This story is not edible. But it does make quite the holiday decoration.
The day after Thanksgiving I joined my partner's family on the traditional thrift store sift and found myself a copy of the Fruegal Gourmet Celebrates Christmas. I read it from cover to cover within two days and entered into a little world of the "real" meaning of Christmas.
Pictures of the original St. Nicholas dancing in my head I shared the story of how the saint saved three young women from slavery by providing gold to pay their dowry. The legend of the tale tells that St. Nicholas threw the three bags of gold down the chimney and they landing in stockings drying by the fire.
I have three stockings hanging over my fire place right now. My Buddhist Christmas wish is – especially in this time of economic hardship – that more of us in this country relish in gratitude and appreciation of the people who surround them. Let us all recognize that the treasures of this time of year are not the gifts we receive or give but sharing our love with people we care about and are cared for by.
These are some people that I love – Dores & Adrienne. They are pretending to lick the salty baked playdough cookie ornaments we made from an ornament recipe I found in my new Christmas cookbook. I used the cookie ornament making endeavor as a reason to bring us all together for some holiday fun times. We succeeded.
We are gluten free and/or vegan so it was also an exceptionally fun dive into using glutenful flour as the cookies are inedible.
Adrienne rolling out the dough.
Ornaments to be – waiting to bake.
An application of egg wash by Dores.
An angel awaits baking.
Into the oven.
Baked to perfection we painted our ornaments and listened to carols.
Here is the angel at home on my tree with lights strung by Adrienne.
And a little Christmas vermin (mouse) named Dickens on top.
Cookie ornaments are a very traditional tree decoration. The use of evergreen trees during the solstice (what some might call pagan) rituals can be dated back to germanic tribes who used the tree as symbol of continuous life. There is written record of the first christian Christmas tree in Germany around 1603 – on this first tree were painted communion wafers. The tradition of communion wafers at some point was replaced by painted cookies and hence my statement above that cookie ornaments are a very traditional tree decoration.
Making your own cookie ornaments is quite simple. My friends and I recommend using acrylic paint to decorate them and glitter, lots of glitter.
1 3/4 cups hot water
1 cup salt
4 cups all purpose flour
For egg wash beat 1 egg with roughly 3 tbsp of water
Dissolve the salt into the hot water. The salt will not dissolve all the way just reduce in size.
Add flour to the water and salt mixture. Mix until all the water is absorbed. Place the dough onto a floured surface and knead until it is smooth and pliable ( a few minutes). Allow the dough to rest for 5 minutes.
Roll the dough out to 3/8 inch thick (do not make any thinner or else they will become brittle after baking). Cut shapes out with cookie cutters or place into molds. Place the shapes on parchment paper on a cookie sheet or onto a nonstick baking sheet. Brush swift and lightly with the egg wash.
Take a toothpick and make a hole in each cookie (to place string through). Do this after you have brushed with egg wash.
Bake the cookie ornaments for 1 hour and 15 minutes at 300 degrees or until golden brown.
Get out your paints, glitter and glue and go at the cooled cookies with your imagination. Use string or ribbon to loop through the hole and hang on your tree.