Hello my friends. I wanted to share this tutorial with you for my Home Baked Spiced Ornaments as appeared in Rhythm Of The Home. I though some of you may not have seen this yet and it’s a really wonderful easy to do DIY to do as Christmas ornaments or give as gifts. It’s also a lovely project to include the kids in the family and keep them busy and excited about Holiday crafting. (be honest though and do explain that these are not too eat ~ for the little ones that may not understand that these are decorations only ~ do have a batch of home baked ginger bread cookies standing by ;)
Isn’t it great to prepare crafts or bake goods for the whole family to enjoy? I combined the two and created some beautiful holiday ornaments that will not only dress up a tree with an earthy touch, but also fill your home with a sweet and spicy festive aroma. Best of all, the ingredients and decorations can be found right in your own kitchen cabinet. Even the cutters!
These are fun, easy to make, and beautiful Home Baked Christmas Treasures – really ;) They are made up of a home made recipe of a Spiced Salt Dough, cut with handmade cookie cutters, and then decorated with natural seeds and spices for a rustic country home-made look.
So let’s put on some beautiful Christmas music and let’s get started, shall we? First, you’ll need to make the ginger-bread spiced salt dough:
Making the Spiced Salt Dough
2 c. flour
¾ c. salt
¼ c. ground cinnamon
2 T ground nutmeg
2 T ground ginger
¾ -1 c. warm water
(1 t egg white for coating)
Instructions: Combine all the dry ingredients, slowly mix in the water, and knead to form a dough. Add more water or flour to get a pliable firmness. Roll out the dough to ¼” thickness and cut desired shapes.
Making the Custom Ornament (cookie) Cutters
(Keep it Simple : skip this step for an easier version and use regular larger cookie cutters you already have with christmas shapes, butterflies or even just circles)
Materials to make custom hand-made cookie cutters :
Aluminum pan, Ruler and pencil, Sharp scissors, Work gloves, Pliers
1-2. Draw 1” lines on your aluminum pan and cut out strips. 3. Shape into a desired design 4-5. bend the edges over with the pliers to secure the sides. Caution: pieces may be sharp, please use caution when cutting and shaping. Use work gloves.
6. When cutting shapes into the dough, please use the work gloves or oven mitts to press down as the edges may be sharp. Do not leave handmade cookie cutters unattended with children.
Decorating with Seeds and Spices
Lightly coat the ornaments with egg whites to act as glue. Then, use an assortment of spices and seeds to give the desired look. We used fennel, coriander and caraway. Beautiful textures and colors will also come from using poppy seeds, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, and even peppercorns. Look through your spice cabinet for more inspiration and possible ingredients. Push the seeds/ spices into the dough a little to create a natural spice-encrusted look.
With a pointy tool (I used a cocktail pick), cut into the shapes for a more detailed look. With the same tool, or straw, make a hole on top for the string. And bake at 250 for about 1 hour. Leave them flat for approximately two days or until completely hardened. These are not edible and are meant for decoration purposes only.
Run a ribbon or string through the holes and you’re ready to hang these deliciously smelling ornaments. Children will love making their own designs from all the spices and seeds. You can learn about spices along the way, as the kids will be excited to try them. All the decorations are safe to eat; albeit some, like the peppercorns, may be too spicy.
These are not only fun to make; they may truly become treasured heirloom ornaments as they are durable and will continue looking beautiful throughout the years. To store them, lightly wrap them in soft tissue and keep them in a cool, dry, bug-free location. If you feel the need to ‘revive’ them in a few years, you can place them in the oven at 200 degrees for 10-20 minutes (be careful not to burn them). Enjoy them for years to come!
Don’t forget to make a few of these baked beauties as Christmas gifts for someone special on your list. I packaged them in a simple craft box and placed them on a bed of dried grass – that look really compliments the natural handmade quality about them.
And let me finish up by saying they survived a Christmas tree crashing event last year – so this is a pretty unbreakable recipe! Although I do not wish for you to test them this way. (a few did crack – it was a nasty fall – but if they do, or if the larger seeds happen to fall off ~ I do use a little craft glue to put them in place ;)
So a few days ago I pulled them out of the safety of an old clementine box we use for storage, I gently unwrapped them from beneath softened layers of craft paper and found them still looking beautiful with their rustic quality and ahh the smell….. the smell still lingers on….