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Chocolatey Holiday Bears

No recipe image available.You'll need a 4-inch bear cookie cutter to make these festive, chocolate bear cookies.

Recipe Ingredients:

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 (3.25-ounce) package chocolate instant pudding and pie filling
1 large egg
1 (4-inch) bear cookie cutter

Suggested Decorations:
Assorted small candies
Raisins
Chocolate or colored sprinkles
Colored sugars
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Cooking Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. In a medium bowl combine flour, baking soda and cinnamon; set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, beat butter, sugar, dry pudding mix and egg with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended.
  4. Gradually add flour mixture to pudding mixture, beating until well blended after each addition. Form into ball. (If dough is too soft, refrigerate for about 1 hour.)
  5. Roll out dough on lightly floured surface to 1/4-inch-thickness. Cut out dough using 4-inch "bear" cookie cutter or other 4-inch holiday cookie cutter; place on greased baking sheets. Reroll scraps and use to cut additional cookies as needed.
  6. Decorate cutouts with small candies, raisins or sprinkles for eyes, mouth and buttons, pressing in lightly.
  7. Bake 12 to 14 minutes or until slightly firm.
  8. Remove from baking sheets. Cool on wire racks.
  9. Melt chocolate in microwavable bowl on MEDIUM for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes; stir until smooth.
  10. Spread chocolate on bottom half of bears for pants or skirts.

Makes about 20 bears.