Some claim it is mere luck, while others call it a presidential predictor: Family Circle's First Lady Cookie Contest has accurately forecasted the winner of the presidential election for the past five elections. Since '92, the winner of the First Lady Cookie Contest has gone on to the White House. This year, Michelle Obama and Ann Romney submitted their cookie recipes, and Michelle's recipe beat Ann's. Despite losing the contest, Ann's recipe actually has a higher rating and more votes online. This made me think: what would happen if I combined the two cookie recipes?
FitSugar assistant editor Lizzie Fuhr ingeniously dubbed this idea the "bipartisan cookie recipe." Could two very different recipes come together to create the most delicious cookie compromise ever? Did it have the potential to beat out the original recipes? Find out if it was a cookie catastrophe or a match made in heaven.
Ann Romney's M&M's Cookies
The experiment began by making both Ann's and Michelle's original recipes. Our tasters found Ann's M&M's cookies with rolled oats and peanut butter "moist and buttery" and thought there was a "good balance between the chocolate and oats." However, the cookie failed to sway but two votes from taste tasters, because it was bland from the overabundant oats and lack of salt in the recipe.
Michelle Obama's Mint Chocolate and Walnut Cookies
Tasters enthusiastically voted "yes!" for Michelle Obama's mint chocolate and walnut cookie, claiming it "tastes like Christmas" and that the "pop of mint is mind-blowing." Between the two original recipes, Michelle Obama's won by a landslide victory.
There was only one more cookie to try, the bipartisan cookie, and I anxiously shuffled around the kitchen while watching the reactions on tasters' faces. Combining the two doughs resulted in a chewy cookie with a crispy outer crust. The brown sugar and vanilla flavors balanced the peanut butter, M&M's, white chocolate, and milk chocolate chips. Tasters "loved it" and claimed it was their "favorite" and "definitely the winner." Despite the rave reviews, it lost to Michelle Obama's recipe by one vote.
Perhaps combining opposing cookie recipes didn't make a winning batch, but it sure garnered support from the PopSugar editors. In record time, all of the cookies disappeared from the tupperware bins, and the whole office chatted about them all day. No matter your party preference or whether or not the contest actually foretells the future leadership of our country, this hybrid cookie recipe is a compromise worth baking.
1-1/8 cups all-purpose flour
2-1/4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup (1/2 stick) vegetable shortening (such as Crisco butter flavor)
3/4 cup crunchy peanut butter
1/2 tablespoon light corn syrup (such as Karo)
3/4 cup plus 1/8 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup plus 1/8 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup chocolate chips
1/3 cup M&M's candies
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup mint chocolate chunks, optional
- Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. In a bowl, whisk together flour, rolled oats, baking soda, and salt.
- In a stand mixer, beat butter, shortening, peanut butter, and corn syrup on a high speed until fluffy and creamy. Add granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla extract, and mix until well-combined. Add eggs, one at a time, until thoroughly mixed. Turn speed down to low, and beat in flour mixture until combined. Then, stir in white and milk chocolate chips, M&M's, walnuts, and, optionally, the mint chocolate chunks.
- Drop rounded tablespoons of dough onto lined cookie sheets. Bake for 12 to 17 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes, and then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
Makes about 4 dozen cookies.
- Mint chocolate and peanut butter do go well together. It sounds like an odd pairing, but it works, sort of like how the mint and walnuts go together in Michelle Obama's cookie recipe. If you're feeling bold, add the mint chocolate to this recipe. Otherwise, simply leave it out.