You may remember making these in elementry school.
You may also remember wanting to desperately eat them
because they so closely resemble gingerbread cookies.
But after that first bite, you would have been
sadly mistaken and secretly wished
that your teacher would have had the class
bake cookies instead.
Fast forward many years,
and it's still not too late to recreate this childhood memory.
Especially if you have little ones in your house
who are anxious for a man to shimmy down their chimney
You might remember these that I sent to my
merry mail group.
If you plan on mailing these,
pack them ever so carefully
so they do not turn into cinnamon potpourri.
Recipe from Katy Elliott
All you will need is:
1 cup applesauce
1 1/2 cup cinnamon (about 3-4 of the packages sold in the grocery)
a straw/toothpick to poke holes
Mix 1 cup of applesauce with 1 cup of cinnamon in a large bowl. Mix, mix, mix. This is the kinda recipe you’ll need to use your hands to really incorporate the spices. Make sure you don’t miss any wet spots. Add the additional 1/2 cup of cinnamon, cloves and continue to incorporate. If it’s too wet add more cinnamon, too dry add more applesauce. But be patient. It takes time to mix so don’t add cinnamon or applesauce till you’re absolutely sure it’s well mixed.
Scatter some cinnamon (like if you were rolling out cookies with flour) and roll out applesauce/cinnamon dough to 1/4″ thick. If the dough is too wet it will make a huge mess and stick to your rolling pin.
Use your cookie cutters to cut out the hearts. I noticed the first time around my dough was too wet and the edges were straggly. Once I add more cinnamon the edges were clean.
Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the hearts on a cookie sheet with a silpat. The hearts can be really close together but not touching; they won’t rise in the oven. Using a skewer carefully make a hole through each heart. Stick the ornaments in the oven for an hour or more. The juice from the applesauce needs to evaporate. The range in cooking time depends on your house, humidity and climate. My house is cold so I had them in for 1.5 hours and then I turned the oven off and left them to set overnight. They should be rock hard. If they’re not, give them some more time in the oven.
On Christmas morning, they will be ready to hang on the tree and leave the living room smelling like Christmas.
The following are a few more photos to get you in the Christmas spirit:
When you don't have a fireplace (or heating)
you put on a second layer of socks,
and gather by the space heater
to eat your milk and cookies.