I know I say it all the time, but I really do love technology. Did you notice I was on holiday the whole of the week? No? Because of technology, in this case Blogger who lets you schedule your blog postings. Genius, if you ask me. The Little Girl and I went for a quick beach holiday while The Fabulous Man went to China on a business trip. Apart from the beach bit, we had a great time. It turned out the Little Girl doesn't really like sand between her toes. She would run around after the seagulls, but then stop every few steps to wipe the sand of her feet. Very Cute.
But I'm sure by now you have had more than enough about my family, so let's talk cookies. Chocolate mice, to be precise. Every year I spend a small fortune on all the Christmas magazines. One of my annual favourites is the American Better Homes and Gardens Christmas Cookie edition. I always find several recipes that look great, and turn out fantastic too. This year I also bought the Martha Stewart Holiday Cookies edition (so far), and in it found these little chocolate mice. How gorgeous are they? They immediately went on the 2010 Christmas cookie-to-make list. Like with most recipes these days, I changed it just a smidgeon. The original recipe has slivered almonds for the mice's ears, and licorice laces for the tails, and although I think this is a fabulous idea, I don't think they will keep as well when I start to pack them, so I decided to just ice mine on. My cookies also turned out a bit cracked on top, unlike Martha's perfect creations (surely nobody's versions ever look as good as hers?). I'm sure there's an explanation for that, but I don't know. Please feel free to enlighten me. I'm freezing mine undecorated, but I have finished one to show you what I'm planning to do.
So without any further chitchat, I offer you Christmas Mice. But only if you've been... naughty. Being nice is just not as much fun.
Makes about 3 dozen
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
100g white chocolate, chopped
Combine the flour, cocoa powder and salt in a bowl. In a separate bowl, beat the butter with an electric mixer on medium high speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add sugar gradually, beating until mixture is pale and fluffy. Add the egg and the vanilla, and beat until mixed. Gradually add the flour and mix until combined. Halve the dough and shape into disks. Wrap each in plastic and chill for 2 hours or up to one day.
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Roll about 1 tablespoon of dough (about the size of a walnut) into a ball, and shape the one end into a pointy nose. Place shapes on lined baking sheets, about 3cm apart. Bake for about 20-25 minutes. Transfer sheets to wire racks, and let cookies cool completely.
Melt chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Pipe eyes, whiskers, ears and a tail onto each mouse. Chill until the chocolate is set, about 20 minutes. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 1 week, or frozen for up to 2 months.