Christmas

Its beginning to smell alot like Christmas

What better way to kick off the holiday season than to fill your home with the aromas of cinnamon, ginger and cloves.  I L.O.V.E Christmas!  Beginning right away by transforming my home from the pumpkins of Fall to pine cones, garland and glitz of the season.  In my kitchen, Gingerbread Boys tastefully decorate my windowsill, counter and table.  A small Christmas tree is also placed in my kitchen with various handmade and gifted Gingerbread boys.. and girls!

These little boys scent my kitchen like straight from the oven, fresh baked cookies!  I like to place some in a big potpourri basket; others are hung on my kitchen tree and shared with my friends.  The process takes about a week; the initial overnight draining of the applesauce and then several days of drying.  The aroma intensifies as they dry and will last for several years, adding a few drops of cinnamon oil refreshes their aroma after a year.  While these are made with edible ingredients, I have never tasted them as I can only imagine the intensity of cinnamon!  So let everyone know, as they do smell amazing, please don’t eat these Gingerbread Boys!!

Scented Gingerbread Boy Ornaments

48 oz jar applesauce

2 cups + ground cinnamon

2 tablespoon ground cloves

1 tablespoon ground ginger

Allow the applesauce to drain overnight by placing it in a strainer over a large bowl.   Place the drained applesauce, cloves and ginger in a large bowl.  Begin adding in cinnamon until a workable soft dough forms.  The dough should not be sticky, continue to add cinnamon if necessary.  Roll dough out on a lightly cinnamon floured board about ¼ inch thick and cut into desired shapes.  For stringing, make a small hole on the top using a skewer.  Place the Cinnamon Boys on parchment lined baking sheets.  Allow to dry for several days, turning over every day until dry.  Mine were dry in about 5 days; the level of humidity will determine the drying time.  Makes about 50 cutouts, depending on size of cookie cutter.

I love being in the kitchen. Early mornings, soft music, a hot espresso. Easing into the preparation of delicious meals. Glancing through cookbooks, gathering inspiration and planning my day. I look forward to the cycles of the seasons, the pleasures of tasting and savoring and sharing this with those dear to me. Weekends are special to me as my week days are often rushed, but still I create the ambiance, light the candles, set the table and uncork the wine.

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