These cookies have been a Christmas tradition in my family since I was a little girl. The big bears are so soft and chewy that we can hardly wait until they come out of the oven!—Elizabeth Manzanares, Gloucester, Virginia
- 1 cup butter, cubed
- 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 2/3 cup molasses
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- Miniature chocolate chips
- Red decorating frosting
- In a small saucepan, combine butter, brown sugar and molasses. Cook over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Pour into a large bowl; let stand 10 minutes. Stir in egg and vanilla. Combine flour, cinnamon, ginger, baking soda and cloves; gradually add to butter mixture and mix well. Cover and refrigerate 2 hours or overnight.
- Preheat oven to 350°. Shape dough into eight balls, 2 in. each; eight balls, 1 in. each; 32 balls, 1/2 in. each; and 16 balls, 3/8 in. each. Place the 2-in. balls on three foil-lined baking sheets for the body of eight bears; flatten to 1/2-in. thickness. Position 1-in. balls for heads; flatten to 1/2-in. thickness. Attach four 1/2-in. balls to each bear for arms and legs. Attach two 3/8-in. balls for ears. Add chocolate chips for eyes, nose and buttons.
- Bake 10-12 minutes or until set. Cool 10 minutes before carefully removing to wire racks to cool completely. With frosting, pipe bows on bears. Yield: 8 cookies.
Originally published as Gingerbread Teddy Bears in Taste of Home December/January 2006, p16
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