy Joanne ~ bake a batch of Salt Dough Cookies, dry a few slices of Fruit, toss in a few dried nuts, berries and greens….and you will have the makings for bowl filling, garland making and door knob treasures!
Coming Soon ~ Homespun and Heartfelt Holiday, It’s A Wrap, Studio Christmas Tour, Holiday Touches to the Everyday, Christmas Simmering and the Journey!
3 thoughts on “The Original Salt Dough Ornament”
Your story is too funny and yet I can relate to it. When my father was in the hospital my mother would visit him each day. My brothers and I would stay home and often my younger brother and I would bake. One day when we made cookies and they came out of the oven we tasted them and they were super salty. My brother had accidentally spilled the salt into the batter. We then made icing and put it over the cookies. It did not help. Fun memories
I love salt dough ornaments. I remember doing these with my kids when they were young; the hand prints were their favorite. Thanks for the reminder of this fun, and fond memories. I’m going to want your autograph (signed on a salt ornament) since I now know the inventor 🤣.