When I think of ice mice, I think of those clear menthol candies that make your mouth feel frigid with cold.
Xylitol, a natural sweetener, is apparently one ingredient that reduces the temperature when it dissolves in your mouth, so your mouth feels colder. So add that and menthol (using peppermint or spearmint flavours) and you get a chilly reaction, perfect for ice mice. Brrr!*
A note on xylitol
There are lots of positives about xylitol (I’m rephrasing what this website says about it). It’s low GI, and helps prevent tooth decay by increasing saliva, thereby decreasing the risk of bacterial infections. Fun fact there for you.
However, here are also some side effects:
epileptics should stay away as it can increase seizure frequency.
If you have too much, it can cause bloating, diarrhea, gas, and children are even more sensitive (good to know if using for a party).
keep your dog away from them. The smallest amounts can make Fluffy’s blood sugar levels drop, leading to seizures and liver failure.
Although I tried using xylitol the same way I would sugar in candy making (two tries!), it definitely doesn’t work the same way. If you make a thin layer, it will harden overnight, but anything thicker and, well, three days later I still have a sticky pile of xylitol goo sitting in a bowl.
So, instead, for the ice mice, I created a normal peppermint flavoured sugar candy for the ‘mouse frame’ and sprinkled in xylitol into the centre, before closing the base of the mouse.
*I tried two different brands of peppermint flavour, and, surprise surprise, you need a good quality oil to get an icy effect. While actually an essential oil, I used Doterra’s peppermint oil which is food grade (link takes you to my Doterra account, but you can have a browse by clicking ‘shop’ on the top) and gives a good menthol kick with very little. You might have a favourite brand you go with, but whatever one you use, get the very best concentrate you can.