Chocolate Mice: The Food of THE NIGHT CIRCUS

This year, I let my 12 year old and 6 year old decide what cookies we were going to make. We made chocolate chip cookies, peanut butter cookies, more chocolate chips cookies, Oreo truffles, and more chocolate chip cookies. Guess which cookies didn't last until Christmas? On the day before Christmas, we made these:

chocolate mice

The boys decided to make the chocolate mice when they saw the picture with the recipe in a Canadian Living Christmas cookbook. And who could resist something so cute? We made a chocolate dough out of crushed chocolate wafer cookies and yogurt, formed it into mice shapes, rolled them in more chocolate wafer crumbs, and decorated with almond slivers for ears, silver dragées for eyes, and licorice string for tails.

Yesterday, as I was reading Erin Morgenstern's THE NIGHT CIRCUS, imagine my delight when I came across this passage:

As he continues to walk around the circus, Bailey's path leads back to the courtyard. He stops briefly to watch the sparkling bonfire and then at a vendor to purchase a bag of chocolates to make up for his mostly uneaten dinner. The chocolates are shaped like mice, with almond ears and licorice tails.

! How about that! More often than not, food mentioned in the novels I'm reading makes me hungry for the food on the page, but so often, I can't have it. It might be a fantasy food, like butter beer from Harry Potter, or just something I don't have on hand, like the pastries mentioned in Laini Taylor's DAUGHTER OF SMOKE & BONE. (Or, 99% of the time, something my waistline really doesn't need, anyway.)

There's lots of delicious food in this book. The pages are going to be marked up with drool.

If you should feel so inclined to eat chocolate mice while reading THE NIGHT CIRCUS, here's how you make them:

CHOCOLATE MICE

4 oz semisweet chocolate melted 1/3 cup sour cream (we used plain Greek yogurt) 1 cup fine chocolate wafer crumbs 1/3 cup icing sugar (for white mice) or fine chocolate wafer crumbs gold or silver dragées slivered almonds licorice

In bowl, mix chocolate and sour cream. Stir in 1 cup chocolate wafer crumbs. Cover and chill in the fridge for about an hour, or until firm.

Roll a tablespoon of the chocolate mixture into round balls slightly pointed at one end. When you're satisfied with the shape, add fur by rolling the mouse body in either the icing sugar or chocolate wafer crumbs. Place on waxed paper lined tray.

Insert dragées for eyes, almonds for ears and licorice for tails. Refrigerate until firm. (This also helps the decorations set.)