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Holiday Gingerbread Bears

Yield 1 dozen large bears, 2 dozen medium bears, or 4 dozen small bears

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 6 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 egg, well beaten
  • 1 egg yolk, well beaten

How to Make It

  1. Cover 4 cookie sheets with lightly greased waxed paper; set aside.

  2. Combine sugar, honey, and butter in a heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat; add lemon rind and juice, mixing well. Cool to room temperature.

  3. Combine flour, baking powder, salt, and spices; stir well. Add 2 cups flour mixture, egg, and egg yolk to cooled honey mixture; mix well. Gradually add remaining flour mixture, mixing well. With floured hands, shape dough into a ball, and knead 4 to 5 times on a lightly floured surface.

  4. Divide dough into fourths. Place one fourth on a prepared cookie sheet. Roll to 1/4-inch thickness, covering entire cookie sheet. Arrange paper patterns for 1 large, 2 medium, or 6 small gingerbread bears over rolled dough. Cut around patterns with the tip of a knife. Peel away excess dough; combine with remaining dough. Repeat procedure.

  5. Bake at 325° for 20 minutes or until firm and golden brown. Remove from oven; carefully slip a spatula under cookies to loosen. Let cool 1 minute on cookie sheets. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.

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