ModernDomestic Presidential Cookie Bake-Off: And The Winner Is . . .

by moderndomestic on November 5, 2008

Final Cookies

The finalists: Laura Bush's Chocolate Chunk Cookies (top right), Mary Todd Lincoln's Gingerbread Men (top left), Michelle Obama's Shortbread Cookies (bottom right), and Nancy Reagan's Vienna Chocolate Bars (bottom left).

This is an historic day. The world has been irrevocably altered. Today, we finally know who won the ModernDomestic Presidential Cookie Bake off (and, um, we also have a new leader of the free world).

This was a tough decision, folks. I had four excellent cookie recipes to choose between, and each cookie was unique and delicious in its own way.

To recap the events up to this point, the four winning cookie recipes of our match ups were:

Each cookie was a strong contender, although some had their flaws.

  • Mary Todd Lincoln’s Gingerbread Men were spicy and satisfying, with an excellent balance of flavors and an easy-to-roll dough. We devoured an entire plate of these while watching the Red Sox blow the ALDS.
  • Laura Bush’s Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk cookies were perfect texture-wise, and were a hit among many of our tasters, but the plethora of add-ins (chopped sour cherries, walnuts, cinnamon) took quite a bit of getting used to. But without the additional ingredients, this recipe was the basis of a perfect Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk cookie, one that deserves a spot in my cookie repertoire.
  • Nancy Reagan’s Vienna Chocolate Bars were the most complicated cookie of the Bake-Off, but were a wonderful combination of crunchy butter cookie, gooey raspberry-chocolate filling, and chewy hazelnut meringue. I gave these out at a number of gatherings, and they were always a big hit.
  • Michelle Obama’s shortbread was a chewy, buttery shortbread cookie flavored with citrus zest and almond liqueur. By the way, I made these again for election night and they were even better the second time round. I sprung for the Amaretto this time ($18!), and I have to say that it was worth it. The almond flavor was mellower and slightly sweeter, and it really brought out the citrus and butter flavorings.

The ModernDomestic Presidential Bakeoff Winner is (drumroll please) . . .

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Michelle Obama’s Shortbread Cookies!

Michelle Obama's Winning Cookies

The Obamas win all-round!

Like I said, this was a tough call, and I congratulate all the finalists in this close race. But Michelle’s recipe was just perfect and was beloved by myself, Wonktheplank, and fellow tasters alike.

The cookie itself is perfectly balanced between the savory flavor of the butter, the fresh taste of the citrus zest, the mellow warmth of the amaretto, and the perfectly chewy texture. But not only is this a great recipe, but it can also be modified to different tastes and occasions. I could have mixed in chocolate chips, or I could have used lime zest and limoncillo for a lemon-lime shortbread. This is an absolutely flawless cookie, and one that should go down in history as one of the best that the First Ladies have had to offer.

So congratulations Michelle Obama for winning the first ModernDomestic Presidential Cookie Bake-Off! Let’s hope that you’ll find a little bit of time as first lady to send out some other absolutely excellent recipes for the recipe-hungry public.

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