A great recipe is always worth making again and again. But a great recipe with a great history to match MUST be made again and again. Such is the case with Teddy Bear Cookies.
I discovered this no-bake recipe in the 1990s, as our daughters, Stephanie and Jessica attended elementary school. It included chocolate sandwich cookies, completely covered in melted chocolate and peanut butter chips. A cute teddy bear graham cracker topped each coated cookie.
In a few short years, the cookies became a holiday staple for our daughters and all of their friends. Despite the fact Jess never really liked peanut butter, she made an exception for this seasonal treat.
Decades later, our grown daughters weren't the only ones looking for Teddy Bear Cookies during the holiday season. Five or six years ago Steph arrived from the Kansas City airport two days before Christmas, thanks to a ride from her childhood friend, Kalissa.
After a quick hug, Kalissa headed to the kitchen. Inside a refrigerated tin she found Teddy Bear Cookies, grabbed one and smiled broadly. The next day, Natalie and Skylar picked up Jess at the airport. After a flurry of hugs in our front hall, the girls found the Teddy Bear Cookies and devoured them with the delight of small children.
The original recipe gradually evolved from semi-sweet to bittersweet chocolate chips. The cookies also showed up at a Chicago baby shower for Jessica. Then last year, our two-year-old grandson, Emmett, enjoyed his first Teddy Bear Cookie in our home, after his family moved to Kansas City.
Over many years of trial and error, I developed more efficient – and less frustrating – ways to make the cookies. Putting parchment paper atop foil (or using my newer silicone baking sheets) minimized the possibility of the warm coating sticking as it dried. And stirring the chips multiple times, as they melted together in the microwave, smoothed the texture.
I piled sandwich and teddy crackers into separate bowls, rather than grabbing new ones from the box as I made each cookie. I also learned I could completely cover several cookies in the melted chips before the coating hardened too much for teddys to stick. And the more patient I was, the more cookies I could cover in chocolatey, peanut buttery decadence.
I still occasionally refer to my fragile, yellowed recipe, but I've pretty much committed it to memory. Now, it's time to share this iconic family treat with you, too. Here's an easier way to read it:
Teddy Bear Cookies
Makes 3-4 dozen
1 1/3 cup peanut butter chips
1 1/3 cup semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons butter
1 package chocolate sandwich cookies
1 box teddy bear shaped graham snack crackers
Cover tray or cookie sheet with wax paper (or silicone baking sheet). In a medium microwave-safe bowl, place peanut butter and chocolate chips, and butter.
Microwave at high for a total of 1-2 minutes or until chips are melted and mixture is smooth when stirred. Stir 2-3 times while microwaving the mixture.
With a fork, dip each cookie into mixture until completely coated. Allow excess mixture to drizzle back into the bowl, through the fork. Place coated cookies on prepared tray and top each one with a graham cracker before the coating solidifies. Refrigerate, uncovered, until set; about 30 minutes. Keep stored in refrigerator until ready to eat. If possible, allow them to 'thaw' for 15-20 minutes before eating.
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