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javiwa

ISO Ginger Bear recipe - Bon Appetit Sept. 1989

6 years ago

I'd kept hardcopies of BA magazines for so, so many years, dog-earing pages and/or indexing in a handwritten list favorite recipes. Recently, in an attempt to purge and take a solid step into the 21st century (i.e., trusting that all of these recipes could be found online if need be), I tossed all my old editions. Big mistake. :/

Anyone have the BA Ginger Bear recipe from Sept. 1989? I recall loving this version because it was buttery and not overwhelmingly gingered/spicy. I'm firing up the oven (with temps FINALLY turning wintery here...mid-40s highs today) and plan on churning out some royal iced sugar cookies -- wanted to add gingers to the mix.

TIA, all!

I tried searching online, but Google insists I must surely have meant ginger beer. :)

Comments (22)

  • 6 years ago

    Did you try @ epicurious.com yet? That is the source for recipes from Bon Appetit & Gourmet magazines. You might try doing a search for gingerbread cookies & seeing if any of the results match your recollection.

    javiwa thanked carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b
  • 6 years ago

    I did, carolb -- thanks. I had hoped Epicurious would have a separate archive of past BA recipes, but nope. They've selected what they deem to be their faves/best, and I didn't find mine among them.

    The original Ginger Bears are perfect as cutout cookies. I could experiment with my standard sugar cookie and start adding various spices, but I thought I'd try posting here first (not really in the mood to do trial and error batches this time of year, so I might just skip the gingers). I'd also tried a variety of ginger cookies over the years, and marked these as being 'the ones' -- not too spicy/dark, no molasses.

  • 6 years ago

    GINGERBREAD COOKIE DOUGH

    • 2 3/4 cups unbleached all purpose flour

    • 1 teaspoon ground ginger

    • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda

    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

    • 1/4 cup solid vegetable shortening, room temperature

    • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

    • 1/2 cup sugar

    • 1/2 cup unsulfured (light) molasses

    • 1 large egg

      Sift flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon and cloves into medium bowl.
      Using electric mixer, beat shortening and butter in large bowl into
      light. Add sugar and beat until fluffy. Beat in molasses, then egg. Add
      dry ingredients. Using spoon, stir until mixture forms dough (dough will
      be very soft). Divide dough into thirds. Gather each third into ball;
      flatten into disks. Wrap each disk in plastic and refrigerate until
      firm, about 4 hours. DO AHEAD Can be prepared 2 days ahead. Keep
      refrigerated.

    does this look familiar, I think its a bon appetite recipe, i did not write where i copied it from

    javiwa thanked jn91871sf
  • 6 years ago

    Thanks for taking the time to post that entire recipe, jn91871sf. I'm going strictly by (maybe faulty) memory at this point, but I didn't recall the recipe I'm looking for had any molasses in it. I think (?) the molasses would make it a chewy cookie. The name of the recipe was definitely Ginger Bears. Thanks again.

  • 6 years ago

    FWIW, I've often made a traditional gingerbread cooky recipe with honey &/or maple syrup for a lighter result - along with fresh grated ginger, rather than dried.

    javiwa thanked carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b
  • 6 years ago

    jn91871sf: I made a half batch of your version, and the dough's chilling as we speak. (It took two Walmart guys -- one was an asst mgr -- about 10 minutes to locate the last jar of molasses!) I also added a 1/4 tsp salt to my half batch. Fingers crossed!

  • 6 years ago

    Not the fastest reply, but I found the magazine. I will get the recipe typed up for you. Stay tuned.

    BTW, how did the other recipe turn out?


    javiwa thanked lascatx
  • 6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Whoa, lascatx....thanks so much! If it's easier, just snap a pic and post that image. The recipe I back-doored my way into was yummy -- certainly good enough for several hundred iced Christmas cookies for family.

    But I still got the sense it was heavier (molasses-y-er) than I recalled...or at least to my liking. Maybe my taste has changed over the years...who knows.

    ETA: I actually used jn91871sf's recipe, then decreased the molasses from there (and made other adjustments so I didn't ruin the texture of the cookie).

  • 6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Here's the ginger bears recipe -- page 96. And you were right -- no molasses. I can see why you were looking -- they are not a typical gingerbread. I'm sorry I didn't get them for you before Christmas. We got caught up in a stressful situation with our youngest having to move for his student teaching and several things not working out as hoped -- but all is good now. Next time, please feel free to remind me. At least you will have these for the years to come. Maybe make them as hearts for Valentine's Day? I''m going to have to try them myself.

    Ginger Bears

    1 cup all-purpose flour

    1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar

    2-1/2 T cornstarch

    3/4 tsp ground ginger

    1/2 tsp ground allspice

    1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

    1/8 tsp ground cloves

    1/8 tsp salt

    1/2 cup chilled unsalted butter cut into 1/2 inch pieces

    1/2 cup walnuts (about 2-1/2 oz)

    Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Blend first 8 ingredients in processor. Add butter and cut in until mixture resembles fine meal, using on/off turns (because pulsing needed description in 1989?). Add walnuts and chop finely using on/off turns.

