MICHELLE OBAMA-Even Better the Second Time

Yesterday, I was still deep in the midst of post-Sandy trauma before the realization of the election came into full view. It was, at that moment, that I did my duty as a proud American and dove into Michelle Obama’s famous cookie recipe – the one that took down the first prize in the (un)official 2012 Presidential Cookie Bake-Off.

There is much to say about Michelle Obama, and most of you already know the story: wife of two-term President Barack Obama, first African-American First Lady, mother of Malia and Sasha. She projects a strong, comforting, healthy image and I am smitten (her guest appearance on The Biggest Loser choked me up). Her book, American Grown, is a collection of recipes organized around the “garden”, specifically the White House Kitchen Garden, and each and every recipe looks appealing. The book, with its emphasis on healthy eating, is in line with Michelle Obama’s active role in improving the nutrition of school meals. You should buy it.

But I am not here to discuss healthy eating; I am here to make cookies. Family Circle Magazine (apologies for the registration link) hosts a cookie contest (timed to the months leading up to the election) between the two potential first ladies. Though I am sure Ann Romney’s recipe is fine, I am a definitely more of a Michelle person. But let’s peruse her decidedly less healthy ingredients: 2 sticks of butter! Shortening! What?

I made the cookies “as is” for the first batch, and they were just okay – a little too pancake-like for me. During batch two, I left out the shortening, and the aroma of mint, chocolate, sugar, and butter warmed my apartment while the commentators called electoral results from the TV. Twelve minutes later, the cookies were out of my oven and President Obama was announced the victor of last night’s election. And I am happy to report that it is the first time I slept well since Sandy’s arrival.

Michelle Obama’s winning Presidential Cookie
Mama Kaye’s White and Dark Chocolate Chip Cookie from Family Circle Magazine

Yield: 5 dozen 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 degrees F. 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 degrees F for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.