This is the time of year that visions of Sugar Plums dance in the heads of ballerinas everywhere.
Today's post is inspired by one of my favorite Nutcracker Roles - The Baby Mice.
We made these sweet little mice as a gift for my daughters fellow dancers when she performed as a Mouse in the Nutcracker.
Not many ingredients are needed, and they are fairly easy to find (especially around the holidays when those boxes of chocolates magically appear):
~ Chocolate Covered Cherries (body)
~ Crispy Lo Mein Noodles (tail)
~ Sliced Almonds (ears)
~ Hersheys Kiss candies (head)
~ Chocolate Candy Melts or chocolate chips (melted)
Be selective when you choose the Chocolate Covered Cherries.
I prefer this brand - because of the pretty round dome shape (some brands are more angular) and the nice chocolate swirl on the top (others are molded and have a pressed circular design on the top).
They almost look hand dipped. All the better if you are inclined to make your own Cherry Cordials.
First, cover the chow mein noodle in melted chocolate (leaving just the tip uncovered). That end will be inserted into the mouse body. Set aside until firm. Assemble all the pieces (head, body, ears) using melted chocolate. Use a tooth pick to make a hole for the tail to be inserted. Add a bit more chocolate to the uncovered tip of the tail and insert it into the body.
Don't worry if there are globs of chocolate where there shouldn't be - they can be shaved off with a sharp knife once everything is cooled/firm.
The eye and nose details are made from confectioner sugar icing. White for the eyes and black for the nose and pupils. I used a toothpick to scoop up a tiny amount of icing for this detail work.
Each of the delicate mice were packed away in a paper box filled with shred to keep them safe.
Red Bakers Twine and a Holly Berry Tag were the final touches for these Nutcracker Mice.
The Mouse King was given a golden crown made from Fruit Chews (Starburst). A few seconds in the microwave softens them up so they can easily be molded into the desired shape.
For the crown, I rolled out a thin flat portion and cut pointy tips with a paring knife - then rolled it into a crown shape and adhered to the Kings head with some more confectioners icing.
The Mouse King was delivered in a special package befitting a King.
Thanks for reading along.