Presidential Bake-Off

For 20 years Family Circle has had a "Presidential Bake-Off" on an election year with a First Lady cookie contest.  They say that 4 out of 5 times, the cookie that won ended up in the White House.  The exception being the last contest where Cindy McCain's cookie won but obviously John McCain didn't win the election.  Here we are in 2012 and the bake-off is between Michelle Obama and Ann Romney.

I thought it would be fun to see which cookies friends and family preferred.  I won't spoil it for you in case you choose to try yourself.  If you want to know which cookie belongs to whom, ask me or check out the August 2012 issue of Family Circle.

White and Dark Chocolate Chip Cookie

2-1/4C flour
1t baking soda
1t salt
1C (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 stick Crisco butter-flavored solid vegetable shortening
3/4C sugar
3/4C brown sugar
1t vanilla
1C each white chocolate chips, milk chocolate chips and mint chocolate chips (or Andes mint pieces)
2C chopped walnuts

Heat oven to 375.  In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt.  In a large bowl with an electric mixer, cream butter, vegetable shortening, sugar, brown sugar and vanilla.

Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.  On low speed, beat in flour mixture.  By hand, stir in chips and walnuts.

Drop rounded tablespoons of dough onto ungreased baking sheets.  Bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool on baking sheets for 5 min.; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

M&M's Cookies

1C sugar
1C brown sugar
1/2C (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1-1/2C crunch peanut butter
1T light corn syrup
3 eggs
1/2t vanilla
4-1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
2t baking soda
6 oz. chocolate chips
2/3C M&M's candies

Heat oven to 325.  In a large bowl, cream sugars, butter, peanut butter and corn syrup on high speed until well combined.  Beat in eggs 1 at a time.  Beat in vanilla extract.

In a separate bowl, mix together oats and baking soda.  Stir into peanut butter mixture until combined.  Mix in chocolate chips and M&M's.

Using a standard-size ice cream scoop, drop dough onto baking sheets (about 9 per sheet).  Bake at 325 for 18 minutes or until lightly browned.  Cool 2 minutes, then transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
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