Gingerbread Teddy Bears

Since 2003 I have been baking up a special treat for my kids. It started out simply because I had horrible luck making gingerbread men. They problems ranged from not being able to even use cookie cutters to cut them due to the dough being runny to them tasting something like what I imagine hard tact to taste like.

This recipe is so simple and easy and my kids have a blast eating them and making them with me. Friends come over and remark not only on how cute they are but on the size of them. Oh and I can say the freeze well. Last year when my oldest son was at bootcamp I put a couple in a bag and froze them for a month and half then defrosted when he came home for him to have.

The recipe I have is from a 2003 Taste of Home cookbook and has Judith Scholovich’s name attached to it. Don’t want to take credit for someone wonderful recipe.

Gingerbread Teddies

* 4-1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
* 2 cups packed brown sugar
* 1-1/2 cups shortening
* 1/2 cup molasses
* 2 eggs
* 2 teaspoons baking soda
* 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
* 2 teaspoons ground ginger
* 1 teaspoon ground cloves
* Chocolate chips for decorating

* In a large bowl, combine 2-1/4 cups flour, brown sugar, shortening, molasses, eggs, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger and cloves. Beat on high speed until combined. Beat in remaining flour. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
* Shape dough into 12 balls, 1-3/4 in. each; 12 balls, 1-1/4 in. each; 72 balls, 1/2 in. each; and 60 balls, 3/8 in. each. Place the 1-3/4-in. balls on three foil-lined baking sheets for the body of 12 bears; flatten to 1/2-in. thickness.
* Attach six 1/2-in. balls to each bear for arms, legs and ears. Attach four 3/8-in. balls for paws. Attach one 3/8-in. ball for nose. Add chocolate chips for eyes and belly buttons.
* Make three cuts halfway through the dough on the end of each paw; make an indentation in each ear with a wooden spoon handle.
* Bake at 350° for 12-16 minutes or until set. Cool for 10 minutes before carefully removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely (cookies will be fragile while warm). Yield: 1 dozen.

Here’s some pics of the ones we made last night. We forgot noses but well I am sure they will still be eaten up quickly.

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