Gingerbread Teddy Bears
1 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
2/3 cup dark corn syrup or molasses
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
1 beaten egg
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla
Miniature semisweet chocolate pieces
1/2 cup sifted powdered sugar (optional)
Few drops food coloring (optional)
1. Combine butter, brown sugar, and corn syrup or molasses in a saucepan.
Cook and stir over medium heat until butter is melted and sugar is
dissolved. Pour into a large mixing bowl; cool 5 minutes. Meanwhile, combine
flour, cinnamon, ginger, baking soda, and cloves. Add egg and vanilla to
butter mixture and mix well. Add flour mixture, and beat until well mixed.
Divide dough in half. Cover and chill at least 2 hours or overnight.
2. For each bear, shape dough into one 1-inch ball, one 3/4-inch ball, six
1/2-inch balls, and five 1/4-inch balls. On an ungreased cookie sheet,
flatten the 1-inch ball to 1/2 inch for body. Attach the 3/4-inch ball for
head and flatten to 1/2 inch. Attach the 1/2-inch balls for arms, legs, and
ears. Place one of the 1/4-inch balls on head for nose. Arrange remaining
1/4-inch balls atop ends of arms and legs for paws. Use chocolate pieces for
eyes and buttons.
3. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until done. Carefully
remove and cool on wire rack.
4. If desired, combine powdered sugar and enough milk or light cream (about
2 teaspoons) to make icing of piping consistency. Tint with food color. Use
icing to pipe on bow ties onto cookies. Makes about 24.
Make-Ahead Tip: Cool cookies completely; do not add bow tie. In an airtight
or freezer container, arrange cookies in a single layer; cover with a sheet
of waxed paper. Repeat layers, leaving enough air space to close container
easily. Freeze up to 1 month. Thaw before piping on the bow ties.