Gingerbread Bear with Chocolate Chip Cookies – Recipe

This is one of the Lui’s favorite Gingerbread cookie recipes.  The bonus is the added chocolate chips.  We found this recipe in the winter issue of 1990 Better Homes and Gardens. As part of the Lui family tradition, we made this recipe every year until the kids decided that they were too old to make cookies with mom anymore.

One of the best features about this recipe is that it makes great molding dough.  We would spend afternoons molding the dough into snow people, snakes, wreaths and ginger bears.  We would decorate the cookies with lots of chocolate chips or icing.

This recipe makes a huge batch of cookies. Spending an afternoon making cookies with your children can be a wonderful tradition.  Your children will love it!

Prep Time:          30 minutes
Cooking Time:     12-13 minutes
Temp:            325 degrees
Serves:          20

*You may cut this recipe in half or double it.

Ingredients:
1 c (2 sticks)  butter
2/3 c packed dark or light brown sugar
2/3 c  molasses
4 c all purpose flour
2 t ground cinnamon
1 t ground ginger
½ t ground cloves
¾ t baking soda
1 beaten egg
1 ½ t vanilla

Directions:
There are three parts to making this dough, the sugar mixture, dry ingredients and wet ingredients. Once all three parts are made you will mix all 3 parts together.

Sugar Mixture – In a medium stockpot, stir margarine or butter, brown sugar and corn syrup or molasses over low to medium heat until the fat melts and sugar dissolves. Takes about 5 minutes. Stir continuously.   Set pot aside to cool.

In the meantime mix the Dry Ingredients – flour, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and baking soda and set aside.

Wet Ingredients – In another bowl mix and beat eggs and vanilla until blended. Set aside.

Once the sugar mixture is cool enough to touch, add the egg mixture and stir until blended.  Once blended add your dry ingredients to the mixture and mix by hand or mixer until blended. (You will need a heavy duty mixer.) Store dough in the refrigerator for two hours or overnight until the dough firms up.  Any leftover dough can be stored in refrigerator for two weeks or in the freezer for a couple of months.

Take out of refrigerator and let the dough sit for about 15 minutes.  The dough will still be cold but pliable. If dough is not pliable, leave on counter for another 10 minutes and check again.  If the dough gets too warm, put back into the refrigerator until it firms up again (about 30 minutes.)

You may mold the dough into any shape you like. If you decide to make a 2” teddy bear you will need:

½” roll dough for the head
1” roll dough for the body
4 – ½” roll dough for two arms and legs
3 – very tiny roll dough for the ears and nose

If you decide to make bigger teddy bears, increase the size of the dough and the baking time.  Experiment and have fun.

Once you have rolled out the dough for your bear, build your bear on an ungreased cookie sheet.  Each dough piece MUST touch the next ball of dough otherwise your ginger bear will lose its limbs or worse, its head during the baking process. You may need to press the dough into the next piece. You may decorate the eyes and buttons by pressing mini chocolate chips into the dough. Bake at 325 degrees for about 12 minutes. Your baked cookies will puffed when it comes out of the oven but as it cools, the cookie will flatten out. Your cookies will smell wonderful and be dark brown. If you planning to ice your cookies, wait until the cookies cool down before icing. Nothing is worse than melted icing.

Icing
In a medium size bowl mix:
1 cup of sifted, confectioner sugar
1t of vanilla

Start with one tablespoon of room temperature water; pour into the sugar mixture and mix.  Continue to add more water and mix until you have the consistency that you like.  We prefer the consistency not be too thin or too thick.


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