Mid January is about the time to pack away the Christmas decor. Although it is a boring not-so-fun project, I do find that it is time well spent sifting thru things, sprucing up as I go along and a good time to make wish lists of Spring and Summer projects to tackle.
It is typical that salt dough gingers (read here) , would lead to gingerbread scented candles with gingerbread labels, that would lead to cork gingerbread house gift tags and then creating gingerbread house marketing for photos. Yep, typical for a creative mind or over-active imagination, found thru Classic Amy Joanne.
and then lead to yet another part of the business of Classic Amy Joanne.
but for today….let me share with you about creating the ‘homespun, handmade and heartfelt‘ gingerbread candles.
As we all are ready to usher out 2020 this year ~ there has been a simplicity that I have been enjoying, like paying more attention to each and every item I pull from the Christmas decor bins, each piece telling a story of Christmas past, friends and family and reflecting just a little longer on each piece. ~ My hubby and I have been spending more time together, time perhaps getting to know each other a little better and enjoying each others company, even after 32 years of marriage. ~ It also has been nice to do a project or two, enjoying the process with less hurried time to complete. ~ And although it has been challenging to teach thru 2020, it is a Blessing to find Zoom and connecting with friends has been a welcome gift.
My hope is that when things become ‘normal’ again we can bring the good parts of 2020 with us.
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!
All Hearts come Home for Christmas, and Gingerbread too!
~ Join us to create all kinds of Gingerbread Projects this Christmas Season thru the Blog pages ~ including our November (…and December) Recipe Card Project shown here!
This Ginger-y Recipe Card Project is filled with painterly texture with paint and adding a little sweet sugar on top with pencil! Learn all kinds of tips and techniques thru the Recipe Card Project videos ~ found thru the Blog Postings and our YouTube Channel!