Romney vs. Obama- the cookies

For the past 5 years or so Family Circle has had a cookie bake-off between the wives of the presidential candidates. I’d noticed it before, but never bothered to try any of the recipes. This year, however, my mom and I were totally on it!

First off, and just in time for the *big* convention, we tried Ann Romney’s cookies, which reminded me of a monster cookie. No complaints with that whatsoever. These were delicious. M&M’s cookies are a favorite around here, and throw in peanut butter. Really, how can you go wrong? They were chewy and sweet, just what you’d expect with an all-around tasty cookie. I can see with having 5 boys why she would make these- satisfying, easy to whip up and quite portable.

Next up, Michelle Obama. Hmmm, this was one interesting recipe. From the start, it created problems. Apparently, since it isn’t the holiday season, NO one seems to carry mint chocolate chips. Even the Andes mints (what I had to use) were difficult to find. I ended up buying the whole ones in the bulk section of Winco and chopping them up.

Looking at the recipe, I was a little skeptical as to the amount of butter/shortening compared to the amount of flour, but I wanted to follow both recipes exactly. OOPS. The cookie dough was super soft, even after chilling it for a few hours. The cookies turned out like this:

They spread like craaaazy and tasted like pure butter with some mix-ins. Since the recipe makes a rather massive batch, I didn’t want to waste all that dough! So, I added a cup or so of flour and tried again. Much, much better. The walnuts added just the right amount of crunch and I really liked the extra layer of flavor that the mint pieces brought to the chocolate.

So there they are. The two contenders. Since it’s based on the original recipe, and I have a major peanut butter tooth, the winner has got to be Mrs. Romney. But, don’t trust me (or my family, who all agreed), give ’em a try! I really want to know :)

Ann Romney M&Ms Cookies

1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups crunchy peanut butter
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
3 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
4 1/2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
2 teaspoons baking soda
6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
2/3 cup plain M&M’s

Heat oven to 325 degrees. In large bowl, cream the sugars, butter, peanut butter & corn syrup on high speed until well combined. Beat in eggs one at a time. Beat in vanilla.

In a separate bowl, mix together baking soda and oats. Stir in peanut butter mixture until combined. Mix in chocolate chips and M&M’s.

Drop spoonfuls of dough on a Silpat or parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake for 14 to 15 minutes, or until lightly browned. Let cool 2 minutes then transfer to cooling rack.


Michelle Obama’s White & Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies (with my alteration)

3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup 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
2 eggs
1 cup each white chocolate, milk chocolate & mint chocolate chips (or chopped Andes pieces)
2 cups chopped walnuts

Heat oven to 375 degrees. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda & salt. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, cream butter, shortening, sugars & vanilla. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. On low speed, beat in flour mixture. By hand, stir in white & milk chocolate chips, mint pieces and walnuts.

Drop rounded tablespoons of dough onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake 10 to 12 minutes, until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets 5 minutes, remove to wire racks to cool completely.