The other day my daughter and I had a blast making these holiday mice cookies. I spotted them recently in the recent Martha Stewart Holiday Cookie magazine and just knew they would be right up our alley. We added our own spin, using sprinkles to decorate the mice, allowing my daughter to go to town making little collars and buttons on their backs. I also added a little lemon zest for more flavor. It does feel kind of sad to eat these, but they are absolutely delicious. I even froze half the dough so we can make more fresh next week when my in-law’s visit. I know they’ll love these clever little cookies and I bet you will, too.
adapted from Martha Stewart
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
1 large egg
1/4 cup sliced natural almonds
4 30-inch black or red licorice laces
3 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
Whisk to combine flour and salt in a bowl. In a separate bowl, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in extract, zest and the egg. Reduce speed to low, and add one-third flour mixture. Gradually add remaining flour mixture, beating just until blended. Halve dough and shape into disks; wrap each in plastic, and chill 2 hours or up to 1 day.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll about 1 tablespoon of chilled dough between your palms to form 1 1/2-inch-long oval shapes. Slightly elongate one side to form face. Gently pinch bridge of nose to form eye sockets. With a paring knife, make 2 small slits at top of each shape, for placement of ears. Place 2 sliced almonds into slits. Decorate the eye sockets and body of the mouse with sprinkles as desired. Place shapes on parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing 2 inches apart.
Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until cookies are light golden brown on bottom and around edges, and tips of ears are golden brown, about 20 minutes. Transfer sheets to wire racks, and immediately insert a toothpick about 1/2 inch into mouse’s rounded end. Remove skewer and insert curved length of licorice for tail. It should adhere to the still-warm cookie. Let cookies cool completely on wire racks.