You can make more than cookies with your cookie cutters this year. It takes a little effort and some quality time with your kids, but you can have some memorable ornaments to trim your tree with in no time.
First you will need to choose which cookie cutters will make the best ornaments. If you have very detailed ‘press’ cutters than this will make a wonderful cookie decoration. The simple cookie cutters that are basically just a wire outline will be great for adding your own faces and clothing designs with paint. Either way, both types of cookie cutters will make great cookie ornaments; so let your kids choose which ones they want to do the most. Keep in mind that you will be painting them once they are finished so the more intricate a design the more work it will take in painting them at the end-but they’ll look fantastic!
Although you usually can’t resist eating a little cookie dough while you’re making it, this is one dough recipe you should avoid tasting.
The ingredients you will need for one batch are as follows:
- 2 cups flour
- 1 cup salt
- 1 cup water
- 2 tablespoons oil
Notice the salt content; that alone should dissuade sampling. All the dry ingredients go into a mixing bowl first, than add the wet ingredients. You will only need to stir it a few times before it will form into a soft dough that you can then knead on a dry, flat surface. Knead the dough until it is smooth in texture. It isn’t necessary to knead it as much as you would for an edible recipe, just enough for it to look consistent in texture. Roll the dough out with a rolling pin. Do not make it paper-thin; it should be a little thicker than you would make a sugar cookie. This will ensure more durability in the finished product. Use the cookie cutters you’ve selected to make shapes in the dough or even shape 3-D ones with your hands. Before you put them on an aluminum foil covered cookie sheet, be sure to make a small hole in the top of each cookie shape so you can put a ribbon or yarn through it later. If you skip this valuable part you will find it difficult to actually use them as ornaments. On the other hand, if you don’t want to make a hole right through Santa’s jolly face, than cut the ends (the bent portion) of a paperclip off and insert it into the dough on the back; this will serve as a notch to insert a ribbon later, without affecting the front of your ornament.
The decorations should bake at 250F for one to two hours. After an hour you will want to check how hard they are. The finished ornament should be so hard that pressing on it will not affect its shape or leave an indentation. If you overbake them a little, they may brown more than you’d like them to look. So pay attention to their status after an hour has passed.
Now comes the fun part. Try to find water-based paints that will not stain your children’s clothing and let them get to work on the cooled ornaments. You can add glitter to the surface with some Elmer’s glue or even googly eyes and pom-poms. Be sure you date them on the back with your child’s name so you can remember when you made them. The ornaments will be fairly durable and can be used year after year. They also make great homemade gifts.
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