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Saturday, November 26, 2011

Make Pine Cone Kindlers

Pine Cone Kindlers

This is our little wood stove.
My mom has made these for Christmas gifts over the last few years and they are great!  They are helpful in both wood stoves and fireplaces -- we have found that for smaller wood stoves (ours is quite little) it works better to use smaller pine cones and a bit less wax. 
To make 12 kindlers, you'll need:
  • 12 pine cones (approx. 2” in diameter, they should fit into a muffin tin)
  • 2 lbs paraffin wax
  • wax-coated candlewick
  • nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • double boiler
  • 12 cup muffin tin
  • candy thermometer, optional 
Cut the candlewick into twelve 6” long pieces. 

Melt the paraffin wax (it is probably easiest to do 1 lb at a time) in the top of the double boiler over boiling water. 

Spray the muffin cups lightly with vegetable oil spray. Place one end of a piece of candlewick in the bottom of each muffin cup, allowing the opposite end to hang over the side of the muffin cup.

Cool the melted wax (it should still be pourable -- about 160 degrees F,  if you want to use a candy thermometer to check it).  Place one pine cone upright in each muffin cup over the candlewick and carefully pour the melted wax into each cup, about an inch or so per cup.

Let them cool completely and you're done! 

To make a lovely gift presentation, put the kindlers in a pretty basket, add some fireplace matches and tie on a bright ribbon.  (Obviously you'll want do this at the last minute and give the gift in person -- if you are mailing the kindlers, wrap each in some tissue paper and pack them up all on their own, without matches of course.) Perfect!

Note:  you can color the kindlers if you wish by melting in a square of colored wax (available in craft stores).  My mom says she has added bits of used colored candles to the paraffin (or just used old candles as her wax instead of store-bought paraffin) and that works fine too!

Here is a short and helpful video of the process, if you're a visual learner. 
(Please note, in the video there is an extra step of first dipping the pine cones in the wax before placing them in the muffin tin.  My mom says she doesn't do this step and they work just fine!)

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