Family Circle Presidential Cookie Bake-Off

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For the fifth election season in a row, Family Circle has asked the spouses of the presidential candidates to share their favorite cookie recipe.

• Bill Clinton’s Oatmeal Cookies

Longtime Clinton family cook Oscar Flores — he worked for them in Washington and after, but is now serving in Iraq — is famous for these treats, which tempt the former president to break his diet.


2 1/2 cups quick-cooking or old-fashioned oats

1 cup chopped walnuts

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter or margarine, at room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 egg


Heat oven to 350º.

Spread oats and walnuts in un-greased 151/2 x 101/2 x 1-inch baking pan. Bake 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until toasted and light brown; cool.

In small bowl, stir together flour, baking soda and salt. Beat together brown sugar, butter or margarine, vanilla and egg in large bowl. Stir in oat mixture and then flour mixture.

Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls about 2 inches apart onto un-greased baking sheets.

Bake at 350° for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on pans for 3 minutes; remove from cookie sheet. Cool on wire rack.

Yields: 3 1/2 dozen cookies

• Cindy McCain’s Oatmeal-Butterscotch Cookies

Originally reserved only for special occasions, these butterscotch-chip-studded cookies are now “a must” whenever family gets together, according to Cindy. She attributes the recipe to a good friend.


3/4 cup (11/2 sticks) unsalted butter or margarine, softened

3/4 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 cups rolled oats

1 2/3 cups butterscotch chips


Heat oven to 375°.

In a large bowl beat the butter or margarine, granulated sugar and brown sugar together. Add the eggs and vanilla, beating well.

In a medium-size bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture; stir until blended. Stir in oats and butterscotch chips. Drop by tablespoonfuls about 2 inches apart onto un-greased cookie sheets.

Bake at 375° for 10 minutes, until the edges begin to brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Yields: 5 1/2 dozen cookies

• Michelle Obama’s Shortbread Cookies

The recipe comes courtesy of Mama Kaye, the godmother of both Obama daughters. Orange and lemon zest gives the squares plenty of citrus zing.


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°.

Line a 17 x 12 x 1-inch baking pan with nonstick foil. In large bowl, cream together butter and 11/2 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° 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.

Yields: 6 dozen 2" x 3" cookies

Bake them all then log on and vote for your favorite at:

The winning recipe will be announced in the November 1 issue of Family Circle