    Turn dough out onto sheet of waxed paper. Knead until dough holds together. Top with another sheet of waxed paper and roll out to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut out cookies using a 3 inch bear cutter. Transfer to an ungreased baking sheet. Gather scraps, reroll and cut additional cookies.

    Bake cookies until just firm to touch, about 18 minutes. Cool in pan on rack 5 minutes, then transfer to rack and cool completely. Store in airtight container. Makes about 18 bears.

    javiwa thanked lascatx
  • 6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Those look wonderful. Kind of hard to have bad gingerbread, but the one you were looking for wasn't really gingerbread. Just a ginger spice cookie. It was in an article on shortbread cookies.

    javiwa thanked lascatx
  • 6 years ago

    Fantastic! Thanks again for taking the time....so genuinely appreciated. I'm glad to hear everything worked out for your kiddo. Ours graduated last May, so all are officially off the family payroll! :D They do continue to keep us on our toes, though, eh?

    I am for sure gonna bake up a batch, so your efforts won't have gone to waste. :)

  • 6 years ago

    I have saved the recipe on my computer, so I can find it and share it again, so not wasted. I told DH I was so happy I finally remembered that and found it for you -- told him what the recipe was and he said, "Mmm, sounds good." We are definitely trying them, so not wasted at all. Better shared.

    javiwa thanked lascatx
  • 6 years ago

    Just saved it to a desktop, two laptops & a back-up hard drive...AND printed a couple of copies just in case of power outages!

  • 6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Between the two of us, we should always be able to find it now. LOL BTW, I went back and added that the recipe makes about 18 bears. Realized I had left off the yield.

    AND -- my walnuts are still good and DH is going into the office. He works from home more now and says he gets hints that they miss the goodies he would take in. I may even make them tonight if the apple crostada goes well. Or not -- my son (the student teaching one) likes ginger cookies and I might save those for him. I may see him later in the week.

    javiwa thanked lascatx
  • 6 years ago

    It's ok: I don't have any 3" bear cutters anyway. :p

  • 5 years ago

    lascatx: Curious how yours turned out? I made a small batch in October, then a ton more for Christmas. Could be I just don't remember, but mine have been coming out rather greasy. I recall a drier cookie, like shortbread. The latest batches have been a bit chewy and nonetheless delicious, but a different consistency. Also, baking them at 375 -- even for only 11 minutes -- just about burned them. And any thinner than a 1/4" cutout just ends up a flat, pancaked ooze.

  • 5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    javiwa, I happened to see your post about the cookies being a bit greasy. I'm just wondering if it might be due to the flour and butter amounts. Just a cup of flour doesn't sound like much with 1/2 cup of butter. Again, just wondering. I bake a lot but am not always great with the science of it all.

    ETA - I just realized there's no egg which makes this sound closer to a ginger shortbread...? My "regular" shortbread recipe calls for 2 cups flour to 1 cup butter, so not much ratio difference with the recipe here.

    javiwa thanked chloebud
  • 5 years ago

    I completely understand what you're saying, chloebud. I was also going to have lascatx double check the amounts she provided in case there might have been a typo somewhere. But, if hers turned out fine, then it'll be user error on this end. :)


    After the initial knead and refrigeration, the dough is actually fairly crumbly (probably due to the ground walnuts); and it takes a few minutes of handling before it becomes what I consider a perfect dough for rolling. That said, this time around I found I had to roll to 1/4", refrigerate the rolled dough to chill again -- pulled out the sheet cold, immediately cut, placed onto pan and baked. Even starting off with chilled dough, the cookies are done @ 11 minutes (tops) at 325 convection bake.

  • 5 years ago

    I have a shortbread recipe with ground nuts and the dough is somewhat crumbly. However, the cookies are sooooo good. I almost always chill cookie dough for shortbread and any other cut out cookies. I also chill my drop cookie dough...chocolate chip, oatmeal, etc.

    javiwa thanked chloebud
  • 5 years ago

    All of my dough is chilled, too, prior to rolling, forming or baking. But all except this recent dough doesn't have to immediately go into the oven after cutting. Esp w/ my standard sugar cookies (for icing), I have plenty of time to roll out from the fridge, do the cutouts (even 30+ of the smaller, 1" shapes), lay them on the cookie sheet, then bake without having to rush. I've never had to roll the dough then refrigerate again.


    I just noticed I'm using a 'European-style', 82% fat butter -- could that make such a big difference?

  • 5 years ago

    I haven't had any problem using the higher fat butter with my own shortbread cookies. I've been using Kerrygold lately.

    javiwa thanked chloebud
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