Handmade Christmas Ornaments :: Dried Apples and Cinnamon

When I was 22, I spent a winter working in the delightful Austrian village called Kitzbuhel. I worked in a little family run pension. My job was to help prepare the food for breakfast and lunch for the hotel guests. In the afternoons, I was off, off to the ski slopes until well after the sun had set. Life was so much fun!

On Christmas Eve, the few of us who worked in the pension, were invited to the owners home for drinks. The owner was a wealthy Austrian and it was quite a posh affair. His house was magnificent but what has stayed with me for all these years, is the sight of his Christmas tree. It was the most spectacular Christmas tree I have ever seen. It was at least 10 feet tall and was decorated from top to bottom in edible ornaments… white marshmallow garlands, golden walnuts, pink frosted snowflake cookies. I had never imagined a Christmas tree to be so softly beautiful. I have thought of it often since then and have come to the conclusion that the reason why I found it so lovely was because every single ornament was handmade.

Some of the prettiest ornaments were made with dried fruit. Dried orange and apple slices. So, in a effort to give our tree some Austrian loveliness, the children and I made dried apple ornaments just like the ones I remember.

We cut apple slices and designed a little drying rack that we left outside for a couple of days. The weather has been cold and dry here, perfect for drying fruit, but if your outdoors is too moist, you can set up your drying rack in a cool and dry spot in your home.

When our apple slices were nice and dry, we strung them with a little raffia and added a stick of cinnamon.

They are so pretty, just as I remember from my magical time on the Alps.

Happy Christmas crafting,
Blessings and magic,

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8 Responses

  1. These look delightful. I’ve just hung some dried citrus on our tree this year, but am tempted to add a few apple and cinnamon stick decorations too. Thanks!
    Fond memories of Austria too, Emmental cheese and fresh rolls for breakfast, Swiss chocolate (or Gluhwein!) after skiing. Yum!
    The family I stayed with also celebrated New Year (Silvester) by melting a piece of lead in a spoon and dropping into cold water, then telling your fortune from the metal shape! Thanks for bringing back the memories.

  2. How gorgeous. I am making these with my kids this afternoon, and your post reminded me how much I have to be thankful for. I love celebrating Christmas in a country where home made is still considered the best and most important thing.

    Oh and the Gluhwein after skiing isn’t bad either :-)

  3. I was searching for a method of drying apples without having to use any tools. Funnily enough I live in Austria (Vienna though) and found the tutorial here. :-)

    Thank you for posting!

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