27 dicembre 2012

Christmas Mouse Cookies decorated with modeling chocolate shapes

Making the Chocolate Penguin Rice Krispies Pops earlier this week inspired me to create an entire series of holiday sweets featuring modeling chocolate decorations. In each post, for the next two weeks, I'll share a new holiday design that can be used to top cookies, brownies, rice krispies treats, cakes, cupcakes, and chocolate dipped goodies. 
When I created the penguin pops, I started by cutting a rice krispies treat into an egg shape because, an egg is an easy shape to cut and it's also a very easy shape to dip in chocolate. To keep things simple, I decided to start each and every one of my designs by cutting a 2" wide by 2 1/2" tall egg shape out of whatever baked good or chocolate treat I plan to top. It was a challenge, but I found a way to turn eggs into mice, polar bears, Santa, elves, Eskimos, reindeer, angels, and more.  I can't wait to share all of them with you, as well as, ideas for a variety of sweets that these festive decorations can adorn. 

For day one, although I'm dying to share some of the more complicated designs, because they are so cute, I thought it best to start with the most basic design - the Christmas mouse. Before you begin, are you familiar with modeling chocolate/chocolate clay? If you are a follower here, I'm sure you are, as it is my favorite medium to use when decorating sweets. If not, you'll want to click here to read my very detailed tutorial all about chocolate before you begin. For all of these designs, you can use fondant if you prefer, but I personally favor the flavor of the modeling chocolate whether it is made from milk, white, or dark chocolate. It is easy to roll out and cut into shapes and attaches to itself using water.

I love the look of cookies decorated with icing, but I just don't have the skill to pipe elaborate designs, that is why I have chosen to cut out shapes to decorate my cookies. My friend Meaghan from The Decorated Cookie has mad piping skills, enviable artistic ability, and amazing ideas. She also has a very easy cookie recipe that is great for this project as it has no leveners in it, so the cookies keep their egg shape once baked. Her recipe will make between 24-30 egg shaped cookies depending on their thickness (1/4" for cookies, 3/8" for cookie pops.) Her cookies can be frosted with her yummy buttercream frosting then topped with any one of the designs I'll be sharing here in the next two weeks.
For all of my designs I use mini metal cutters, round pastry tips, and a knife to cut my shapes. You can find most of these shaped cutters in the craft store either in the cake decorating isle or the clay isle.  My favorite cutter sets include an assortment of small shapes by Makin's, and assorted shaped fondant cutters by Wilton. For the mouse I used a 1" round cookie cutter (the smallest in my set), a small round fondant cutter from Wilton and a #12 round pastry tip.
Be sure to stop back tomorrow to see how a simple rice krispie treat frosted with marshmallow cream is transformed into a polar bear with design #2.
Christmas Mouse Cookies decorated with modeling chocolate shapes
You'll need:
egg shaped sugar cookies baked and cooled  (use Meaghan's recipe or your favorite)
frosting, any flavor
white modeling chocolate, recipe here*
black food coloring
pink food coloring
food handling gloves (highly recommended to use when adding color)
powdered sugar, to dust work surface
cutting board
rolling pin
egg cookie cutter - 2" wide by 2 1/2" tall
food only paint brush
knife or pointed fondant tool
* I used dark modeling chocolate to create the eyes, but you can simply color some white modeling chocolate with black food coloring instead.
Pinch off some white modeling chocolate and color it pink for the ears and nose. For detailed coloring instructions, go here. This is where I wear those food handling gloves, otherwise my hands turn a rainbow of colors. To the remainder of the modeling chocolate, add some black coloring, one drop at a time, kneading after each addition until you get a nice feather gray color. 
Dust a cutting board lightly with powdered sugar. Roll out the gray, pink, and black (or dark) modeling chocolate to 1/16" of an inch. Use the egg cookie cutter to cut out the mouse heads, and a 1" round cutter (sorry, not pictured above) to cut two ears for each mouse.  Then cut three 5/8" round circles from the pink for each mouse. Use the small end of the #12 round pastry tip to cut two small circles for each mouse (cut, then turn it upside down and tap on counter and the circles will drop out the larger end of the tip.) Pinch the dark circles in between your finger and thumb to shape them into a tear drop for the eyes. To get the pieces of modeling chocolate out of other small cutter, use something with a rounded edge, to gently push the pieces out.
Attach the shapes together using water to create each mouse.  Ex: brush the underside (the side with the powdered sugar on it) of one of the pink circles very lightly with water using a paint brush.  Press the pink circle onto the pointed tip of the gray egg to form the nose.

To make the eyebrows, use a knife or a pointed fondant tool to lightly carve curves above the eyes.
For more detailed instructions on cutting shapes, see the post featuring my modeling chocolate penguins.
Frost your egg shaped cookies and top with a modeling chocolate mouse. Your adorable cookies are ready to serve or package for gifts. 
Up next - Polar Bears perched on top of a marshmallow cream frosted rice krispies treat. Hope to see you (well, you know what I mean) tomorrow.

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