"My granddaughter enjoys making cookies with me," notes Rose Reiser of Greenfield, Indiana. "Since she likes bears, this is one of her favorite recipes."
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 2/3 cup light corn syrup
- 2 large eggs
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3-3/4 to 4 cups confectioners' sugar
- 5 to 6 tablespoons warm water
- 3 tablespoons meringue powder
- Food coloring, optional
- In a large bowl, cream the butter, peanut butter and brown sugar. Beat in the corn syrup and eggs. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; gradually add to the creamed mixture. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or until easy to handle.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/8-in. thickness. Cut with a floured 4-in. bear-shaped cookie cutter. Place 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Roll leftover dough. Cut circles with a floured 3/4-in. pastry tip; press gently into each cookie, forming the bear's muzzle.
- Bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes or until set. Remove to wire racks to cool.
- In a large bowl, combine confectioners' sugar, water and meringue powder; beat on low speed just until blended. Beat on high 4-5 minutes or until stiff peaks form. Tint as desired with food coloring. Keep unused icing covered at all times with a damp cloth. If necessary, beat again on high speed to restore texture.
- Using pastry bags and small round tips, decorate cookies as desired. Let stand at room temperature several hours or until frosting is dry and firm. Store in an airtight container. Yield: about 3 dozen.
Originally published as Peanut Butter Bears in Taste of Home February/March 2004, p49
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