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Before Christmas I took a couple of days off to create and bake.  I cooked up a little something for the birdies, too, to keep them fat and happy this winter.  These bird treats were the perfect handmade gift to give to neighbors, friends and family that stopped by during the holidays.

I found the idea on Pinterest.  Not all recipes I found turned out to be successful.  After a failed first try, I combined a few recipes to come up with this winning combo.  I thought I would share incase anyone is looking for a fun winter project to do with kids or a simple gift to surprise loved ones - heart shaped treats would be perfect for Valentine's Day.

BIRD TREATS 4 cups birdseed 2 cups water 2 packets Knox gelatin 3/4 cup flour 3 tablespoons corn syrup

cookie cutters, mini bundt pans or donut pans cooking spray straws, cut into 2" lengths jute, yarn or baker's twine

Sprinkle gelatin over 1/2 cup cold water and let sit for 5 minutes. Heat 1 1/2 cups water to just below boiling. Pour hot water into cold water and stir until gelatin is completely dissolved. Stir in birdseed, flour and corn syrup until mixed well.

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Spray a large baking sheet and the insides of the cookie cutters generously with cooking spray to avoid sticking.  Press birdseed mixture firmly into cookie cutters (or bundt/donut molds).  Insert a straw (not too close to the edge) to create a hole for hanging.

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Allow to sit at room temperature for several hours to begin to harden. To speed up the process you can freeze for about an hour.

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Carefully remove treats from cookie cutters/molds. Place on a large baking sheet and allow to dry overnight. (I found that simply freezing didn't work because it didn't allow the treats to dry out and harden.)  The next day, turn treats over so the back sides can dry.  **Do not allow treats to sit at room temperature for more than two days.  Otherwise, they may begin to mold.**

Insert jute through hole and tie for easy hanging.

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If giving as gifts, package and freeze until ready to hand out.
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Instantly after hanging them outdoors, a friendly woodpecker was enjoying the tasty winter treat.

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