Sunday, December 7, 2008

Chocolate Cherry Mice

By Kelly Buchholz

Christmas, a time of lights, presents, carols and chocolate mice. At least in our household. The tradition began as Christmas cookies, decorated by my children with a variety of sprinkles, chocolate chips, shredded coconut and occasionally even leftover Halloween candy. While the result was always bright and festive, they weren't always entirely edible by any but the most dedicated sweet tooth. And then one year we stumbled onto the recipe for chocolate mice, which are not only cute, easy, and extremely edible, but these days my husband starts getting requests for them from his co-workers in November.

This is how it's done:

1 cup chocolate chips
2 tsp. shortening
24 maraschino cherries
24 chocolate kisses

In the microwave, melt the chocolate chips and shortening. Stir until smooth. Holding a dry cherry by its stem, dip it into the melted chocolate and then press it onto the bottom of a chocolate kiss. Place this on wax paper. You've now successfully attached the mouse's body to it's head. Stop to remind your kids not to lick their fingers. Wait while they rewash their hands, because your warning came too late. For the ears - while the chocolate is still warm, take two almond slices and wedge them gently between the kiss and the cherry.

Refrigerate until set.

- make sure your cherries have stems and are well drained
- you can use almond bark or Hershey's candy bars in place of the chocolate chips, eliminating the need for shortening
- you might choose to give your mice eyes with gel icing applied with a toothpick
- instead of setting the mice on wax paper to dry, try putting each one onto the cream side of an open Oreo.

Voila - mice cookies!
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