Tuesday, October 02, 2012

First Lady Michelle Obama Wins 'Family Circle' Presidential Cookie Bake-Off

Mrs. Obama triumphs over rival treatmaker Ann Romney by the smallest margin in the twenty-year history of the contest...
UPDATE:  First Lady: Contest is a call to get out the vote
First Lady Michelle Obama has been declared the winner of Family Circle's Presidential Cookie Bake-Off, a General Election tradition since 1992.  Her tasty, rich White and Dark chocolate-chip cookie recipe defeated the M&M's cookie recipe offered by GOP rival Ann Romney. The First Lady got 51.5% of the more than 9,000 votes submitted, according to the magazine.  Mrs. Romney's bittersweet defeat was close, with 48.5% of the votes.

"Just 287 votes separated the two women, our smallest margin ever," noted Family Circle. "In other words, Ann Romney's M&M's cookies were no flash in the pan."

The First Lady used a culinary surrogate for her recipe, offering what she hailed as "the perfect special treat" from Eleanor 'Mama Kaye' Wilson, Godmother to her daughters.  The recipe uses both Crisco and two sticks of butter, and includes Mint chips, too.

"Every evening, Barack and I sit down for a family dinner with good conversation and healthy food," Mrs. Obama wrote with her recipe submission. "If we want to splurge, these White and Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies, created by the girls' godmother, are the perfect special treat."

Mrs. Obama, an expert at campaigning, stumped for votes on her @MichelleObama Twitter account.  "Check out a favorite Obama family cookie recipe--then cast your vote in @FamilyCircle’s Presidential Cookie Bake-Off," read a typical tweet.

Family Circle noted that since 1992, the Bake-Off "has been a bell-weather in four out of five elections."  That's when Hillary Rodham Clinton's oatmeal cookies trumped Barbara Bush's classic chocolate chip recipe.  The one exception:  In 2008, Mrs. Obama's lemon zest shortbread cookies lost to Cindy McCain’s oatmeal butterscotch cookies.  

Will the cookie poll be wrong again this year?  Only time will tell.

President Obama and Mitt Romney will be mixing it up for the first time on Wednesday evening, during the first Presidential Debate.  The First Lady's winning recipe makes five dozen cookies, perfect for a Debate watch party.  Check the sidebar of the blog for White House cookie recipes.

Michelle Obama's White and Dark  Chocolate Chip Cookies


2 1/4 Cups All-Purpose flour

1 Teaspoon baking soda

1 Teaspoon salt

1 Cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

1 Stick Crisco butter-flavored solid  vegetable shortening

3/4 Cup granulated sugar

3/4 Cup packed brown sugar

1 Teaspoon vanilla extract

2 eggs

1 Cup each White chocolate chips, Milk chocolate chips and Mint chocolate chips (or Andes mint pieces)

2 Cups chopped walnuts


1.  Heat oven to 375°. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, cream butter, vegetable shortening, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract.

2.  Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. On low speed, beat in flour mixture. By hand, stir in white and milk chocolate chips, mint chips and walnuts.

3. Drop rounded tablespoons of dough onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 375° for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

*Makes five dozen cookies.

  *Top photo by Obama Foodorama; cookie photo by David Prince/Family Circle