Makes about 3-1/2 dozen cookies
|3-1/2||cups all-purpose flour|
|2||teaspoons ground cinnamon|
|1-1/2||teaspoons ground ginger|
|1||teaspoon baking soda|
|1||teaspoon ground allspice|
|1||cup butter, softened|
|1||cup packed light brown sugar|
|Assorted nonpareils (optional)|
|Ornamental Frosting or prepared creamy or gel-type frostings in tubes (optional)|
|Colored sugars and assorted candies (optional)|
- Combine flour, cinnamon, ginger, salt, baking soda and allspice in medium bowl. Set aside. Beat butter, brown sugar and vanilla in large bowl with electric mixer at medium speed about 5 minutes or until light and fluffy. Beat in molasses and eggs until well blended. Beat in flour mixture at low speed until well blended. Divide dough into 3 equal portions; cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease large cookie sheets; set aside. Working with 1 portion at a time, roll dough on lightly floured surface to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut dough with 3-inch bear-shaped cookie cutter. Place cutouts 1 inch apart on prepared cookie sheets. Shape dough scraps into small balls and ropes to make noses and ears, and to decorate bears. Decorate bears with nonpareils, if desired.
- Bake 10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Let stand on cookie sheets 1 minute. Remove cookies to wire racks; cool completely.
- Prepare Ornamental Frosting, if desired. Pipe or spread frosting on cooled cookies to decorate. Decorate with assorted nonpareils, colored sugar and assorted candies, if desired. Store tightly covered at room temperature.
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