Saturday, January 26, 2013

Cookie Cutter Birdseed Ornaments

As I've been floating around the internet looking for something to do for valentines day for Elli's class, I came across something that got my wheels turning and decided that I needed to try it out.  But I couldn't find one recipe that was the same as another, so I blended a few together and made up my own (adding to the birdseed ornament confusion). The best part?  If you decide to use them as a valentine, it lasts a lot longer than a lolipop or fun size bag of m&ms  - and it feeds our little feathered friends too!

Follow along with me :) 

Cookie Cutter Birdseed Ornaments
This recipe makes a lot....seriously....way more than I thought it would, but if your giving them away and your kids want to keep a lot themselves, it probably be the right amount

1 1/2 cups water
3 envelopes of Knox gelatin
1/3 cup corn syrup
1/4 cup peanut butter (optional)
1 1/2 cups flour 
10 cups birdseed
nonstick cooking spray
various cookie cutters/ muffin tins/ plastic tubs/ anything you can find to make a mold from   
drinking straws (I cut them into thirds)
wax paper

Bring the water to a boil.  In a LARGE mixing bowl, add the gelatin, water, corn syrup, and peanut butter together to make a sloppy mix.  Add the flour and stir until it's combined.  Then add the birdseed - I'd start with 8 or so cups, but if it is still a little too wet feeling, add more.  I used 10 cups.   

Place your wax paper out on a surface that you wont be using for a while.  You could also put it on cookie sheets that you can just move out of your way if you need.  Now, spray down your cookie cutters and molds down with the cooking spray.  You don't want the birdseed sticking! 

Grab your help and start filling!  We just added a spoonful at a time and pressed it in really well.  

Once you've filled your molds, grab your straws and stick them into the ornaments making sure to press through completely. 

Now we wait.  A long time.  The gelatin needs time to set up, so give them three hours or so to get firm enough to pop out of the mold. 

Three hours later....

Pop the birdseed out of the mold, remove the straw, and flip them over to dry out completely. (They should just slide out of the mold).  Leave them to dry out overnight.  

Once you have shown enough patience to wait overnight, you can grab your twine and start stringing! We used a floss needle threader as our 'needle' because the bakers twine I used was a little tough to put through on its kept getting stopped on seeds...annoying. 

You can make some card boxes or get some goody bags to put them in to give to the class for Valentines (how cute that would be to make a bunch of hearts to give away!), or run outside and stick them all over the yard!

 I think next time, I will half the recipe somehow.  It's really a simple enough recipe that you could adjust the ingredients as necessary. 


Added note:  We have had a few days of rain and wet weather and the bird seed ornaments did not hold up to the rain well.  So before the birds could eat the whole thing while hanging in a tree, they fell off the twine.  The birds will still enjoy them, only this time, from the ground. 

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