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Gingerbread Teddy Bears

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
  • Total Time
    Prep: 40 min. + chilling Bake: 10 min./batch + cooling
  • Makes
    10 cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter, cubed
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup molasses
  • 1 large egg, room temperature, 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
  • Decorating icing and sprinkles

Directions

  • 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 ten 2-in. balls, ten 1-in. balls, forty 1/2-in. balls and twenty 3/8-in.balls. Place the 2-in. balls on 3 foil-lined baking sheets for the body of 8 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 and buttons.
  • Bake 10-12 minutes or until set. Cool 10 minutes before carefully removing to wire racks to cool completely. With frosting, pipe ears, muzzle and paws; add sprinkles for fingers, toes and nose.
Nutrition Facts
1/2 cookie: 241 calories, 10g fat (6g saturated fat), 34mg cholesterol, 131mg sodium, 35g carbohydrate (16g sugars, 1g fiber), 3g protein.
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  • Zuke32j
    Sep 11, 2011

    This was a HUGE hit at a Teddy Bear picnic that my kids went to. I halved the size of the balls when making the bears (1" body, 1/2" head, etc). The bears still came out large, the size of my hand. I used the same technique for the bow, but put it around an ear, on some of them. (yield was 17) I will definitely be making this again!

  • Miss Jen
    Dec 2, 2010

    I have been making these with my kids since I found it in the magazine at least 6 years ago. It is a great dough to work with like play dough and many more creatures have come out of my oven than just bears, although when I am playing, i make the bears because they are so cute. We make them the day before we fill or stockings and I put each childs cookies in them. i have doubled the recipe and let the kids at a cookie swap design whatere they wanted with bowls of different decorations, lots of fun. This year, I am going to try adding maple extract and cutting them out with my new maple leaf cutter from Maine. Enjoy it, we sure do :)

  • mac_eachron
    Nov 8, 2009

    No comment left