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Another Czech Christmas cookie recipe: Bear Paws / Dalsi recept na ceske cukrovi: Medvedi tlapky

Czech Bear Paws are completely different from the American bear claws which I used to get at Starbucks sometimes. Our bear paws are part of the cookie selection which one prepares during Christmas time.

The only hurdle to make this delicatessy abroad is the cookie mold. But that hurdle was crossed when one of you guys (thanks Dagmar!) told me to use the Madeleine cookie pan. It works great but I have to admit that you get bear claws that are a big bigger then the traditional ones, probably a size of a real bear claw ;).

CZ: Pecete na Vanoce Medvedi tlapky? Jestlize ne, protoze jste na ne v cizine nesehnal formicky, vas problem uz je diky jedne z CMD ctenarek (diky Dagmar!) vyreseny. Muzete totiz pouzit formicky na Madeleine cookies. Sice z trouby nevytahnete tlapicky – tedy ani tlapky – spis tlapy, ale jinak jsou vyborne.










– yields about 24 cooies



  • 12 oz (3 cups; 350 g) of all purpose flour
  • 8 oz (2 cups; 200 g) of ground almonds or walnuts
  • 8 oz (2 cups; 250 g) of soft unsalted butter
  • 8 oz  (2 cups; 250 g) of sugar
  • ground rind of 1/2 lemon
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • pinch of cloves
  • 1 egg
  • 2,5 Tbs (1 1/4oz; 30 g) of cocoa powder
  • powdered sugar for coating


  1. Preheat the oven for 350 degrees F.
  2. Grease the Madeleine molds and sprinkle them lightly with flour.
  3. Mix all of the above ingredients together and work into a dough.
  4. Break off small pieces and press into the cookie molds.
  5. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes.
  6. Coat them with powdered sugar while still hot
  7. Enjoy!

PS: If you  want them to lose their crunchiness and would like to have them on the softer side, let them rest for 2 weeks and it will happen for you. I could not wait that long – my willpower has failed me.

All of the other recipes for Czech Christmas cookies are listed below:

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10 comments… add one
  • Tanja November 12, 2011, 3:21 pm

    Oh my goodness!!! I just realized I have already posted this recipe last year! Except this is a different version of it.

    Anyhow, about this recipe: my dough kept being dry and crumbly (maybe because I did just 1/2 batch) so I added about 2 Tbs of milk in it and the cookies were great.

  • Tanja November 12, 2011, 3:30 pm

    PS: Read the “PS” note – it’s really important!

  • Eva P November 13, 2011, 8:26 am

    Thank you Tanja. It is the little tricks that help. I never made the bear claws and I will give it a try this year.
    Eva P
    Vanocka I make non traditional with brown sugar! This recipe was posted 20 years ago in the magazine Family Circle. Some love it and others complain that it is not traditional. As long as it tastes good matters!

  • Eva P November 13, 2011, 8:37 am

    PS Memories for this older American Czech!
    I remember my mother for Christma would buy a vanilla bean. She would put part of it into the powdered sugar a month before so the Vanilla Crescents would really have the aroma of vanilla and there were delicious.

  • Tanja November 13, 2011, 9:29 am

    Evo, that’s a great idea! I don’t think I have ever seen vanilla bean. Is it expensive? And do you get it in a regular store?

  • Marika November 13, 2011, 10:48 am

    Tanja…..I believe you can buy individual madeline molds in William Sonoma or other fancy cooking store.
    You can buy whole bean stalks in grocery store or Cost Plus (might be cheaper in Cost Plus) it costs about $7 per small bottle in Vons.

  • Romana Osborne November 13, 2011, 1:21 pm

    Again, thanks Tanja, that’s awesome. Do you have a recipe for ‘rohlicky’?

  • Tanja November 13, 2011, 2:02 pm

    Mariko, thanks! I will look for them.

    Romano, yes! My all-time favorite recipe. The link is listed at the end of the post together with other necessary recipes 🙂

  • Romana Osborne November 13, 2011, 2:50 pm

    🙂 duh…thanks!

  • Marika November 13, 2011, 3:38 pm

    Cost Plus also sells vanilla sugar:)

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