Creeping into a playful spirit with chocolate mice

[S]ometimes I think my fun is done.

I know that sounds fatalistic. I know I have joys and things to enjoy ahead. But as far as true, hilarious, tickle-me, laugh-out-loud pleasure — like the fun of childhood — I at times feel I’ve entered into a phase of adulthood where that is less-likely, though not impossible.

Making chocolate mice changed all that.

image_9I feel treated by almost all of my cooking and baking projects — they relax me, inspire me, challenge me and provide me a sense of creative accomplishment. But never have I had so much true fun making anything until I took melted chocolate, sour cream, crushed chocolate cookies, sliced almonds and licorice and formed mice. Just a few ingredients, and it was a laugh riot.

image_7I was giggling the whole time, well, once these items began to really look like mice. Once I took those blobs of chocolatey ingredients and rolled them into ovals and discovered how easily each took two sliced almonds as ears and two sugar pearls as eyes and a length of red licorice whip as a tail. Hilarious!

My friend, Libby Salerno (for more about her, see blog of 6/16), is a big mouse fan. As a girl, her mother called her “Libby Mouse,” and the pet name and the critter attachment took hold at that point and remained. Libby has little mice everywhere in her apartment — figurines, plant holders, pot holders. She loves them. So when Libby’s birthday came around this past June, I thought of purchasing her chocolate mice, then, I thought, maybe you can make little edible rodents yourself.

Leave it to some creative being to conjure a candy mouse so simply. I found a video demonstrating the whole thing. It was all so cute, I could not resist. image_6Sometimes, these demos — whether video or photo — show a successful product made easily, then when you try to do it yourself, it doesn’t work out quite so well (which is why I’ll never make owl cupcakes with Oreo eyes again).

This time, what was shown worked out exactly with my own less-than-perfect abilities. The mice were adorable and upon taste-testing, really delicious, reminding me of a very rich chocolate truffle of just the right size. I boxed the mice with a wedge of Swiss cheese. Libby’s birthday treat, though not a cake, was met with delight, and she offered the genius suggestion of making a cheese wedge from white chocolate. Brilliant!

I look forward to trying that. And I look forward to dozens more chocolate mice…for Halloween, for Christmas. For whenever fun is called for…

To me, these are a perfect little creepy critter for a Halloween party, but cute enough for anytime.
Chocolate Mice

4 (1 ounce) squares semisweet chocolate 

1/3 cup sour cream 

1 cup chocolate cookie crumbs 

1/3 cup chocolate cookie crumbs 

1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar 

24 silver dragees decorating candy 

1/4 cup sliced almonds 

12 (2 inch) pieces long red vine licorice 

Melt the chocolate, and combine with sour cream. Stir in 1 cup chocolate cookie crumbs. Cover and refrigerate until firm.

Roll by level tablespoonfuls into balls. Mold to a slight point at one end (the nose).

Roll dough in confectioners sugar (for white mice), and in chocolate cookie crumbs (for dark mice). On each mouse, place dragees in appropriate spot for eyes, almond slices for ears, and a licorice string for the tail.

Refrigerate for at least two hours, until firm.

Blogger’s Note: I must have have smaller mice, as I ended up with about 18. And have not tried to make the white mice…yet…

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