These simple Cinnamon Applesauce Ornaments have been on my mental to-do list for several years. They are a craft from my childhood that I wanted to pass down to my own children.
Finally, this year, I felt like a few of my little ones would actually be old enough to help, so I marked a day on the calendar and gathered my supplies.
These ornaments smell AMAZING and the scent lasts a long time. When you put your decorations away, simply wrap these in tissue paper and place them in a zip top bag so you can enjoy them next year.
Cinnamon Applesauce Ornaments also make great gifts and can double as pretty package embellishments, too.
Yield: between 30 and 50 ornaments depending on the size of cookie cutters you use.
- 1 cup applesauce
- 1 1/2 cups cinnamon (you can find large containers of cinnamon at most dollar stores)
- 2 Tbsp ground cloves (optional)
- rolling pin
- cookie cutters
- cookie sheet(s)
- baking mat (ex: Silpat) or parchment paper (found near the plastic wrap and foil at the grocery store)
- skewer, straw, or the back end of a small paintbrush (for poking the holes for hanging)
- ribbon, twine, thread, or string for hanging
1. Mix 1 cup of applesauce with 1 cup of cinnamon in a large bowl. Really get this mixed well before moving on. I ended up using my hands towards the end to make sure I didn’t miss any wet spots.
2. Add the additional 1/2 cup of cinnamon and the ground cloves and continue to incorporate.
3. Once you’re sure everything is well mixed, you may need to add more cinnamon (if the mixture is too wet) or more applesauce (if it’s too dry). Mix thoroughly before adding since it does take some time to get the spices completely incorporated. When the dough is just right you should be able to roll it into a ball without it being too sticky. I thought it felt a little like pie crust dough if that helps at all.
4. Make the dough into a ball and scatter some cinnamon onto your rolling surface (like you would use flour if rolling out cookies).
5. Roll the dough to approximately 1/4″ thick. If you find that your dough is too wet and is sticking to the rolling pin you can knead in a little more cinnamon now.
6. Use your cookie cutters to cut out your ornament shapes. We used stars and hearts, but you could use any simple shapes you like. Try to avoid cookie cutters with intricate designs since they will be more likely to break. If your dough is the right consistency the edges of your shapes should be crisp and clean.
7. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the ornaments on a cookie sheet with a baking mat or parchment paper. The shapes can be really close together but not touching; they won’t rise in the oven.
8. Use a skewer, straw, or the end of a paintbrush to carefully make a hole through each ornament. Make sure the hole goes through completely and is not right on the edge of the ornament. The holes I made (with e chopstick) ended up being barely big enough to get my string through, so err on the side of too big. If your kids will be adding the string to your ornaments you may want to use a straw to make the holes.
9. Stick the ornaments in the oven for at least 1 hour. I ended up baking mine for a little over an hour and a half. The juice from the applesauce needs to evaporate. When the ornaments are cooled they should be rock hard. If they’re not, simply stick them back into the oven for another 30 minutes or so.
10. Once they’ve cooled, loop a string through each of the holes to hang on the tree or string together to make a garland. I found that the ornaments hung facing front better when I knotted the string directly above the ornament and then again at the top of the hanging loop.
Here’s the garland we made with the small star ornaments for my parents’ home.
I simply used a needle to thread the tiny red rickrack through one star. Them I tied a knot to keep that star in place and threaded the next star a few inches away. I continued that same process until the garland was the length I wanted. I left about a foot of rickrack at each end for hanging.