It might be a side effect of becoming an aunt, but my eyes seem to be drawn to all kinds of cute things lately.
The cookie recipe I’m sharing with you this week was one of those cute items I found online and just had to try. I then immediately messaged my sister with a photo, noting that they’d be good child’s birthday party fare.
Considering my niece is only five months old, I might be jumping the gun a bit, but luckily, my sister never stifles my unbridled “I’m-going-to-spoil-the-stuffing-out-of-you” attitude.
Of course, aside from being cute, these cookies were also super delicious, so even though I still have over six months to wait for my niece’s first birthday party, they were still worth making in the meantime.
This comes from the blog “Kitchen Fun with My Three Sons.” You can find the original at https://kitchenfunwithmy3sons.com/bear-paw-cookies/. I didn’t change the amounts on the ingredients, although I do think I ended up with a bit more than a teaspoon of instant coffee in mine.
* * *
Bear Paw Cookies
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg and 1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 teaspoon instant coffee (I used a single serving of Via from Starbucks)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups flour
1 bag dark chocolate melting wafers
1 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Line a couple baking sheets with parchment paper.
Cream the butter, brown sugar and sugar for a couple minutes until smooth and creamy.
Beat in the egg, egg yolk and vanilla.
Beat in the instant coffee, baking soda, cornstarch, salt and flour.
Scoop the dough by about a teaspoon-size onto the prepared cookie sheets, placing them about an inch apart. (I started with much larger scoops—probably about tablespoon size—but my cookies spread quite a bit and were a lot larger than I wanted. You might need to experiment.).
Bake each batch for about 10 minutes or until the cookies are lightly browned.
After pulling the cookies from the oven, lightly press a melting wafer in the middle of each and then place three chocolate chips in a semi-circle along to the top of the wafer to create “claws.”
Let the cookies cool completely—the chocolate will need to set back up—before placing them into an airtight container.
If you’re not into coffee flavor, it does come through a decent amount in the finished cookies, so this may not be the recipe for you. But this same technique should work with any cookie dough that you wouldn’t mind having chocolate chips added into, so you’re not completely out of luck.
I’ve also seen white melting wafers, so if you would rather make polar bear paw prints instead, it would be easy to substitute in some white chocolate, too.
To be fair, I’m not sure if my little niece will be into bears at any point in her childhood, but since she’s related to me, I can guarantee she’ll be into cookies, so I think I’ll probably be able to talk her into eating a few either way. Of course, first I’ll have to wait on that set of teeth to come in.
Lindsey Young is managing editor of The Clarion, the Kansas Publishing Ventures newspaper in Andale. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.