While all eyes are on the Presidential candidates and their health care/economy/foreign policy plans these days, as a domestically-minded individual, I have another concern on my mind: whose cookie will enter the treasury of White House recipes?
I know that having candidates wives submit cookie recipes harkens back to pre-feminism and pre-internet days where a woman’s place was in the home and everyone didn’t get their recipes from Epicurious (in fact, this has proven a problem for several recent candidates’ wives, as I’ll explain later). But part of me loves this American tradition. After all, cookies are such a rich part of our culinary culture—who doesn’t remember baking gingerbread cookies at Christmas time, or baking up a batch of chocolate chip cookies with their mom? So I find it oddly fitting that cookies would get mixed up in politics.
According to this New York Times article, the actual Presidential Cookie Bake-Off as we know it today is relatively new, beginning in 1992 after Hillary Clinton said her famous quote that she could have “stayed home and baked cookies and had teas,” instead of entering the workforce like she did. Family Circle spotted an opportunity and started the Presidential Cookie Bake Off, where readers vote for their favorite cookie recipe from the presidential candidates’ wives.
So in the first of a four part series, ModernDomestic will be having our own Presidential Cookie Bake Off. After researching first lady and first- lady-candidates recipes, I’ve chosen my favorite eight to compete against each other in an all-out four part Presidential Cookie battle. For the next two weeks the flour will fly, the whisks will stand at attention, and we will discover which first lady has the ultimate presidential cookie recipe.
Tomorrow: We kick it old school, as Martha Washington’s Shrewsbury Cakes Go Head-To-Head with Mary Todd Lincoln’s Gingerbread Men.