Every year around Christmas time, we bake cookies from our favorite five recipes: gingerbread bears, snowmen, sugar cookies, snowy mountain tops, and surprise cookies.
We described all the cookies in a previous post, so I’m not going to do that again. I did find, however, that we never put up the recipes for any of the cookies. Just last night, we made gingerbread bears, which are gingerbread cookies in the shapes of bears. They should have bow ties on them made out of green or red icing, but usually we eat the cookies before they can get decorated.
This is probably one of our favorite recipes, so we thought we’d put it up just in case you don’t have a recipe of your own.
- 1 cup butter
- 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 2/3 cup dark corn syrup or molasses (we use half corn syrup and half strong 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 chips
- decorating icing (optional)
In a saucepan combine butter, brown sugar, and corn syrup. Cook and stir over medium heat till 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 the flour mixture and beat till well mixed. Divide the dough in half. Cover and chill at least two hours or overnight.
To make each teddy bear, shape dough into one 1-inch ball, one 3/4 inch ball, six 1/2 inch balls, and five 1/4 inch balls. Flatten the two largest balls to about 3/4 inch. The six small balls will serve as arms, legs, and ears. Put in the proper places. The five smallest balls will serve as hands, feet, and a nose. Use mini chocolate chips for eyes and a navel.
After the cookies are assembled, put in an oven pre-heated to 350ºF and bake for 8-10 minutes or till done. Remove and cool. If desired, pipe on bow ties with decorating icing.
It’s a pretty simple cookie, they are fun to assemble, and, optionally, you can make “nests”. I’m not sure why we call them that, but we do. Basically, we make some shape (like a leaf, or just a circle), cut it in half with surgical precision, and fill it with chocolate chips. We then seal it back up and bake it like a normal cookie. Our dad doesn’t really like when we do that, but we usually make a few nests.
The nests are quite tasty.
If you don’t have a gingerbread recipe, you should try this one! They always go very quickly in our house, and we usually have to make 2-3 batches before Christmas or there won’t be any of these cookies on our cookie tray 🙂