I organized the swap with my friends Grace and Melissa, and Grace and I even made all our candies together. We made mountains of treats, including from top to bottom:
Raspberry Almond Marshmallows
Peanut Butter Gryffindors with Truffle Centers
Chocoballs (Bourbon Balls)
Dr. Beanpole's Skelle-grow Vita Charms
Dark Chocolate Rasberry Truffles & Raspberry Creams
Dark Chocolate Wands
Today I'm going to post my tutorial for making Ice Mice.
Ingredients:Almond Bark or White Chocolate Candy Melts, available at grocery or craft stores
Peppermint Candy Oil (I used Lorann Gourmet)
Blue Candy Coloring (note, you CANNOT use regular food coloring here)
Buttercream Candy Filling (I picked up the Make & Mold variety at Hobby Lobby)
Clean (New) Nylon paintbrush
Mouse Candy Mold (I got mine from Cake and Candy on Ebay)
various toothpicks, spoons & stirrers
a small bowl
microwave safe container for melting candy
cutting board & a sharp chef's knife
Begin by clearing a clean work surface. Open up your package of almond bark or candy melts. If using almond bark, break off a few squares of the candy, and then chop them into small chunks. (Somewhat smaller than Hershey's kisses, and larger than chocolate chips.)
Place the candy in a microwave safe dish, and begin microwaving for 30 seconds. Stir. It will still be rather solid. Continue for another 30 seconds. Stir. You should see it begining to melt. Continue microwaving and stirring for 20 second bursts of time. As it is nearly all melted, reduce time to 10 seconds. Stir until all the candy is smooth. After the candy is all melted, add a few drops of Peppermint Candy Oil. This stuff is 4 times more concentrated than flavoring extracts and you will not need a lot. I went with about 4 drops. Stir well and taste.
Take a small amount of the white chocolate, maybe a tablespoon or two, and put it in a smaller bowl. Dip a toothpick in your candy coloring, and stir into the white chocolate. You are looking to make a nice light blue, and should only need a little coloring. Too much and it will change the texture of the candy. Continue coloring and stirring till you reach the desired color.
Now, take your clean new paintbrush, and dip it in the blue candy coating. Paint the noses and the tails of the mice mold with the blue chocolate. Be sure to paint it on thick, especially at the tails. Allow to set in the fridge for a moment, while you check on your white chocolate, and reheat a few seconds if necessary.
Pour about 2 Tablespoons of the white chocolate into each mold.
Use a new clean paintbrush to spread the coating around the rest of the mold, being sure to get plenty of candy into the tiny crevices, like the ears.
Once you think the mold is all set, hold it up to the light, and make sure you don't have any air bubbles or thin spots. Don't worry about a few stray drips of chocolate on the mold. We'll fix that later. Place the mold in the fridge for a few minutes.
Now that your molds are full of their first round of candy, it's time to prepare the buttercream filling.
Start with a small amount of the filling in a bowl. A few Tablespoons at most. (I used about 1/4 of the package at a time.) Use a toothpick to add a small amount of the blue candy coloring.
Stir in the coloring thoroughly. It may look like a different shade of blue than your chocolate did, because the buttercream has a naturally yellow tone to it.
Add more coloring if necessary to get your desired color. We are going for a light blue again. Anything too dark with show through the white chocolate, which would ruin the surprise to come when your friends bite into them. Once you get a color you like, add a drop or two of the Peppermint Candy Oil. Stir well and taste. It should be pepperminty, but not overpowering.
Next, you will be making small logs out of the buttercream to fill your mice. The buttercream is a little firm on it's own, and we will be using that to our advantage. Take a small chunk out, about a Tablespoon. Roll it gently and quickly into a small log. You don't want to over-handle the buttercream, or it will become too soft and sticky due to your body temperature.
Now look back at your mold. Will the log you made fit inside one of the mice, with room to cover in a second layer of white chocolate? Adjust as necessary.
Place a log of buttercream into each mouse, and use your clean fingers to press the cream into the mold, making it nice and flat, and leaving about 1/4" of room at the top of the mold for more chocolate.
Place your mold in the fridge for about 20 minutes, till the mice set up. The chocolate should be completely firm to the touch. If in doubt, hold the mold up to the light again. If the chocolates have a slightly frosted appearance, and the candy seems to be separate from the mold, they are done. If they appear to be slightly wet, they are not set up enough. When they are done, turn the molds upside down over the table or a plate, and pop the mice right out.
Grace and I packaged ours in blue and white airtight containers from the dollar store. I placed some blue tissue paper in each box, then a small square of wax paper to protect the candies, and to keep the tissue from getting oil spots. Here's one broken open, to see the filling.
After mailing tons of treats to our swap partners, Grace and I made some more for the Deathly Hallows Premier party we hosted, and brought the extras to the theatre, where we handed them out to other excited fans. One girl even made her friends take a picture of her with her Ice Mice and Chocolate Frogs. It made me so happy to see how much enjoyment everyone got out of our candies.
Enjoy the candy making tutorial, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I. I can't wait to go see Part II!
P.S. A special thank you to my swap partner Andromeda007 over at Un-Managed Mischief and to Grace's partner RippledWater for some of the photographs!