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Chocolate Mice. Photo © David Malosh
© David Malosh

Chocolate Mice

  • ACTIVE: 1 HR 30 MIN
  • TOTAL TIME: 2 HRS
  • SERVINGS: Makes 3 dozen
  • MAKE-AHEAD
  • STAFF-FAVORITE

These icky-cute mice feature three kinds of chocolate: semisweet in the creamy, cakey center and white and bittersweet in the crisp chocolate shell.

  1. 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
  2. 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  3. 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  4. 3 1/2 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled
  5. Two 9-inch round baked chocolate cake layers, warmed
  6. 4 ounces white chocolate, chopped
  7. 7 ounces extra-bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  8. 1/2 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
  9. About 1 dozen black licorice whips, cut into 3-inch lengths
  1. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese with the butter, 1/2 cup of the confectioners' sugar and the melted chocolate. Crumble 1 1/2 of the warm cake layers into the bowl and beat at low speed until incorporated. Roll level tablespoons of the mixture into 3 dozen ovals, tapering one end to shape the nose. Arrange the mice on a wax paper–lined baking sheet; press a toothpick into the tail end of each. Refrigerate until firm, 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 275°. Crumble the remaining 1/2 cake layer and spread on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring frequently, until almost dry. Very finely crush the crumbs.
  3. In a microwave-safe bowl, heat the white and extra-bittersweet chocolate together on high power until three-quarters melted. Stir the chocolates until completely melted and cooled to 90° on an instant-read thermometer. Working quickly, and using the toothpick as a handle, dip the mice into the chocolate to coat; let any excess drip back into the bowl. Roll the mice in the cake crumbs and press 2 pumpkin seeds into the heads of each mouse to make ears. Refrigerate until firm, about 20 minutes.
  4. In a bowl, combine the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar with water to make a stiff glaze. Transfer to a small plastic bag and snip off a tiny corner from one end. Pipe eyes on the mouse. Remove the toothpicks and insert a licorice whip into each indentation for the tails.
Make Ahead The chocolate mice can be refrigerated for 4 days.