Bear Paws Cookie (Czech Medvedi Tlapicky)

Czech bear paw cookies recipe

The Spruce Eats / Katarina Zunic

  • Total: 60 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 40 mins
  • Servings: 18 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
276 Calories
11g Fat
41g Carbs
3g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 18
Amount per serving
Calories 276
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 11g 15%
Saturated Fat 5g 25%
Cholesterol 6mg 2%
Sodium 113mg 5%
Total Carbohydrate 41g 15%
Dietary Fiber 3g 11%
Protein 3g
Calcium 46mg 4%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Bear paws cookies are popular at Christmas time when they become part of vanocni cukrovi (vah-NAWTCH-nee koo-KRAW-vee) or Christmas sweets. Some people roll these in vanilla sugar or confectioner's sugar, but they're also lovely when the ends in melted chocolate. Use blanched slivered almonds for the "claws."


  • 2 sticks, plus 3 tablespoons butter (softened)
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup ground filberts (or almonds)
  • 8 ounces good-quality chocolate
  • Garnish: blanched slivered almonds

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients and preheat the oven to 350 F.

    Ingredients for Czech bear paws
    The Spruce Eats / Katarina Zunic
  2. Thoroughly coat three bear paw molds or madeleine pans (or make them in individual batches) with cooking spray.

    The Spruce Eats / Katarina Zunic
  3. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar.

    Cream together butter and sugar
    The Spruce Eats / Katarina Zunic
  4. In a separate bowl, mix together flour, cinnamon, cloves, cocoa powder, and nuts.

    Mix together flour
    The Spruce Eats / Katarina Zunic
  5. Add the flour mixture to the butter-sugar mixture and mix thoroughly.

    Combine mixture
    The Spruce Eats / Katarina Zunic
  6. Press the dough into prepared pans and bake for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick tests clean and the edges are turning slightly brown.

    Press the dough
    The Spruce Eats / Katarina Zunic
  7. Cool completely.

    Cool completely
    The Spruce Eats / Katarina Zunic
  8. You can serve these bear paws plain topped with extra cocoa powder, confectioner's sugar or vanilla sugar. Or you go the extra mile and add the claws.

    The Spruce Eats / Katarina Zunic
  9. To create the almond "claws," melt chocolate and dip wide end of "paw" into chocolate, and place on waxed or parchment paper. Insert four slivered almond "claws" into ​paw while the chocolate is still wet. Let dry completely and store covered in an airtight container.

    Melt chocolate
    The Spruce Eats / Katarina Zunic
  10. Serve and enjoy!

    Serve cookies
    The Spruce Eats / Katarina Zunic


  • Don't worry if you don't have a bear paw pan, a madeleine pan will work just fine.

Adapted from Joza Brizova's "The Czechoslovak Cookbook" (Crown Publishers Inc., 1965).