Cook time: 5-8 hours
Homemade decorations are fun to make and easy with Aga range cookers. Salt dough takes a long time to dry out but the simmering oven is perfect for this! Children enjoy making these and, once they are baked, can paint the decorations in bright colours. The natural look is lovely though too!
- Baking tray for use with Aga range cookers
- Variety of Christmas cookie cutters
- A straw
- Evergreen leaves, letter stamps etc…
In a mixing bowl, stir together the flour and salt. Slowly add the water a little at a time, stirring as you go to form a dough. You may not need all the water – stop once you can bring it together with your hands.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead until you have a smooth, pliable dough. If the dough seems too sticky, add a little more flour as you knead. If it is dry and crumbly, add more water!
Roll the dough out to the thickness of a pound coin and cut out shapes with cookie cutters. Use a straw to make a hole for threading ribbon for hanging. Transfer the decorations to a baking sheet, lined with a silicone baking sheet if needed. I do this in batches as the recipe makes a generous quantity of dough – keep the remainder wrapped in cling film or an airtight container.
Slide the baking tray(s) into the simmering oven to dry out – between 5-8 hours, depending on thickness and number of trays in the oven.
Once baked, allow to cool, then thread with a ribbon and hang on the tree!
Aga range cooker tips:
- Use your imagination when creating the decorations – children may enjoy making 3D models rather than flat shapes. These work well too although take considerably longer to dry out – don’t make them too dense!
- Press different shapes into the dough to leave a lasting impression – a tiny handprint makes a great memory of a baby’s first Christmas. Letter stampers are fun to use too.
- If you have a warming oven, you can dry your decorations out overnight in this oven if you prefer.
- If you find the decorations aren’t quite dry - sit them on racks above the hotplates overnight and they will continue to dry out further.
- You can paint your decorations – acrylic paint gives the best finish. You can also varnish particularly special decorations – they will last much longer.
This fun family recipe has been scribed and tested by community member Antonia, who is a hard working mum with two boys. Her recipes are trialed in her much loved Aga range cooker and devoured by her family, allowing Antonia to provide accurate tips and advice on how to make the dishes a success! Go check her work out! She is a country girl, happily surrounded by an excitable Lab, her dear husband, two boys and the Cotswolds.