Night Before Christmas Mice
DeDe Wilson "A Field Guide to Christmas Cookies"
Epcot Food & Wine Festival 2003
3 C. all-purpose flour
1/4 t. salt
1 C. unsalted butter, softened
3/4 C. granulated sugar
1 t. almond or vanilla extract
1 large egg
sliced natural almonds
10 feet red or black licorice laces, cut into 3" lengths
6 oz. semisweet chocolate, melted and kept slightly warm
Whisk together flour and salt in a small bowl.
In a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter
until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add sugar gradually, beating until light and
fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in extract. Beat in egg. Add about one-third of the flour mixture and mix on low speed. Gradually add remaining flour, mixing just until blended. Scrape dough onto large piece of plastic wrap and cover completely with wrap. Refrigerate until firm enough to roll into balls, at least 2 hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 cookies sheets with parchment paper. Poll pieces of dough between your palms into 1 1/4" ovals. Slightly elongate one side to form nose. Gently pinch bridge of nose to form eye sockets. Place 2 sliced almonds behind eyes to make ears. Place mice 2 inches apart on cookie sheets.
Bake until light golden brown on bottom and around edges, about 15 minutes. Place pans on racks and immediately insert skewer into mouse rounded posterior, going in about 1/2 inch. Remove skewer and insert length of licorice for tail as far as it will go. It will wedge in and adhere to the still warm cookie.
Place melted chocolate in parchment cone and snip tiny opening. Pipe small chocolate eyes and nose in appropriate place. Place sheet in refrigerator until chocolate has firmed up.