Sono-Ma Crafts: Chocolate Christmas Mice
Christmas mice are a fun, novel holiday treat. Gather the kids in the kitchen for this crafty project, and quickly prepare eight – sixteen homespun gifts. These candies are a total departure from our usual diet – making us feel like mischievous little mice ourselves. We each gobble up a chocolate covered cherry in one bite, then we scurry off to deliver these to the doorsteps of our friends and neighbors.
Supplies & Tools Needed
* Cherries with stems (one jar with 28 cherries)
* 3.5 ounces of chocolate (tempered is easiest) per jar of cherries
* Sliced almonds (one – two ounces)
* Candy boxes and “cups” (Nancy’s Fancy’s in Santa Rosa, CA)(boxes come in packages of ten)
* Baker’s Twine
* Card Stock
* Computer with design program (Publisher, Photoshop – Word will do in a pinch)
Open cherry jar and drain out juice. Gently remove all cherries, placing them on an absorbent cloth to drain. Our jars held about 26 cherries with stems. (We culled out a few smooshed or stemless cherries.) Use two jars if you want to double your recipe.
Prepare your mouse noses by counting out enough chocolate pieces to match each cherry. Place chocolates on a plate. We used foil covered kisses, so this step required peeling each piece – a great project to keep little hands busy.
Use another small plate to corral your mouse ears. Sort through your sliced almonds to find slices that are full and smooth edged. You’ll need two almonds for each cherry and chocolate kiss. This sorting job is another great one for the kids!
Once the cherries are drying and the kids are preparing noses and ears, it is time to start up the double boiler. (We use a cast iron pot and a glass dish for our double boiler.) We let a few cups of water come to a boil under the glass bowl, turn the heat to low, and then place chunks of chocolate in the bowl. Using a spatula, I stir the chocolate often until it is smooth and creamy.
Using a pre-tempered bar of chocolate makes this an easy process. However, you can also use untempered, bulk chocolate. For instructions on how to temper your own chocolate see: Sono-Ma Crafts: Chocolate Holidays.
Using your spatula, scrape down the sides of the bowl to make a mound of chocolate in the bowl’s center. Now dip your cherries, spinning the stem to ensure your cherry is covered in chocolate.
Dip your the bottom of your chocolate kiss in the melted chocolate as well. This chocolate will serve as “glue” to stick your mouse nose to it’s body.
Set your mouse on parchment paper. Slide two almonds in between the kiss and the cherry. If the ears don’t stay in place, guide them back into position a moment or two later. Allow to dry, which takes about 2 hours. Wet mouse are shiny, but dry mice are matte looking.
You’ll have to taste test these before giving them out as gifts. What fun to grab the mouse by the tail and then lower him into your mouth!
We then package up the mice into gift boxes. We purchased our gift boxes and paper cup liners from Nancy’s Fancy’s. We chose the box size that held about three mice. Our single batch recipe resulted in twenty-four mice, so we were able to make eight gift boxes. (Of course we ate the two that were left over!)
We tied each box with baker’s twine, and added a personalized card. Our card features a vintage image, which we discovered on Vintage Ephemera. This blog features copyright-free images you can download and use cost free.
One word of caution…your friends may tell you these little mice caused mischief in their homes. Last year, our dear friend, Gail, caught her mice eating up all of the Christmas cookies in her kitchen!