A couple of years ago I posted about making last minute Santa hand print salt dough ornaments (pictured below). We had so much success that we wanted to use the recipe again to make ornaments again this year. It doesn’t hurt that its super affordable, I already had everything to make these in my house and it’s a total breeze. I promise this is one Pinterest project that you can’t mess up! O is older so I opted to let her help with everything.
1 cup salt
2 cups flour
1 cup warm water
As mentioned in the previous salt dough post, I discovered using my stand mixer and dough hook were most effective. This worked well because I literally just let O dump the ingredients together and I flipped on the mixer. Once mixed well I kneaded it a bit more by hand… I’ve noticed a little body heat and elbow grease make the dough smoother. Then I helped O roll it out in 3 batched on parchment paper (wax paper would work too) and let her do her magic with a handful of holiday cookie cutters. I used a straw to make holes so that I could hang them by twine later.
I baked as many as I could fit on a cookie sheet at a time at 200F for about 45 minutes and flipped them over for another half hour on the back side. I just kept watching and peeking in on them.
The next day we were ready to paint! I used an egg carton to hold small amounts of acrylic craft paint that she chose to decorate her ornaments.
She had a field day and painted most of them in one sitting!
The paint dries fairly quickly so I followed up behind her writing her name and the year on the back of each ornament and then tying a string through the hole I’d made earlier.
Ta-da! These are gifts for family members, special friends and neighbors. So if you’re reading this and later receive one as a gift just act surprised (wink wink).
A sure sign of fall is definitely a classic sugar cookie in the shape of a pumpkin. Who doesn’t love a classic sugar cookie?!
Here is my favorite recipe for rolling out great shapes. I also have found (through tons of disastrous attempts) a better way to roll and bake cut outs. First lay out several pieces of parchment paper cut to the approximate size of my cookie sheet (in my case I use a baking stone… And I highly recommend this one for perfect pizza and cookies). Then you can either roll your dough on the counter, cut your shapes and transfer to the parchment OR if you aren’t good at gently transferring dough you can roll dough directly on the parchment and use your cutters spaced apart as you would place them to bake and peel away the excess so your cut outs are left to bake. And you never have to risk breaking them since you never have to lift and move them! I repeat this on all my parchment pieces until I’m out of dough. Then all you have to do is slide each piece of parchment onto the cookie sheet as the others are slid off to cool on the paper after baking. This is especially helpful with kids. They can roll all of their shapes at once and not worry about breaking them apart. So simple!
PSSST! The dollar store usually has perfectly good cookie cutters. Also, I wait for the day or too after a holiday for specifically themed cookie cutters to go on sale for super cheap! We use them over and over for play dough, fun shaped sandwiches and pancakes, salt dough gift tags and more!
In addition to baking some fantastic cookies, made trips to several local pumpkin patches. I heard about Blooms and Berries Farm in Loveland, Ohio from a few neighbors at work. It was a fantastic place for the kids! Corn maize, mini hay bail maze for smaller kids, hayrides, and little pumpkin and fall themed play sets.
I fell in love with this pile of misfit pumpkins and gourds. I wanted to buy them all (but didn’t).
This farm also had a corn box instead of a sand box. I’m not quite sure how Baby O felt about it, but I thought it was adorable and even the big kids liked it! Consequently, I found kernels in the dryer, my car and in shoes. Oh well.