A Presidential Cookie

by Amy Ephron
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Nancy Reagan had a cookie recipe:  coconut macaroons. 

Laura Bush has a cookie recipe:  Texas Governor’s Mansion Cowboy Cookies and she also has a copyright on her cookie recipe so, we’ll say no more about that, since, as we know, the Bush’s don’t really like to share. 

Hillary Clinton has a famous chocolate chip cookie recipe which is now being published all over the web as Bill and Hillary Clinton’s chocolate chip cookie recipe because Bill gets it.  And Bill knows he has to have a cookie recipe. 

Tipper Gore had a cookie recipe:  ginger snaps.   And we all know she really was First Lady for a minute there. 

Which brings us to Cindy McCain. I know, easy shot, but Cindy McCain does not have a cookie recipe.  She had a passion fruit mousse recipe which wasn’t really hers, it was really someone else’s (either Giada De Laurentiis or Rachel Ray, I’m not sure which one) and it has since been redacted. 

And then, there’s Michelle Obama who doesn’t have a cookie recipe either.  She has an apple cobbler recipe.  But she’s Michelle Obama and it’s the new millenium and maybe apple cobbler is just what everyone had in mind.

This was written on April 22nd.  Fast forward to June when Good Housekeeping asked both First Lady Candidates for a cookie recipe and Cindy McCain (who can’t keep her hand out of the cookie jar) claimed a Hershey’s recipe as her own.  And Michelle Obama, who definitely has First Lady stripes, put forth her own. 


Michelle Obama's Shortbread Cookies

1-1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1-1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
2 egg yolks
2 tablespoons Amaretto (almond liqueur)
1 teaspoon each orange and lemon zest
3 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 beaten egg white
Chopped nuts or dried fruit (optional)

Heat oven to 325°F. Line a 17 x 12 x 1-inch baking pan with nonstick foil. In large bowl, cream together butter and 1-1/2 cups of the sugar.

Slowly add egg yolks, and beat well until smooth. Beat in Amaretto and zest.

Stir in flour and salt until combined.

Spread dough evenly into prepared pan, flattening as smoothly as possible.

Brush top of dough with egg white; sprinkle with nuts or fruit (if using) and with remaining 2 tablespoons sugar.

Bake at 325°F for 25 minutes or until brown, turn off oven and allow cookies to sit in oven (with door ajar) for 15 minutes. Cut while slightly warm.


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