Crafts

Nice Mice: Hershey Kiss & Cherry Mice

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When maraschino cherries, Hershey Kisses, chocolate chips, and almond slivers spend an afternoon in the kitchen, chocolate cherry mice emerge. This cute idea was shared with me by yet another dear reader after being seen on Omnomicon.

To make your own mischief of mice, melt the chocolate chips in a bowl set over a pot of barely simmering water. When the chocolate is melted and smooth, dip the maraschino cherries in the chocolate. Though you need to work consistentl, you do not need to work all that fast to apply the Hershey Kiss and almond slivers to the cherry.

You may need to work a bit more quickly if you use chocolate bark  rather than chocolate chips as the bark sets up more quickly than the melted chips. I found waiting a few minutes before applying the almond slivers as ears resulted in ears that held in place instead of sliding down along the body of the mouse. I treated my mice creations as more of a process than an exact recipe, so I extend my apologies regarding any lack of specifics.

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These little mice would be perfect for a Twas The Night Before Christmas theme.  As I was writing this post, I realized I have put a Christmas mouse on my desk for many years. When I was much younger, my mother let me tag along on a holiday open house event held by a few local merchants in my home town. At the local flower shop, Foster’s Flowers, Mom let me pick out a gift for myself. I selected a gray, ceramic mouse wearing a Santa hat and holding a striped red, white and green candy cane.

Now a grown woman, I don’t know that I should admit to keeping a childhood mouse on my desk during the holidays every year, but that little mouse reminds me of happy times. Though it is December, it is certainly not necessary to turn your mice into Christmas or holiday mice.

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Perhaps your mouse will turn out to be a country mouse.

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Or perhaps your mouse will turn out to be a town  mouse.

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Three blind mice.

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If  Hershey’s ever makes white chocolate kisses, we could make Vanilla (M)Ice. Whatever your mice turn out to be, I wish you fun and happy creating!

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Hershey Kiss & Cherry Mice
 
Author:
Serves: 25
Ingredients
  • 1 small (10 ounce) jar maraschino cherries with stems attached
  • 1 partial bag Hershey Kisses
  • 1 partial bag chocolate chips or other chocolate for melting
  • 1 partial bag almond slivers
Instructions
  1. Drain the cherries and set aside on a paper towel.
  2. Melt the chocolate chips in a double boiler, stirring frequently.
  3. Remove the bowl of melted chocolate from the stove.
  4. Hold a cherry by its stem and dip in the melted chocolate.
  5. Set the cherry on wax paper to begin to dry.
  6. Place an unwrapped Hershey Kiss at the front of each cherry to create a mouse head.
  7. Place an almond slice on either side of the Hershey Kiss head to make mouse ears.
Notes
A small jar of cherries should yield at least 25 mice. Full bags of Hershey Kisses, chocolate chips, and almond slivers will yield leftovers if only one small jar of cherries is used.

 

Which Witch? Hershey Kiss Witch Hats

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I spent a good chunk of  time yesterday afternoon trying to turn the Hershey Kisses and mini Nilla wafers leftover from the acorn project into witch hats for Halloween. The idea had been swimming around in my mind for a few weeks, but I wasn’t sure if it would turn out or be lost in translation when going from my brain to something tangible. The shape of the Hershey kiss was obvious for the pointed hat, and I thought the Nilla wafer would be perfect for the brim. I just wasn’t sure how to evenly coat the cookie in chocolate or if the two pieces would join together well enough to look like a witch hat.

Why the witch hat?  The witch is my favorite Halloween costume. I dressed up as a witch at least once for Halloween when I was a kid, and I know my sister did at least once too. Our mom pinned a pumpkin pin to the hat, and we wore a pumpkin necklace to add a bit of personality. Near Halloween, I like to eat food made with pumpkin, but witches are my favorite decorations.

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To make these treats, you will need chocolate bark, mini Nilla wafers, Hershey Kisses, royal icing, wax paper, a decorating bag , and a decorating tip. Melt the chocolate bark according to the package directions, and dip a mini Nilla wafer into the melted chocolate.  I placed a mini Nilla wafer on a spoon, dipped both in the chocolate, then pulled away quickly. I found keeping as little chocolate as possible in the bowl, melting only one or two bricks at a time, helped the dipping process.

