Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Gingerbread Cookie Ornament

Gingerbread Salt Dough

Technique: Salt Dough

all purpose flour
wallpaper paste
acrylic paints

cookie cutter

Salt Dough Recipe
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup salt
1/2 cup ground allspice
2 tspn wallpaper paste
1/2 cup water

Combine all the ingredients and knead until smooth, approximately 10 minutes. Allspice is a combination of nutmeg, ginger and cinnamon that has a wonderful gingerbread smell. If you can't find it commercially prepared, you can substitute in half a cup of cinnamon. I'm not typically a fan of salt dough, although cheap to make it doesn't have the versatility of polymer clay, however this recipe is excellent for making "cookies".

You can treat this salt dough exactly as you would roll out cookie dough.  Roll it to the desired thickness, usually about 1/4" thick and use cookie cutters to form shapes.  Use a straw to push a hole in the top of the cookie for hanging later.  Lay on a baking tray and bake in an oven at around 250F/120C for an hour, turn and cook for another hour. Let cool in the oven.  After baking they should be dry, light and have a hollow sound when tapped.

Once the cookies are fully dried and cooled you can paint and decorate however you wish.  For best results and a cookie that will last many years, give several coats of varnish, making sure you coat inside the hanging hole also.  Salt is a humectant, and will draw any moisture in the air to the dough causing it to soften, it is essential to seal it properly to prevent your cookie from going soggy.

If you would like to have iced cookies, rather than simply painting them, products such as Jo Sonja Texture paste has the consistency of royal icing and can be tinted with acrylic paints and piped onto your cookies. Modeling materials such as paperclay can be rolled out and used just like fondant.

For my gingerbread man I used texture paste which pipes beautifully and let it dry overnight. I then sealed front and back with two coats of Modge Podge.

Below you can see a different variation using a star cookie cutter. I coated the front with a white sprinkle and then sealed with Modge Podge.

Gingerbread Salt Dough Star

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