Caryn Lerner created these "mice" because her nieces and nephews wouldn't eat her traditional Mexican wedding cake cookies. She decorating the cookies with almond ears, chocolate whiskers, and chow-mein-noodle tails, winning second place in the 2000 contest.
- Yield: About 3 dozen cookies
- 2 sticks butter (1 cup), softened
- 1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 Cup confectioners' sugar plus more for dusting
- 2 Cups flour
- 1 Cup finely ground pecans
- 1/4 Teaspoon salt
- Chow mein noodles, mini-chocolate chips, sliced almonds
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Beat butter and vanilla in bowl of electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add sugar; beat until combined. Mix in flour, pecans and salt.
2. Shape dough into 1-inch ovals, tapering one end. Bake 15 minutes. Remove from oven; insert noodle at tail end and 2 almonds about 1/3 of the way from pointed end for ears. Return to oven; bake until slightly browned, about 12 minutes.
3. Remove from oven; immediately place two chocolate chips in front of ears for eyes. (Chocolate will melt slightly and stick to cookie.) Dust mice bodies with confectioners' sugar. Cool on wire rack.