Place the dipped mini Nilla wafer on a piece of wax paper to cool. I tended to lay the flat part of the wafer onto the wax paper, but I don’t think this matters too terribly much. Be sure the chocolate  that comes off the spoon onto the wax paper is thin so it will break off easily and allow for a smooth edge. See the variations above?  The mini Nilla wafer with the Hershey Kiss on it (upper right corner) has too much chocolate pooled around it.

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I allowed the cookies to dry and then picked the side I wanted to use to connect to the Hershey Kiss.  You can also place the Hershey Kiss onto the mini Nilla wafer immediately after it comes out of the melted chocolate. If you are going to connect the witch hats to another treat like I did, the texture of the underside shouldn’t matter too much.  A smooth underside is more important if you plan to sit the witch hats out on their own.

Does anyone know if mini Nilla wafers are made in chocolate flavor?  That would streamline this whole process, and one could go straight from connecting to decorating. After I connected the Hershey Kiss and the mini Nilla wafer, I created a hat band with a ribbon of colored royal icing. After trying a few different decorating tips, I found a star tip camouflaged the lack of my steady hand more so than a round tip.

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Overall, I think the Hershey Kiss witch hats turned out okay. If this was a perfectly professional blog where time and money were resources in more robust supply, I would perfect the idea before posting it. But it’s not, which means I have dear readers to virtually experiment with.

I attached my witch hats to chocolate cake balls. An idea I had for next time was to dip the cake balls in white chocolate bark, roll them in orange sprinkles, and then attach the hat. I also thought one could tint white chocolate bark green and draw a face on the cake pop. Instead of pressing a Hershey kiss onto the center of a freshly baked peanut butter cookie, I also wondered if tinting sugar cookie dough orange, baking it into thumbprint cookies, and pressing a Hershey kiss onto those might look cute. It’s possible I may try this later this week, but since it’s more possible than probable, I wanted to pitch the idea to the rest of you first.

I’ve given you the basics, now go cast your own spell!

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A Wreath For Wednesday

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While taking a break from baking, I put some cupcake liner papers to good use to make a  simple Halloween decoration. To make a wreath of your own, you will need a wreath form, ribbon, cupcake papers, a hot glue gun, glue sticks, and approximately one hour.

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I used an 8-inch Styrofoam wreath, 4 yards of 2.5 inch wide ribbon (1 spool), and 70 cupcake papers.  Should you wish to use 1.5 inch wide ribbon, you will need 8 yards (2 spools).

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Wrap the ribbon around the wreath, and secure the end of the ribbon with dots of hot glue.

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Crunch the bottom of a cupcake paper together, and glue it to the ribbon. Generously space the papers across the wreath to give the glue a chance to dry, and then go back around and fill in the spaces with more papers.

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Please be careful when using hot glue. In one of my dimmer moments, I placed a dot of hot glue on the wreath and proceeded to press the cupcake paper into the glue with my finger. I was very quickly reminded a thin layer of paper will not block the heat from the glue. I found wrapping the cupcake paper around the tip of a Sharpie and then pressing the paper into the glue worked well.

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Almost there…

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…and a reverse view.

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Secure a loop of ribbon to the back of the wreath to act as a hanger.  I had extra ribbon on hand, so I only bought one spool for the wreath. Depending on how elaborate you would like to make your hanger, i.e.) if you would like to make a bow, you may need to purchase additional ribbon when shopping for wreath supplies.

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Then hang it up!  At first, I was fairly disappointed  given the grayness of the wreath.  I had big aspirations for a black wreath, but of course the black outsides and the white insides of the cupcake papers equal gray.  My poor wreath looked sad, not spooky.

Then Mom came to visit and helped me pick out just the right accessory. We (okay, she) secured the spider with a bit of floral wire.

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The inspiration for this project can be seen as a Valentine’s Wreath on From Chapel Hill to Chickenville. If you do not have cupcake papers on hand or prefer a more neutral look, use a similar concept to make a wreath out of coffee filters.  Happy Halloween!