Fiction-Food Café

December 22, 2013

Applesauce & Cinnamon Ornaments (+ Clove Studded Orange)

          These cinnamon ornaments are something from my childhood that my mom, sister, and I would make together around the holidays. The recipe is so easy and is great to do with little kids and big kids too. The applesauce and cinnamon ingredients create a form of pomander ("amber/golden apple" in French), a smelling-spice ornament that dates back to medieval times when the spice mixture was suspended in little gold balls from the clothing of royalty. The pomander has transformed through the centuries from a clothing accessory to a smelling mixture for repelling disease to a molded fruit shape for the bathroom to a clove studded orange, strung up or in a bowl (I made these growing up too. See below for an image & how-to). Basically a pomander is spices mixed with fruit, dried, and set around to smell-up your home. They're great! But be warned that the cinnamon can be a little overwhelming and you might get a runny nose while making this recipe.

Orange & Clove Pomander
Note:  These ornaments don't have to be relegated to the holidays but can be used throughout the year to make your rooms smell cinnamon-y good! Simply make shapes that aren't Christmas/holiday specific. These also make awesome handmade gifts!

To Make the Orange & Clove Pomander: Wrap a ribbon several times around an orange & tie it off at the top in a way that can be hung. Poke small holes in the orange skin using a skewer (optional, but it makes the next step much easier) & gently press whole cloves into the holes. You can make a simple design or get complex, whatever you want! Hang it to dry and smell lovely. You can also forego the ribbon and put a few orange pomanders in a glass bowl as a center piece. Great decoration for a Regency or Victorian Era themed gathering or book party!

Applesauce & Cinnamon Pomander Ornaments
(original recipe from McCormick's)

3/4 Cup Plain Applesauce
1 Cup Ground Cinnamon
(Or use other spices like allspice, nutmeg, ground clove, etc., equal to 1 cup.)

Important Items:
Fun Shaped Cookie Cutters or Cookie Moulds
(These fandom cookie cutters from Warpzone Prints would be AWESOME for this recipe!)

1. In a medium bowl, combine the ingredients using your hands (you can start with a spoon) until the mixture is like clay. Roll it out on a lightly cinnamon sprinkled sheet of parchment paper to about 1/4" thickness. Cut with cookie cutters or press sections of the mixture into cinnamon sprinkled molds & then poke a hole in the top of each shape with either a straw, skewer, or toothpick.
Suggestion: You can make 3D ornaments by cutting out the individual pieces, completely drying them, & then gluing them together (like the BMO ornament I made).
2. Transfer the shapes to a baking tray & bake in a 200°F oven for about 2 1/2 hours, flipping the shapes halfway through. You can also let these air-dry for a couple of days (instead of using the oven), making sure to flip them every so often (air drying can protect against any cracking or deforming that might happen in the oven). The ornaments will lighten in color as they dry.
3. Once the ornaments are dry, you can leave them as is or you can decorate with craft paints, glitter, puffy paints, etc.get creative! String each ornament with thread or ribbon & hang on your tree, or from a light, or on a wreath, or your front door, or wherever you want!


  1. Replies
    1. Well, you COULD because the ingredients are only applesauce and cinnamon, but I would not recommend it. They are VERY strong in the cinnamon department.


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