In a saucepan combine butter, brown sugar, and corn syrup. Cook and stir over medium heat until butter is melted and sugar is dissolved. Pour into a large mixing bowl and cool 5 minutes. Meanwhile, combine flour, cinnamon, ginger, soda, and cloves.
Add egg and vanilla to butter mixture and mix well. Add the flour mixture and beat until well mixed. Divide the dough in half. Cover and chill at least 2 hours or overnight.
To make each bear shape dough into one 1 inch ball, one 3/4 inch ball, six 1/2 inch balls, and five 1/4 inch balls. On an ungreased cookie sheet flatten the 1 inch ball to 1/2 inch thickness for body. Attach the 3/4 inch ball for head and flatten to 1/2 inch. Attach the 1/2 inch balls for arms, legs, and ears. Arrange remaining 1/4 inch balls atop ends of arms and legs for paws.
Carefully remove and cool. If desired, pipe on bow ties with royal icing. Makes about 16.
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