Election 2012 Cookies
November 6: Election Day 2012
Vote for a candidate—and a cookie!
During a U.S. presidential election year, we bake cookies from recipes provided by presidential candidates’ spouses (in 2012, we made Michelle Obama’s and Ann Romney’s cookies, wives of Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, respectively). We take the treats to a college student prayer group event where Islander’s brother ministers. Everyone has an opportunity to blind taste-test both cookies and vote for their favorite! Some of the freshmen were able to vote for the first time in their lives on Election Day. Others who could/did not vote for the candidates were still able to cast their ballots for cookies at the polling theme party. (Click here to see the results.)
We were inspired to celebrate America’s freedom and right to vote on Election Day with this fun food event, after learning that Family Circle magazine has sponsored a presidential cookie bake-off since 1992. The magazine prints the favorite cookie recipe shared by spouses of the candidates, then the readers vote on the best cookie. The winning recipe supposedly is a predictor of who becomes the next president. With the exception of the 2008 elections, when Cindy McCain’s cookie recipe won over Michelle Obama’s, the bake-off seems to have a good track record so far.
Without overanalyzing the recipes for any unintentional or purposeful political meanings, voting for cookies is a delicious and unique way to observe Election Day.
(Adapted from Family Circle)
For Michelle Obama’s Cookies
- 2 ¼ cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 stick butter-flavored vegetable shortening (we used Crisco brand)
- ¾ cup sugar, granulated white
- ¾ cup brown sugar, packed
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup white chocolate chips (we used Nestle brand)
- 1 cup chocolate chips (we used Nestle brand)
- 1 cups mint chocolate chips (we used Andes mint pieces)
- 2 cups walnuts, chopped
In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and shortening with the white and brown sugars until smooth.
Stir in the vanilla. Beat in the eggs. Add the flour mixture and blend well.
Use a spatula to hand-stir in the white chocolate chips, chocolate chips and mint chocolate chip pieces and walnuts. Mix until well combined. Use a small scoop to drop the cookie dough onto an ungreased foil-lined baking sheet.
Bake in a preheated oven at 375 degrees F for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven. Leave the cookies on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Yield: Approximately 6 – 6 ½ dozen.
For Ann Romney’s Cookies
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar, granulated white
- 1 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1 ½ cups (nearly a full 18-ounce jar) crunchy peanut butter (we used Jif brand extra crunchy)
- 1 tablespoon corn syrup
- 3 eggs
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- 4 ½ cups oats
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- ¾ cup chocolate chips (we used Nestle brand)
- 1 cup M&Ms (we used red, white and blue M&Ms)
In a mixing bowl, cream the butter with the white and brown sugars. Add the peanut butter and corn syrup and blend until smooth. Beat in the eggs.
Stir in the vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine the oats and baking soda. Gradually add to the peanut butter mixture. Use a spatula to hand-stir in the chocolate chips.
Gently add the M&Ms and mix until well combined. Use a small scoop to drop the cookie dough onto a lightly greased foil-lined baking sheet. Bake in a preheated oven at 325 degrees F for 15-18 minutes or until golden brown and slightly flattened but still round. Remove from the oven. Leave the cookies on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Yield: Approximately 6 dozen.
- Family Circle magazine readers voted on the winning cookie a few months before Election Day: Michelle Obama’s cookies (which meant her husband was destined to win his second term as president). Her recipe is actually from Mama Kaye, the godmother of her daughters.
- For an archive of recipes in past presidential cookie bake-offs, go to the magazine’s website.