Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Spiced-Gingerbread Men Tree Ornaments

Several years ago, my very talented mom made me and my four other siblings, 15 of the most darling non-edible Gingerbread men ornaments that I had ever seen! I was truly touched by my mom's thoughtful gift and have cherished these heirlooms. These little gingerbread men captured my heart (just like my husband did 7 years ago-sorry some times I get a little "scent"amental" *giggle*) and the ornaments have adorned our tree each year since my mom made them for me! My two little munchkins also love these ornaments not only because Nanna D made them for us but they smell "scentsational" as well! There is not a day that goes by during the month of December that I don't see one or both of my children hovering near the Christmas tree trying to see if they can smell the apple/spiced men! Even though they require a little time and effort to make, these Gingerbread men ornaments are very easy to assemble. The recipe calls for ingredients that you probably already have in your spice cabinet or pantry. After you assemble a soft-like cookie dough mixture you roll it out and cut out your men. Then after baking them in the oven for 2 1/2 hours, you are ready to assemble your men with ribbon, acrylic and puffy paints. This is a fun activity or may even be a new tradition to get the whole family involved!


Apple & Spice Gingerbread Men Ornament Tutorial

Ingredients:
*Note* I'd like to suggest buying your spices at a Dollar store if you are planning on making several batches because spices are not cheap and this with help cut costs!)

1 c. Cinnamon
1 T. nutmeg
1 T. Ginger
1 T. Ground Cloves
1 T. Allspice
3/4 c. Applesauce (You want to use store bought not homemade. I like Western Family!)

Directions:
1.) In a medium bowl combine all the spices and mix thoroughly with a spoon until all the spices are well combined.


2.) Add the applesauce and stir. To mix it well, I use my hands and mix it for 2-3 minutes or until the mixture is combined and makes a soft dough. If the dough is too dry and crumbly add 1-2 teaspoons of extra applesauce.


3.) Turn dough out onto a counter top and knead dough for 2-4 minutes or until the dough resembles cookie dough.

4.) Roll out dough to a 1/4" thickness. Make sure not to roll out too thin because they will fall apart. You want your ornaments to be sturdy and not break or crumble. Cut out your shapes using a metal cookie cutter.


5.) Transfer the cut outs to a un-greased cookie sheet. I like to use the air bake cookie sheets.

6.) Take a chopstick or pencil and and make a hole at the top of each of your ornaments.


7.) Bake in a 150 degree F. oven for 1 hour. (My oven didn't go down to 150 degrees so I baked mine at 170 degrees F. Don't forget to enjoy your house smelling like Christmas while your cookies bake!

8.) When the cookies have baked for one hour remove from oven and place on a cooling rack. Then immediately place the cooking rack into a baking sheet and then place back into the oven at 150 Degree F for another 1 1/2 hours. This will help harden your cookies.


9.) After baking time is over take out of oven and let cool completely. Place in an airtight container until ready to decorate or to store completed ornaments.


To Decorate You will need:
Ribbon, I chose Burgundy because that is the color of my tree
Glue
Glue Gun
White puffy paint
Black or Dark Blue Acrylic Paint
Thick Gold Thread or Ribbon
Black Sharpie

Directions:
1.) Take your tole paint and using the end of a chopstick or tole painting brush dip in paint and make dots for eyes and the corners of the mouth. Then take your Sharpie Pen and draw a semi circle connecting the mouth.


2.) To make buttons on the Ginger bread men, dip tole paint brush or chopstick and make 3 circles down the middle of the Ginger bread mens chest.

3.) To make the white curly q's around the gingerbread mens arms and legs, take your White puffy paint and make a squiggly design around each. Allow to dry for 4 hours.

4.) After four hours you are ready to glue on a bow around the Gingerbread Men's Neck. I tied several little bow and then took my glue and glue gun and placed a dot of glue under the gingerbread men's smiles. Adhere bow to glue. Let dry.


5.) After the ornament has dried completely, now string your gold thread through the hole at the top of your Gingerbread Men's head and tie a knot. Repeat on all the other little men.

6.) Pat yourself on the back for finishing this long process and now proudly go hang your ornaments on your tree where everyone can see and "smell" your handywork!
Yields 12-15 gingerbread men.

I dub thee a Culinary Queen!

* Since this is a family recipe please note that if you share or blog about this tutorial please give credit where credit is due! Thank you!* -Ashlee

Merry Christmas Culinary Queen Bee Readers!
I hope you all Have a wonderful Holiday and New Year!
Come Back next week to see what I have been up to- See you next week!

I

Ashlee, The Culinary Queen

4 comments:

  1. love love love!! I can just imagine the smell...delicious!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I found your recipe on Pinterest and repined it, so glad I did. I've made two batches in the past few days, they came out beautifully and smelled wonderful while baking. Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I tried making these today and they are still somewhat soft... did i do something wrong or do they take a few days to become more sturdy?

    ReplyDelete

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