Since it is Gluten Free Friday I wanted to share a non-edible recipe with you all. At this time of year this is a project that is fun and festive. Technically, it is a gluten free recipe, so when the shoe fits?
Scented pine cones are becoming increasingly popular, and with that popularity they are also becoming more expensive to purchase commercially. But never fear! If you have access to pine cones you can scent them yourself. If you have 8 little hands helping you collect the cones it won't take long before you have a bag full and ready to go. (Note to parents, be sure the kids are picking up only pine cones, and not dog poop. Trust me on that!)
Used similar to potpourri, scented pine cones serve as great aromatic hearth decorations. You can use them as a festive centerpiece in a decorative bowl. The fragrances used are the same ones that are used in potpourri. After being displayed for a while the scent will begin to diminish. Simply toss old cones into the fireplace and the burning will release more scent.
These are quick and easy to make, they are ideal for group activities or school children or if like me, you have birthed your own classroom of toddlers, you can just line them up in the kitchen and start crafting.
Rinse pine cones under running water, shake to dry, lay pine cones on an old cookie sheet lined with parchment paper (easy clean up) and bake at 200F until the pine cones open up (kills bugs, melts sap etc) or for about 15 minutes. Shake the tray periodically to wiggle them. When baked, spread pine cones out on layers of newspaper. Pour cinnamon, clove or Christmas blend essential oils into a spray bottle with a little water and spray cones until they are damp. (I used a pumpkin pie spice oil from Michael's) I sprinkle a little ground cinnamon and cloves onto the moist cones and shake the excess off. It is like a double layer of natural scent. Place scented pine cones back on the parchment papered tray and put in 200 degree oven, turn off flame and let them sit until the oven turns cold or overnight. Then place the scented cones in a plastic bag and seal for 24 hours to lock in the fragrance.
The whole house smells amazing while you are making these and they make awesome gifts from the kids. My children took pride in presenting them as a hostess gift yesterday, and they were a hit.
My camera battery was dead as a door nail when we made these, so I do not have photos, but we plan to make them again this week, so I will upload some shots to this post and give the visuals for the recipe.
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