Tuesday, June 26, 2012

First Lady Michelle Obama's Recipe For 'Family Circle' 2012 Presidential Cookie Bake-Off

Mrs. Obama borrows a recipe from a beloved family friend for the election-year tradition, hails the White and Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies as "the perfect special treat"...
Update, Oct. 2, 2012: The First Lady wins the contest
First Lady Michelle Obama has submitted a cookie recipe to Family Circle for the magazine's very popular Presidential Cookie Bake-Off, in which readers vote for their favorite candidate. Rather than using the talents of the White House pastry chefs, the First Lady's recipe, titled "Michelle Obama's White and Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies" was created by Eleanor Kaye Wilson, who is Godmother to Malia and Sasha. Kaye has previously acted as a culinary surrogate for Mrs. Obama, and her cookies are pitted against a recipe for M & M Cookies submitted by Ann Romney, wife of GOP candidate Mitt Romney. Mrs. Romney apparently used her own recipe. (Above: A screengrab of the voting page)

As the First Lady discussed the very rich cookies--the recipe calls for two sticks of butter and a stick of Crisco, as well as three kinds of chips--she was careful to mention the Let's Move! campaign.

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

The Obamas apparently love First Godmother Wilson's cooking: In January of 2010, the White House gave her recipe for deep-fried Salmon Breakfast Croquettes to Food Network Magazine, also hailing it as a First Family favorite. Dubbed 'Mama Kaye' by the First Family, Wilson comes from their hometown of Chicago, where she worked as an educator. She is best friends (and yoga partner to) Mrs. Obama's mother, Marian Robinson, and has traveled abroad with the First Family during their time in the White House. (Above: Robinson, left, and Wilson on the South Lawn after returning from Latin America with the President and First Family)

Wilson's Salmon Croquette recipe was released in conjunction with White House Executive Chef Cris Comerford appearance on a special White House edition of Iron Chef America, where the 'secret ingredients' were vegetables from Mrs. Obama's Kitchen Garden.

Can cookies predict the White House winner?
Family Circle believes its poll can predict the winner of Presidential races: "Since 1992, when Hillary Clinton and Barbara Bush bumped spatulas, our First Lady cookie contest has been a terrific tradition--and a political pacesetter," the magazine noted. "All but one winner went on to live in the White House."

That one winner was Cindy McCain, wife of 2008 GOP candidate Sen. John McCain, whose Oatmeal Butterscotch Cookie recipe beat out Mrs. Obama’s Shortbread Cookie recipe--though President Obama won the election. Voting is done on Family Circle's Facebook page.

Mrs. Obama is already stumping for votes on Twitter, with a tweet sent on Tuesday on the @MichelleObama account promoting the contest. "Check out a favorite Obama family cookie recipe--then cast your vote in @FamilyCircle’s Presidential Cookie Bake-Off," read the tweet.

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.

*The recipe makes five dozen cookies.

*Top two photos by Family circle; Pool photo of Eleanor Wilson