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Which cookie will win the White House?

For the past 20 years, Family Circle magazine has held a cookie recipe throw down between the candidates' spouses. Their contest has only been wrong once in predicting the actual outcome of the election. Which cookie will you vote for in 2012?

By Staff writer / October 4, 2012

Michelle Obama's "White and Dark Chocolate Chip Cookie" (l.) beat out Ann Romney's "M&M Cookies" (r.) by a slim margin. Readers of Family Circle tested and voted on their favorite cookie. Over the past 20 years, the election contest has accurately predicted who will proceed to the White House – except once.

Courtesy of Family Circle


If you are one of the scores of independent voters yet to decide how you will cast your vote come November, here's a taste test that could tip your ballot: the great Presidential Cookie Bake-Off. A recipe for success is what this country needs, after all. 

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Staff editor

Kendra Nordin is a staff editor and writer for the weekly print edition of the Monitor. She also produces Stir It Up!, a recipe blog for

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Even Sesame Street's Cookie Monster wants to get in on the act. He and his political handlers have adapted Carly Rae Jepsen's 'Call Me Maybe' song to include a baked goods theme.

For the past 20 years, Family Circle's Presidential Cookie Bake-Off has squared-off the mixing bowls of the candidates' spouses and asked their readers to decide: Who has the better cookie recipe? The editors at Family Circle claim their contest, in which readers test the dueling recipes and vote for their favorite, has resulted in correctly calling the actual elections outcome since 1992 – except once.

In 2008, Cindy McCain's Oatmeal Butterscotch Cookies beat out Michelle Obama's Shortbread Cookies, only to have John McCain lose to Barack Obama in the general election. It's just the way the cookie crumbled. (Bill Clinton even got in the act that year with a healthy Oatmeal Cookie recipe when Hillary Rodham Clinton was dueling for the Democratic nomination.)

After four years in the White House, Michelle Obama is leading a nationwide campaign centered on cooking healthy food at home. Has she departed from her war on obesity to dole out cookies? We wonder about these things and if they may just give the upper oven mitt to Ann Romney's M&M Cookies over Michelle's inclusive-sounding White and Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies.

The future can only declare if cookie history will repeat itself. Family Circle readers have already decided that it is Michelle Obama who will be heading back to the White House with more than 9,000 readers weighing in. "Just 287 votes separated the two women, our smallest margin ever," say the editors at Family Circle.

The voting continues a few blocks from the White House at the Occidental Grill & Seafood, where diners are given a sample of each cookie and asked to vote on their preferred choice. Weekly tallies are shared through the restaurant's social networks. The most recent results as of Sept. 29: 56 percent for Michelle; 41 percent for Ann; 3 percent are undecided.

Other retailers are getting into the election spirit with their own spin on things: Participating 7-Eleven chain stores are running the fourth "7-Election" voting campaign by having customers select either a red (Romney) or blue (Obama) coffee cup. The chain claims that their previous results have not only closely mimicked those of the past two elections, they have accurately predicted the winners. At the moment, the blue coffee cups are carrying most of the country on the campaign's results page. (We don't know how many of those coffees were decaf.)


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