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dough it right how to make salt dough ornaments
by Yee-Fan Sun
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Like Fig Newtons and marshmallow Fluff, dough ornaments are one of those excellent things that just about every kid growing up in America and celebrating Christmas seems to experience at some point in their childhoods. Every kid, that is, except me. (Boo hoo, sniff sniff.) Mention cookie dough ornaments and most folks I know will pipe up excitedly, "Oh yeah, I loved making those when I was little!" Even the boy, who doesn't normally share my weakness for holiday decorating, waxes a little nostalgic when we're at his folks' place each Christmas, and he notices the old cookie dough ornaments he and his sisters made with his mom way back in the day, still appearing on the family tree decades later. I love how individualized those dough ornaments can be; I'm a sucker for their rustic, handmade appeal. So for ages, I've been itching to make some dough ornaments of my own. After years of having either no tree or one of those itsy-bitsy two-foot varieties that are meant to serve as supplemental décor, I've finally scored myself a tree that's not so puny that I'm in danger of crushing it if I don't watch where I'm stepping. Which is why this year, I'm finally making up for my apparently deprived youth, and making some dough ornaments to fill out my new tree.

Looking to add a few new ornaments to your own tree, or make some inexpensive but totally unique gifts for friends and family? Check out our dough ornament how-to…

I have to confess that I've never understood the point of having real, edible cookies as ornaments -- don't they just get dried-out and unappetizing as they hang out there on the tree? Salt dough has always struck me as a far more sensible medium for cookie ornaments -- producing an end-product that has all the home-baked aesthetic charm of a real cookie, without the waste of including ingredients whose presence you'd only notice if you were actually going to be ingesting the ornament. Sure, you might not be able to steal nibbles of the dough as you work, but the traditional salt dough creates ornaments that can last a good long time, and relies on just a few really cheap ingredients that you probably already have lying around the house.

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