WASHINGTON, October 18, 2012 — Forget about the debates. That’s so passé. So yesterday’s news. So unappetizing. How about the Great American Cookie Bake Off: Michelle Obama vs. Ann Romney?
The votes are in and Family Circle Magazine, the host of the dueling cookie recipes, has announced that more than 9,000 readers tried out the two women’s recipes and found Michelle’s White and Dark Chocolate Cookies a bit tastier by a mere 287 votes than Ann’s M&M’s Cookies, handing her the prize this year.
The cookie contest has been seen as a bellwether indicator of who will be the next president. In the last four of the five contests, the candidate whose wife’s cookies were voted the most scrumptious won the election. Michelle’s cookies garnered 51.5% of the votes to Ann’s 48.5%. On Election Day, we will see if the percentage holds. Only in 2008 were the cookies not a harbinger as Cindy McCain’s cookies took down Michelle’s.
You can test drive the cookies yourself by following the recipes at the end of the column. Just be prepared to gain a few pounds, particularly with Michelle’s cookies, which call for gobs of butter and even Crisco. Definitely not part of her fight against obesity. Although with both chocolate chips and M&Ms, Ann’s are no slouch in the calorie department.
Michelle Obama describes her prize worthy cookies this way: “Every evening, Barack, the girls and I sit down for a family dinner with good conversation and healthy food. If we want to splurge, these White and Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies, created by the girls’ godmother [Mama Kaye] is the perfect special treat.”
So for those of us on the front lines of politics, we must do our duty and see if the great American cookie poll is correct. Democrats and Republicans, don your aprons and start baking.
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
1 cup each white chocolate chips, milk chocolate chips and mint chocolate chips (or Andes mint pieces)
2 cups chopped walnuts
METHOD 1. Heat oven to 375 degrees F. 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 degrees F for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups crunchy peanut butter
1 tablespoon light corn syrup (such as Karo)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
2 teaspoons baking soda
6 ounces chocolate chips
2/3 cup M&M’s candies
1. Heat oven to 325 degrees F. In a large bowl, cream sugars, butter, peanut butter and corn syrup on high speed until well combined. Beat in eggs 1 at a time. Beat in vanilla extract.
2. In a separate bowl, mix together oats and baking soda. Stir into peanut butter mixture until combined. Mix in chocolate chips and M&M’s.
3. Using a standard-size ice cream scoop, drop dough onto baking sheets (about 9 per sheet). Bake at 325 degrees F for 18 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool 2 minutes, then transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
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