I got this recipe way back in college when the Home Economics Department at my college was having a Christmas Open House. I don’t make them every year because all of that ball-rolling is a little tedious, especially if you’re doubling the recipe. But they’re fun to make and they taste great. Sometimes the kids would help: this time Mittu helped. I wasn’t a great fan of gingerbread cookies before these, but I like that these are soft and chewy rather than hard and crisp.
Gingerbread Teddy Bears
1 c. butter or margarine
2/3 c. packed brown sugar
2/3 c. dark corn syrup, light corn syrup, or molasses
4 c. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1 beaten egg
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
Miniature semi-sweet chocolate pieces
Decorator icing (optional)
In a saucepan combine butter, brown sugar, and corn syrup. Cook and stir over medium heat til butter is melted and sugar is dissolved. Pour into a large mixing bowl and cool 5 minutes. Meanwhile, combine flour, cinnamon, ginger, soda, and cloves. Add egg and vanilla to butter mixture and mix well. Add the flour mixture and beat til well mixed. Divide the dough in half; cover and chill at least two hours or overnight.
To make each teddy bear, shape dough into about a 1-inch ball for the body, one 3/4-inch ball for the head, and six 1/2-inch balls for the arms, legs, and ears. On ungreased cookie sheet, place the 1-inch ball and flatten slightly. Place 3/4-inch ball next to (touching) the “body” for the head. then do the same for the arms and legs. Place two 1/2-inch balls above the head for ears. If desired you can pinch off just a teeny bit of dough for a nose, or use miniature chocolate chip. Use miniature chocolate chips for the eyes and either a navel on the belly or 3 “buttons”. Bake at 350^ for 8-10 minutes or until done. Carefully remove and cool.
If desired, pipe on smile, bow tie or vest or other decorations with decorator icing (1/2 c. sifted powder sugar and approximately 2 tsp. milk, blended to piping consistency, tinted with 1-2 drops food coloring). Makes 20-23.