Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Gingerbread Cookie Mobile

This is what I've been like this year. Instead of doing the holiday things I planned, I hatch some other project out of thin air and do that instead. Making a gingerbread cookie mobile wasn't anywhere on my list of things to do. It wasn't even in the gee-I'll-have-to-try-that-someday part of my mind. I can't really explain why last night I became possessed and had to make one. And this is not a holiday tradition, so I am really breaking out of my mold.
I made the mobile with cinnamon applesauce ornaments, rather than real gingerbread. For years I'd been wanting to make applesauce cinnamon ornaments, and this was my year. My daughter and I made them this past Sunday. I followed this recipe, but found I needed a half cup of applesauce (rather than only 1/4) to make a workable dough. I was worried the glue would ruin my bowl, but it didn't at all. It mixed right in with the cinnamon and applesauce without making a sticky mess. I bought a 4 oz bottle of Elmer's and poured the whole thing without using a measuring cup.
We used cookie cutters to make our shapes and did the bake-at-200-for-2-hours drying method. They were perfectly flat when I flipped them after the first hour, and it wasn't until after I flipped them (which the directions say will prevent curling) that they started to curl a bit. I just let them go, and when it was time to take them out of the oven I laid another cookie sheet over them and put a pot filled with water on top of that to weigh them down. They flattened out nicely using that method.
We got several dozen ornaments out of the batch. They were lying on a plate in the kitchen for a couple of days, looking exactly like gingerbread cookies, and we all kept wanting to eat them. It didn't help that I'd made a batch of real gingerbread cookies the same day we made these, but we couldn't eat those, either, because they are for my daughter's classroom party, and a double recipe made exactly the right amount for her classmates with no cookies to spare. We are in a state of gingerbread deprivation here. I will remedy that this weekend.
I made the mobile by sort of following these directions. I only had a 6 inch hoop, so I used that, and I didn't paint it red because I didn't want to have to wait for paint to dry. I had a hard time getting the red hanging ribbons just right so that the hoop would hang evenly. When I finally got it to hang evenly I stapled the ribbons together at the top and faked the knot. Also, even though I was being very careful about how I tied the ornaments to the hoop, they all twisted to face the inside rather than the outside. The fear of that very thing happening is why I did not paint them to look like decorated cookies. I also didn't stagger the ornaments' heights. That is sort of bothering me, so I might fix that later. Or not!

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