Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Christmas Mice!

'Tis the season to bake cookies!

LOTS of cookies.

Of course everyone has a favorite kind of Christmas cookie... and mine are mice!

My family has been making mice cookies for Christmas ever since I can remember.  Baking them has become a tradition.  I love making them for cookie exchanges and gifts because besides tasting oh so yummy, they are also so adorably cute!

Here's how to make your own:

Start by mixing together
1 cup of soft margarine and
1 cup of brown sugar until it's all nice and creamy.

Then add
1 egg
1 teaspoon of almond extract and
2 teaspoons of vanilla.

Once that is all nicely mixed, gradually beat in
3 1/2 cups of flour until you have a nice, stiff dough.

Refrigerate the dough for at least 2 hours.
During this time you can gather the "accessory" ingredients which include currants (for the eyes), sliced almonds or peanut halves (for the ears) and long, skinny lace licorice whips (for the tails).

Alright, now that you have some chilly dough, it's time to make mice!
Form the dough into 1" balls (about a tablespoon worth of dough works nicely) and then pinch the sides to form little tear-drop shapes.

You'll want to leave a generous amount of space between the rows of mice on the cookie sheet for when we put the tails in after baking.  Okay, now for the fun part!  Using the currants for eyes and the almonds (or peanuts) as ears, give your mice cute little faces!

Awww...aren't they cute?  Now go ahead and bake them in an oven preheated to 325 degrees for 9-12 minutes.  Now is a good time to cut your licorice lace into 3" pieces for tails.

When you take your mice out of the oven they will still be a little squishy but they will also be very lightly brown on the bottom.  Once they are out of the oven, quickly poke their licorice tails into them before they stiffen up.

Ta Da!  Once they have cooled, enjoy their tasty goodness!  Although they are almost too cute to eat...

This is a great holiday cookie for kids to help make, too!  Just be aware that mutations sometimes happen...

Merry Christmas!