The candy world is just a little less sweet this week.
Hans Riegel – the man who put gummi bears on the map (and in our bellies) all over the world – died on Tuesday at the age of 90, in Bonn, Germany.
I don’t know about you, but gummi bears rank high on my list of beloved snacks. As in, I can never pass a display of them in the airport, at the drug store or in the supermarket without tossing a bag or two into my cart.
Okay that’s not quite true I put the bags directly into my purse as they will be consumed the moment I get into the car.
Yep I love them that much.
I never really thought much about the bears and their origin, and learned some interesting facts in the numerous articles that came out after Mr. Riegel’s death:
Haribo turns out 100 million gummi bears every day and ships them all over the world (source: Yahoo).
The name Haribo is actually an acronym for “Hans Riegel Bonn” (source: Yahoo).
The bears have been around since 1922, their shape inspired by trained bears seen in European street festivals. Hans’ father (founder of Haribo, and also named Hans) created the bears as a treat that even small children could afford (source: Wikipedia).
The bears were originally called “Dancing Bears”, and were much larger than the bears we gobble up today and are now known as “Gold Bears” (source: Wikipedia).
In 1985 Disney launched “Disney’s Adventures of the Gummi Bears” an animated television series that was broadcast all over the world (source: Yahoo).
Since I clearly had gummi bears on my mind this week, I decided to do more than just pop them in my mouth by the handful(s).
And then this happened:
These thumbprint cookies are as easy as they are adorable. Your kids will love helping and this is the perfect cookie dough for even the tiniest hands. When cooled, the bears return to their original “gummi” state, and they’re a unique and yummy counterpart to the buttery, crumbly cookies.
They’re sure to be a hit at your Halloween gatherings!
Gummi Bear Thumbprint Cookies
adapted from The Baking Robot
2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 c. packed light brown sugar
2 egg yolks
1 t. vanilla
2 c. flour
1/4 t. salt
gummi bears (you’ll need about 36)
Cream butter and sugar in your mixer bowl till light and fluffy. Add the yolks, one at a time, followed by the vanilla. Add the flour and salt and beat just till combined. Cover bowl and place in the freezer for 10 minutes.
Pre-heat your oven to 375 – line two baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpats.
Form dough into small balls, evenly sized – you’ll get between 30 and 36 cookies. Space evenly on your prepared baking sheets. Use your thumb to make an indentation in each cookie, large enough to hold a gummi bear.
Place one sheet in the freezer and one in the oven. Bake cookies for about 10 minutes, or till they look almost done. Remove sheet from oven and quickly place a gummi bear into the indentations. Return sheet to oven and bake for about 2-3 more minutes, or till bottoms are pale golden brown.
Place sheet on a wire rack for 5 minutes, then remove cookies to rack to cool completely. Repeat with the second sheet.