Deer in the Yard

I seem to get into these wildlife chocolate creations.  This was an anniversary gift for Mama and Daddy.  I got the inspiration when we were at their house several weeks earlier.  They are surrounded by wildlife and feed everything (gotta love ’em).  From their second floor balcony off the kitchen they have the deer come, look up and wait for them to throw down some bread slices.  My parents have a feeder down below filled with corn feed but the deer just love getting their bread slices.  I took some pictures of 3 deer that were down while we were there that day.  I used one of the pictures as my theme for their anniversary…”You are so Deer to us!”

If I’m not making my own stickers I like going to Michael’s.  There are so many to choose from.  I found these cute deer stickers and designed my candy deer to match.  It was a little tricky since I was taking a 2-dimensional cartoon deer and trying to make it into a 3-dimensional candy.  I think, though, it was actually easier than trying to make them look like real deer.

I started with the base.  I took white chocolate and mixed with toasted coconut, milk chocolate with nuts and raisins and green chocolate with hazelnuts.  I lined a pan with clear wrap and poured a layer of the white chocolate/coconut, let set, then poured in the milk chocolate/nuts/raisins and topped off with the green chocolate and hazelnuts.  I wanted green on the top since that was going to be my grass.  I put the pan to the side and let my chocolates set up.

I needed some trees so I took 3 pretzel rods and glued them together with milk chocolate to make a thick tree trunk.   When they were set I dipped the trunk in more chocolate and put on wax paper.  I took three more pretzel rods and dipped them individually in milk chocolate and put on wax paper.  (After I dip the pretzel rods I hold them over the bowl and shake so the excess chocolate will drip back in the bowl.  I hold it for a while longer to let them set up a little before I put onto the wax paper to avoid having a flat side).

Next I melted some green chocolate and folded in some coconut.  Laying the “trunks” on wax paper I took the green chocolate/coconut and spooned some at the top part of the trunks and let set.  Then I flipped over the trees and spooned more chocolate/coconut to the other side to make the trees a little more 3-dimensional.

To make the deer I used Rice Krispie treats for the head and body, pretzel sticks for the legs and the neck.  I made the neck using the same process of gluing 3 pretzel sticks together then dipping the whole thing in chocolate.  I made some ears by squeezing some pink chocolate on wax paper to form the shape of the ears then milk chocolate on top of that to look like the ones on the deer sticker I found.  Each piece (head, body, legs…) were dipped in chocolate and put together to make the deer.

Once I had my trees, deer and base made I needed to put it all together.  I took a knife and carved some holes in my chocolate base to fit the base of the tree trucks. I used some melted chocolate to glued the trunks to the base and added some more chocolate to draw the roots from the trunk to the base.

Just needed to glue the deer to the base and add a little green chocolate around the area and sprinkle green tinted coconut to make some grass.  I had some decorative toffee sprinkles I scattered around to look like little rocks and pebbles.  There was a little space between the base and the platter so that was a great excuse to make some different truffles and put on the sides to look like rocks.  The truffles are really the most delicious part.  There are so many kinds of recipes.  I like using the “rocks” as my truffles so you can “enjoy them without feeling quilty breaking apart the chocolate creation” as my Mama and Daddy say.

I printed a card describing the different kinds of truffles and chocolates and tied all that up with a ribbon.

I made the card with the picture of their deer on the front and added my deer stickers I used as my model.  And, if that wasn’t enough sweets I made three different kinds of Amish Friendship breads to go with it!!

These are the deer from their yard I put on the front of the card!