Christmas Scents

Simmering Potpourri, Cinnamon Ornaments, Yummy Gingerbread

Mmm...Christmas scents wafting through your home surely signal the beginning of the Christmas holiday season like nothing else.

Christmas scents are easy to do with these spicy recipes for simmering potpourri, scented cinnamon ornaments and gingerbread hot from the oven.

These are holiday recipes you can use for yourself but why not make loads of extras for gift-giving. One of the nice things about these is that they can be made well in advance – mine have lasted for years!

These recipes are excerpts from A Homemade Christmas, 100 Simple and Delicious Recipes For Your Special Christmas Meals.

They are really easy to do and not too expensive if you shop around. Buy your spices at a bulk food store when they have a pre-seasonal sale on and, in no time, your home will smell delicious and everyone will be in a holiday mood.


Simmering Potpourri Version 1:

3 tablespoons of ground cinnamon

2 tablespoons of ground cloves

1 tablespoon of anise seed

1 teaspoon of ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon of ground ginger

1 quart of water

Mix together.

Add water.

Bring to boil, stirring occasionally, then simmer on low.


Tip: Dry mix can be used as gift. Simply package in a cello bag – or better yet – recycle a container that you or your children decorate!

Best Pennywise Tip:

This makes a “light weight" gift if you need to mail it.

Simmering Potpourri Version 2:

Peels of 2 oranges

3 cinnamon sticks

12 whole cloves

2 1/2 cups of water

Combine in a saucepan.

Simmer, add water as needed.

Simmering Potpourri Version 3:

1 pkg. of pickling spice

1 pkg. of whole cloves

1 pkg. of stick cinnamon

1 jar of apple juice

Put in crock-pot.

Fill to top with water.

Bring to boil, put on simmer.

Christmas Scents: Ornaments

Christmas Scented Ornaments

: Version 1:

3/4 cup of cinnamon

1 tablespoon of allspice

2 tablespoons of cloves

1 tablespoon of nutmeg

1 cup of applesauce

1. Combine first 4 ingredients and blend well.

2. Stir in applesauce and mix well.

3. Roll out ¼ inch thick on ungreased cookie sheet.

4. Cut with cookie cutters of different shapes.

5. Put a tiny hole in top with toothpick.

6. Let dry 4 days. Put string through hole and hang on Christmas tree.


1 cup of cinnamon

1 cup of applesauce

1. Mix equal parts of cinnamon and applesauce. A dash of cloves, nutmeg and/or ginger may be added. See next recipe.

2. Roll out on a cinnamon-dusted board, rolling 1/4 to 1/8 inch thick.

3. Cut out with small cookie cutters. Using a pencil or straw make a small hole for a string near the top.

4. Let dry thoroughly. Dough may be placed in plastic bag for later use.

5. Tie with black thread or dental floss for a no-see look or fancy metallic ribbon if you want it to show up more.


3/4 cup of ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon of allspice

2 tablespoons of ground cloves

1 tablespoon of ground nutmeg

1 cup of applesauce

1. Mix all spices into applesauce, blend until mixture becomes like play-dough.

2. Roll dough onto a non-stick surface about 1 inch thick.

3. Cut shapes with your favorite cookie cutter(s) and let dry 3 to 5 days.

Best Pennywise Tips:

1. If you let these dry on a cookie rack they may end up with marks from the rack on the bottom. If you have a dehydrator with flat racks, you may be more pleased with the end results.

2. Poke holes if you want to hang them from your tree or other plants or to use as a decoration on a gift, but they are very pretty to add to potpourri also, with or without the holes.

3. If you make the holes, for the holiday season you could tie bright gold or silver ribbons to the top to use at Christmas time and then switch it out to gingham or a spring colour for later in the year and use them all year.

If you’re thinking of that, you might want to use cookie cutters that aren’t just for Christmas.

What a fun family activity to do! Now you have sweet Christmas scented simmering potpourri and spicy Christmas scented cinnamon ornaments made and it’s time to sit down and listen to your favorite seasonal music or begin the Christmas story with the children all seated at your feet…But wait!

I know smelling all those spices has put you in the mood for a nice cup of tea or a glass of milk but you want more…you want some…yes…Gingerbread!

So while you have all those nice spices out, you may as well whip up some Gingerbread for a snack!

Here's the recipe for Gingerbread! Enjoy!



2 eggs
3/4 cup of brown sugar
3/4 cup of molasses
3/4 cup of melted shortening
2 1/2 cups of flour
2 teaspoons of soda
2 teaspoons of ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of cloves
1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
1 cup of boiling water


1.Cream sugar and melted shortening.
2.Blend in eggs and molasses.
3.Sift flour with spices, soda, and baking powder.
4.Add to creamed mixture.
5.Finally add the boiling water. Beat well.
6.Pour into 9x13 inch greased pan.
7.Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. 

Got any leftover applesauce? Serve it with the Gingerbread, hot from the oven, like Mom used to do.

Comfort food or what!


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