Katy, a long-time reader emailed me yesterday and shared that she made salt dough ornaments with her kids, and asked if I knew a slow cooker recipe for the dough.
What a great idea!!
The kids and I got to work at once making some salt dough. Ours aren't Magazine Quality, but we had a bunch of fun rolling out the dough while singing (loudly!) to carols playing on the satellite TV channel.
1 cup salt
3 cups all purpose flour, or rice flour (I used a gluten-free all purpose because we were out of the inexpensive stuff)
1 cup luke warm water
1 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil
Mix dough with hand or stand mixer until it reaches a ball. If needed, add 1 tablespoon more water while mixing. The dough will be sticky, but will hold shape when molded.
Make ornaments (or beads for stringing). We made a bunch of beads to create a garland, and a few cut-out shapes for regular ornaments with playdough cookie cutters. Use a chopstick to make a hole in the center of the ornaments--you need to have a good amount of dough surrounding the hole so it doesn't crumble when hung.
Line the bottom of your crockpot with parchment paper. I did not do this, and it was a bad idea. Place dough creations into the bottom of your crockpot. I used both of my 6 quart crockpots for this project. Cover and cook on high for 2-3 hours, flipping once.
The ornaments are done when they are hard to the touch and have browned slightly. I did overcook a few, but after a coat of paint you can't tell.
After they have cooled completely, paint. We only had crayola poster paint in the house, so that's what we used. A paint that dries with a shiny coat would look better. Seal with a varnish or Mod Podge. I haven't done this yet, but I'll get some Mod Podge next time I'm at Michael's.
These were a lot of fun for us. My four-year-old kept eating the dough which was a little weird, but we were all in a good mood, and made memories. I like salt dough a lot, and have used it to make hand and foot prints. I liked using the crockpot instead of the oven this year because we ended up with NO casualties---none of the pieces cracked, and the slow cooking meant I could fuss around with the pieces and move them around to ensure an even bake. I have a half-batch of the dough left wrapped up in the fridge, so this weekend we'll get some nicer paint and make some more ornaments to give as gifts.
more fun slow cooker stuff: