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Shortbread Bear Cookies

Easy shortbread bear cookies decorated with melted chocolate! These cookies are buttery, light, and so adorable. They can be made in one bowl with a hand whisk/fork and rubber spatula, making these kawaii bear shortbread cookies an easy project for beginner bakers! 

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Bear shortbread cookies on parchment paper

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About these shortbread bear cookies

I actually made these cookies for my matcha shortbread brownies. These bears were used as decorations for the tops of each brownie, and I’m suuuuper excited with how they came out! 🙂

These shortbread bears are super buttery, light, not too sweet, and so, so cute! They are very beginner friendly, since no special equipment is needed. All you really need to make the dough is a mixing bowl, fork/hand whisk, and rubber spatula. And after baking, melted chocolate is used to decorate the faces, so you don’t have to make any icing.

If you’re looking for a fun and simple weekend baking project, this is the one for you!

If you’re interested in other kawaii cookie recipes I have, check out these recipes!: Aang Sugar CookiesBlueBEARy cookiesCoconut Ube Bear CookiesRed Velvet Bear CookiesStrawberry Kirby Sugar CookiesStrawBEARy Sugar CookiesBunny Sugar CookiesTeddy Bear Chocolate Chip CookiesKeroppi Matcha Sugar CookiesFrog Matcha Sugar CookiesSoft, Less Sweet Ube Sugar Cookie Bears (Dairy-Free!)Pig-Shaped Snickerdoodles (Vegan)Cat-Shaped Black Cocoa Cookies (Vegan), and Chick-Shaped Lemon Cookies.

Cross section of shortbread bear cookies

FAQ

Can I make these vegan?

Yes, you can! 

Instead of regular butter, you can swap in high quality vegan butter made for baking. Make sure to use a good brand—some brands are very high in water content and melt at lower temperatures, yielding very flat cookies. I recommend brands like Miyokos and Country Crock.

You can also omit the egg. First, follow the recipe up until you add the flour and salt. Slowly mix the dry ingredients in. If the dough seems too crumbly, add a tablespoon of alternative milk at a time (2-4 tbsp total), until the dough comes together. The finished dough should be thick, but scoopable.

Can I make this gluten-free?

Yes! I recommend using a high quality 1:1 gluten-free flour, like King Arthur or Bob’s Red Mill.

Tips for baking and decorating

Properly measure the flour

I always like to measure my ingredients with a kitchen scale for consistent, accurate results. But if you’re measuring with cups, make sure you follow this tip: gently spoon in the flour into the cup until it’s full, then scrape the excess off using the back of a knife or offset spatula.

If you scoop the cup directly into the flour bag or container, the flour may get compacted, and you will be adding in more flour than necessary. On the other hand, if your flour is clumpy, you could be adding in chunks of flour into the cup with gaps in between them, possibly adding less flour than required. These instances can cause tougher or even really flat cookies, since the proper ratio of dry:wet ingredients isn’t met.

So, for best results, use a scale. If you don’t have one, gently spoon and level the flour into your measuring cup!

Splitting the dough

This part is totally optional, but if you’d like to make a chocolate version, you can split the finished dough into two bowls. In one bowl, add in 2 tablespoons of sifted cocoa powder, and mix until the color is uniform. If you don’t want to make a chocolate flavored dough, you can just add in brown food coloring.

Shaping the bear heads

Use a small cookie dough scoop to gather dough (about 1 tablespoon each). Shape it into a very rounded football shape, then place onto lined baking tray. Repeat for about 25-30 more cookies, making sure you have leftover dough for the ears. Place the dough balls about 2-3 inches apart. They will not spread much while baking.

Shaping the bear ears

For the ears, take about 1/2 tsp of dough and split it into two equally sized balls. Place them on top of the bear heads, making sure the doughs are completely touching. You can even use your finger to smooth out the sides where the dough meet. This ensures the ears don’t fall off after baking.

Storing the cookies

Store these cute shortbread cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week! 

I really hope you enjoy this recipe. If you make these shortbread bear cookies, I’d love to see them. You can tag me at #bitesbybianca / @bitesbybianca on Instagram. Enjoy! 

If you’re interested in other kawaii cookie recipes I have, check out these recipes!: Aang Sugar CookiesBlueBEARy cookiesCoconut Ube Bear CookiesRed Velvet Bear CookiesStrawberry Kirby Sugar CookiesStrawBEARy Sugar CookiesBunny Sugar CookiesTeddy Bear Chocolate Chip CookiesKeroppi Matcha Sugar CookiesFrog Matcha Sugar CookiesSoft, Less Sweet Ube Sugar Cookie Bears (Dairy-Free!)Pig-Shaped Snickerdoodles (Vegan)Cat-Shaped Black Cocoa Cookies (Vegan), and Chick-Shaped Lemon Cookies.

Bear shortbread cookies on parchment paper

Shortbread bear cookies

Bites by Bianca
Easy shortbread bear cookies decorated with melted chocolate! These cookies are buttery, light, and so adorable. They can be made in one bowl with a hand whisk/fork and rubber spatula, making these kawaii bear shortbread cookies an easy project for beginner bakers! 
5 from 3 votes
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Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 11 minutes
Total Time 26 minutes
Course Dessert
Servings 25 cookies

Ingredients

Dry ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cup all-purpose flour (180g)
  • ½ tsp salt

Wet ingredients:

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened (1 stick butter/8 tbsp)
  • ½ cup granulated sugar (100g)
  • 1 egg, room temp (or 4 tbsp milk)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder, sifted (optional)

Decoration for face:

Instructions
 

For the cookie dough:

  • In a stand mixer using the paddle attachment (can alternatively use hand mixer, whisk, or fork!), mix the butter and sugar on medium speed until combined. Scrape bottom of bowl.
  • Add in the egg and vanilla. Stir until combined.
  • Dump in all of the flour and salt, mixing until no dry spots remain.
  • If you’d like to make a chocolate dough, split the cookie dough into two bowls. In one bowl, knead in 2 tablespoons of sifted cocoa powder until the color is uniform.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F/177°C and line two baking trays with parchment paper or silicone mats.
  • Use a small scoop to gather dough (about 1 tablespoon each). Shape it into a very smooth, rounded football shape, then place onto lined baking tray. Repeat for about 25 cookies, making sure you have leftover dough for the ears.
    Place balls about 2-3 inches apart. They will not spread much while baking.
  • For the ears, take about ½ tsp of dough and split it into two equally sized balls. Place them on top of the bear heads, making sure the doughs are completely touching. You can even use your finger to smooth out the sides where the dough meet. This ensures the ears don't fall off after baking.
  • Bake for 11-13 minutes. Cookies should have slightly firm edges and golden brown bottoms.
  • Let cool on pan for about 5-10 minutes, then transfer to wire rack.

For the bear faces:

  • You can use a toothpick, cookie scribe, or piping bag. I chose to use piping bags.
  • Use the melted white chocolate to draw on the ears and snouts.
  • Draw on the eyes and noses with the melted milk or dark chocolate.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

  • Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.
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Did you try this recipe?Let us know how it was!

One Comment

  1. 5 stars
    Super fun and easy recipe! I had all the ingredients already and it made the perfect amount of cookies for a small household definitely will make again and maybe try chocolate dipping them😊

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