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Member recipe

Bear's Paw Biscuits

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Serves 1 - 30 Biscuits

At Christmas time, as in many Germanic and Eastern European countries, many type of Christmas biscuits or "Cukrovi" are made. This traditional Czech recipe is shaped as a bear's paw and is called "medvedi tlapicky". This version is a slightly Americanised version with the addition of a chocolate coating and the almond "claws". Traditionally the biscuits are simply covered in vanilla icing sugar. This version is the tastiest we've found so far.

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  • For the dough
  • 270g unsalted butter, softened
  • 500g caster sugar
  • 375g plain flour
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 60g cocoa powder
  • 150g ground almonds or hazelnuts
  • For decoration
  • 225g good-quality chocolate
  • 50g almonds, blanched and sliced


    1. Heat the oven to 180C / 160C fan oven / gas mark 4. Thoroughly grease 3 bear paw moulds or madeleine pans with butter.
    2. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar.
    3. In a separate bowl, mix together flour, cinnamon, cloves, cocoa powder, and nuts. Add to butter-sugar mixture, mixing thoroughly.
    4. Press dough into prepared pans and bake for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean and the edges are turning slightly brown. Allow to cool completely.
    5. Melt chocolate on a bain-marie (bowl sitting on a pan of boiling water). Hold each cookie by the "heel" and dip the top front end of the "paw" into chocolate, and then place on waxed or parchment paper. Insert four almond "claws" into paw while the chocolate is still wet and let the chocolate hardened completely. Store covered in an airtight container.

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