March of the Marzipan Mice

Escape!‘Tis the season and the calendar tells me that tomorrow is December 1st, which can only mean two weeks from Friday is our office holiday party (woot!) and Christmas Eve is just one week away from that.  I’m sure you got your Black Friday shopping done, but what else is on your Christmas shopping list?  Is everything commercialized and store-bought?  Do you make anything by hand, perhaps a soup mix in a pretty mason jar with a homemade label and ribbon?  Homemade candied nuts or fudge, maybe?  Speaking of sweet stuff, about some candy?  Not just boring square or round shaped candy, but interesting candy.  Mouse-shaped candy, specifically. 

Last year, the nest was mostly empty and I was still coming to terms with having some extra time on my hands.  I was making note cards with my own photography and getting pretty crafty with knitting and food.  Thank goodness no one has yet to fall victim to any of my knitware but my play with food seems to be paying off. 

I wanted to make some sort of novelty gift of food last Christmas, but not the typical cookies or cake.  Not that there is anything wrong with cookies or cake, but if you happen to have read previous entries in my blog, you’ll note I am not a baker.  There is just too much sciencey stuff behind the madness for me to comprehend.  While perusing through some old magazines left at the office, like my friend Jackie and I often do to troll for new recipes, I found a little how-to on making marzipan candy with a demo on making mice.  I swore to her I would make the mice and bring them in. 

The process was very simple and pretty inexpensive.  I sincerely apologize to whatever magazine I snagged the idea from, as I believe in giving credit where credit is due.  I think it might have been a Real Simple or Rachel Ray magazine.  The measurements are not exact since I am winging this from memory.  I imagine with enough creativity, a good friend and a bottle of wine, most any creature can be expertly (or not) made out of the wonder product – marzipan!

Marzipan Mice 

  • 1 tube of marzipan (body)Lining Up
  • 1/4 cup of slivered almonds (ears)
  • cinnamon candies or icing balls (eyes)
  • black or red licorice strips (tail)
  • 1 bag melting chocolate (we used Milton candy melts)
  • 1 bag melting white chocolate chips
  • toothpicks
  • tweezers
  • wax paper

How to Make It!

Roll the marzipan between the palms to make it pliable enough to work with, if needed.  Break off a ping-pong sized piece and roll it between the palms to make a sort of egg shape.  Put it on the counter and push down to flatten the bottom, then put your thumb and forefinger on the front of it and pinch to make indentations on either side, with your finger tips.  This makes room for the eyes and thins out the front, making a sort of pointed nose shape.  Play with it until you get the shape right.  They won’t look fully like mice until they are coated with chocolate and boasting eyes, ears and tail. 

At Ease!

For the ears, insert one almond sliver on each side of the mouse’s head, pointy side down.  Take a toothpick and insert it into the back portion of the mouse, where you would like the tail to go.  Make sure it is not loose and does not come out easily. 

In a bowl big enough to allow room to dip the mice, melt the semi-sweet and white chocolate chips separately.  Mr. Cheese microwaved ours and they melted pretty easily.  Use the toothpick tail as a handle and dip the mouse into one of the melted chocolates, being careful to turn and get every part of both ears covered.  Hold over bowl and allow the excess chocolate to drip off, then set on wax paper.  With the licorice tailsBefore the chocolate is completely dry, place the cinnamon candies on each side of the nose, where the indentations for the eyes are.  Center them toward the nose so they appear close together and beady.  When the chocolate is completely dry, very carefully remove the toothpick and insert the bit of red or black licorice for the tail.  Viola!  May your team of marzipan mice and whatever other critters you make, march on and taste delicious!

 

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About tossingtheswissaround

I have been obsessed with food since I can remember. I grew up watching the Frugal Gourmet and Julia Childs in black and white repeats on TV. I made an elementary version of veal parmesan when I was all of 8 years old and even concocted a homemade version of vomit to drizzle along the hallway and oh-so-carefully in the bathroom so I could get of school whenever I wanted. Dad never caught on but I eventually came clean about that vomit recipe. About two years ago. My skills have greatly improved and my obsession has only deepened as the years go by. In the mornings, I ask my co-workers what’s for lunch, what they ate last night and what is on the menu tonight. I groan when I eat almost anything I like because I can barely contain my excitement. Because, well, because it’s food! I was technically trained and once worked as a formal chef but physically that takes its toll so I joined the much less strenuous, albeit entertaining, world of HR. Food is still at the forefront of my mind as I continue to cook and love all things food. Enjoy!
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3 Responses to March of the Marzipan Mice

  1. bigsischeese says:

    OMG! How flipping cute!! I cannot WAIT to make these! We have a cookie/goodie exchange before Christmas. People try to be creative (I say try because that’s about all I can do)! I soooo cannot wait to do this. (You’ll just to be on standby in case I screw it up royally)! So answer this, what the hell is marzipan? Okay, love you!!!

    • Marzipan is also known as almond paste. It’s primarily made up of ground almonds and sugar but there are some variations. Now, when you see those little candies that are shaped just like fruits, you’ll know what they’re really made of. 😉 The mice were super easy to make and really fun. Just looking at the pictures of them again makes me want to delve into something else this year. We’ll see… 🙂

  2. Brenda says:

    These are the cutest things I’ve seen in a long time. Glad I saw them before christmas.

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