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For a sweet-smelling and kid-friendly craft, these Cinnamon Ornaments are the perfect way to warm up your home with the iconic, holiday scent. Do be sure to tell those in the house with a sweet tooth that these ornaments are not edible, and only meant to hang as decoration! And while there are several recipes out there that involve adding non-toxic glue, it can actually be omitted, making this craft even simpler, and the dough easier to work with. My mom and I followed the kate elliott recipe, and made two batches that produced 45 of these small, Christmas tree-shaped ornaments. All you will need, per batch, is:

1 cup of applesauce (I bought a large container of generic brand)
• 1 ½ cups cinnamon (look for containers at the $1 store)
• 2 tablespoons ground cloves, optional
• Cookie cutter in your favorite seasonal shape
• String or ribbon that matches your décor

Mix 1 cup of applesauce with 1 cup of cinnamon in a large bowl. Mix with a spoon at first, and then continue work the batter with your hands to incorporate all the cinnamon equally and eliminate any wet or dry spots. Add the additional ½ cup of cinnamon and optional cloves, then continue to mix it all well. Scatter some cinnamon as if you were rolling out flour for cookie-making and roll out your dough, scattering more cinnamon  if it seems too wet or if the cookie shapes are not cutting clean.

Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit and place cookies on a cookie sheet with a silpat or parchment paper. Since they will not rise, they can be almost touching on the cookie sheet. Use a skewer to poke a hole near the top of the ornament for the string to be strung. Bake for an hour or more, keeping an eye on them and taking them out when they are no longer soft. Ours were done in about 90 minutes. They also dried out overnight on cooling racks to further harden.

Once they are rock hard, they’re ready for your string attachment and hanging. If not for your tree or garland, these can be an added embellishment to your gifts too. If some don’t come out nice enough to display, we thought of a good use for them: the perfect, aromatic addition to a roaring fire, so set those aside to toss in the next time you light up the fireplace. Ahhh… sit back and enjoy the treat for both sight and smell!

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