July 23, 2013

Chocolate-covered cherry mice

image courtesy of Little Stumptown

There are lots of recipes for these little cuties floating around on the web. I love making these for lots of occasions, like Christmas and Valentine's Day, but they are easy enough to make anytime as a fun treat for someone special (like yourself!). The batch shown above I made for Valentine's Day and served on heart-shaped brownies.  Ronan is totally smitten with chocolate mice and with the last batch he held his like it was a baby chick whilst cooing and making "isn't this precious" faces.  

Here's what you will need: 

  • a jar of Maraschino cherries with STEMS, or you could get super fancy and use these which are amazingly delicious, but you would have to forfeit tails.
  • a bar of chocolate or bag of chocolate chips. You could use milk chocolate, but I prefer a dark chocolate. Here I used Ghiradelli.
  • a bag of Hershey kisses
  • Non-Pareils
  • almond slices (double the amount as mice you wish to make)
  • waxed paper
  • toothpicks
  • wet washcloth for messy hands

1. Melt your chocolate.  Chop up your chocolate if using a bar, pieces about the size of a dime are fantastic. If using chips you are already good to go! Honestly, it's not super gourmet sounding but my fav way to melt chocolate is *GASP* .... in the microwave.  The trick is to zap it in small increments, like say, 10 seconds at a time, and stir between each zapping.  When all of the chocolate is all melty and glossy you are good to go.  

2. Remove the amount of cherries you want to make from the jar (I usually make about 12 at a time) and here's a trick that I learned from trial by fire,...blot the cherries really well with a paper towel until most of the syrup is gone. The chocolate will have a hard time adhering if they are too syrupy and it's pretty frustrating.

3.  Commence dipping! I don't really worry about doing this perfectly. I use a small spoon, dip them until they are fully submerged in the chocolate, pull them out and plop them onto the waxed paper.  After a few tries you will find a technique that works for you so that they don't look super messy. 

4. Ok! All of your cherries are dipped now and you can commence with making what is essentially a sandwich. Take your almond slices and sandwich them between the dipped cherry and the Hershey kiss. You will need to hold it together for a few seconds.  If for some reason your chocolate has cooled very quickly and it won't adhere..never fear! (LOL. That rhymes!) Just add another dab of melted chocolate from your bowl and try again! The stem end of the cherry and the pointy end of the kiss should be on either end, facing out. 

5. The eyes and nose take a teeny pit of patience and perhaps you'll need your specs for this step.  Dip a toothpick into the melty chocolate and dot a teeny bit where you want your eyes to be. Stick on two non-pareils for the eyes and one on the end of the Hershey kiss snout for a nose.  

6. Let your treats cool and harden. If it's summer time you might want to hit them in the freezer for like 5 min or just make sure they are in a chilly-ish place

7. Serve on cake, brownies, cupcakes, perched (with more chocolate) on the edge of a mug of cocoa, or just by themselves. Super yummy and super cute!

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