Monday, 12 June 2006

Here is the recipe for the cinnamon dough that I used to make the buttons, beads and gingerbread men for the raggedies in the previous post.
Mix 1/2 cup of cornflour, 2 x40g or 50g (1.9 oz.) containers of cinnamon and 1 of ground cloves. Place in bowl and set aside.
Put 1 1/2 cups of applesauce ( either commercial or homemade applesauce or tinned pie apples that have been blended to a puree ) in a saucepan and add 2 sachets of gelatine. Stand for a few minutes then heat, stirring constantly until simmering. Pour into dry ingredients and stir until a dough is formed. Knead well, wrap in plastic and rest for 10 minutes.
Then the fun begins. Either roll out and cut into shapes or hand-mould them as I do. I usually make stars, hearts, gingerbread men and beads, using a skewer or darning needle to make holes for buttons, gift tags or christmas ornaments. Air dry on sheets of greaseproof paper on a rack, turning several times a day or for beads, string on dental floss and hang to dry. I find that the slower they dry, the less cracks will appear, but they can always be patched up with a little moistened dough. The whole house smells lovely during this process.
I have kept buttons made from this dough for years. I think it might keep indefinately if kept dry, a little like bread dough. I once read somewhere that to refresh the lovely smell, just lightly sand and rub with a little clove or spice oil. My buttons, etc. are stored in airtight jars with whole cloves which I buy more cheaply in larger quantities from a local dried flower outlet.
From September, I usually start making old-fashioned pomanders from oranges studded with the cloves and rolled in spices. One year I made miniature pomanders from cumquats and decorated a small Christmas tree with these, cinnamon dough ornaments, raffia bows and topped the tree with a tiny hand-stitched country angel. I gave it as a gift to my best friend who was thrilled with it.

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