There are a lot of dough recipes floating around good ol Pinterest land and I’ve been eager to try a few out. Since it’s been especially frosty. . . highs of 3 degrees, in fact, and we had some special friends coming over, the conditions seemed perfect to test out some of these doughs out.
I put two recipes to the test today and will list the pros and cons so you know what you’re getting into before you turn your kitchen into a winter wonder flour land and deplete half your Christmas cheer. I’ve had one too many craft projects suck the life right out of me and now is not the time for soul sucking crafts. . . you have Christmas cookies and cards to make after all!
My dear friend, Suz, and her little one came over with treats from Great Harvest (next time you are there try a pumpkin muffin-oh man) and after devouring every crumb, we got to work. I decided to start with the Cornstarch and Baking Soda dough recipe because it had a shorter bake time.
Take a look at both recipes and see which one works best for your Christmas festivities.
Cornstarch and Baking Soda Dough
1/2 cup cornstarch
1 cup baking soda
3/4 cup water
Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
Combine cornstarch, baking soda, and water in sauce pan. Stir over medium heat until dough forms and is the consistency of dry mashed potatoes. Remove from heat and place in bowl with a damp cloth over dough ball (to prevent from drying out) and let cool. Once the dough is cool to touch, sprinkle cornstarch on the counter surface and roll dough out to desired thickness-we did about 1/4 of an inch. Cookie cut away. You can use a toothpick to make holes for string to make ornament.
Lay ornaments on baking sheet and bake in oven for about 30 minutes. Take out and let them continue to dry on a flat surface.
- Quick baking time
- Dough is sturdier than salt dough so it’s really easy for small hands to handle
- Dough is whiter than salt dough making it look like more like plaster
- Blemishes in dough are extremely noticeable (like indents or scratches from transferring dough from counter to pan)
- Baking too long will promote cracking in dough
- You need to cook dough in a sauce pan (an extra step compared to Salt Dough)
1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Combine all ingredients in bowl until dough ball forms. If dough is tacky, add a little more flour. Roll dough out on floured surface and cut shapes. Use toothpick to make holes for string to make ornaments. Transfer to cookie sheet and bake for 2-3 hours.
- Dough is quick to make
- The baked ornaments are more rustic looking and hide small blemishes better
- Seem less delicate once baked
- Dough is extremely elastic and soft-dificult to get good hand prints from wiggly babies and kids
- Salt really dries out hands (no fun in winter!)
- Dough takes a longer time to bake
Here’s my conclusion. . .
The cornstarch dough was great for squirmy hands. It was sturdier and seems easier for little ones to handle and play with. The dough dries very smooth making it an easy surface for kids to paint. If selecting a Christmas craft to do with your kiddos (especially if they are tiny), I would recommend the cornstarch dough. You’ll at least get one good handprint :)
If you are more interested in actually making (*ahem) decent looking ornaments for presents or gift tags, then I would go with the Salt Dough. I think the finished product looks prettier and the texture of the dough when it dries is really nice.
What a fun day inside with our friends!
Hope this helps with Christmas crafting!!
Let me know which one you try and like the best by leaving me a comment below. And feel free to share dough ornament tips you’ve learned.