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17 April 2011

Makin' mice!

I saw a recipe for chocolate-cherry mice a while back and have wanted to make them. But, without a real reason, I haven't had the opportunity. Well, I finally got my chance! This Wednesday night I am getting together with some of my girlfriends, and our dinner theme is "chocolate." The ladies requested that I make some of the mice, so, obedient as I am, I obliged. I put them together today, and they are absolutely precious! Almost too cute to eat. Almost ...

How cute is this, really?

It's quite easy to do, so I highly recommend trying it out. I thought it was going to be much more labor-intensive, but it wasn't at all. I spent about 30 minutes from start to finish. Not bad at all.

To start, you need cherries on their stems, chocolate for melting, chocolate chips, and slivered almonds. I was able to get organic everything (yeah!). Of course, cherries are out of season, so I couldn't purchase fresh. But Earthfare has this really great brand of maraschino cherries that have been pitted and still have their stems on. What's even better about them is that they are preserved with all natural ingredients: sugar, water, and vegetable and fruit extracts for color. And, honestly, they are the most amazing cherries I've ever tasted. Seriously. Outstanding. Anyway, I'm getting sidetracked.

First, separate out your ingredients so they are handy. You need to work while your chocolate is hot, so you don't want to be scrambling for ingredients. Pay special attention to the slivered almonds. You'll want to have some nicely shaped slivers readily available, so you may have to sort through some of the broken bits.

Very tasty cherries!
I rinsed my cherries after taking them out of the bottle. Be sure to dry them before dipping them in chocolate. The water and left-over syrup will ruin your chocolate and make it grainy. And that's not good.

Chocolate chips. Yum.
Slivered almonds.
Chocolate starting to melt in my "double boiler."
Yummy progress! 
 After your chocolate is melted, dip each cherry into the chocolate. Rest it on wax paper and then decorate. Place a chocolate chip on the end (for a nose) and one sliver of almond on each side (for ears).
An army of tasty mice. 
You may need to place your mice in the fridge to make the chocolate set, especially if you make these on a warm day. It takes about five minutes to make the chocolate set, so it's not a huge time commitment. I'm keeping mine in the fridge till Wednesday anyway, so it's not a big deal.

I had some leftover chocolate and slivered almonds, so I made a little edible "nest" for them. I mixed the almonds and chocolate together and spread it out on the plate. I added some crushed almonds on top and then stuck it in the freezer to set it. After it was set, I added my mice. Hopefully this will be the only mouse nest I ever find in my house.

The only problem is that now I have to wait until Wednesday to enjoy them! (Although, I will admit that a couple got "ruined" in the process and just had to be eaten.)

While you're here, a vote? Please? Thanks!

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