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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?

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With such a close election, here in the newsroom we held our own cookie ballot to gain an edge on election night coverage. Since all journalists like to hide their political stripes, party affiliations were left off the ballots, er, cookies, so the votes were based on taste alone (and also size). An election monitor made sure it was one person, two cookies; and any remaining uncast ballots were eaten immediately. A few broken cookies were tossed out for not having proper IDs.

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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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Michelle's recipe has a surprising amount of butter and vegetable shortening but also an unexpected mint finish. She packed a lot in with three kinds of chips. The cookies seemed to spread thin in the oven, however, even though there were a lot of them. There were fewer of Ann's cookies although they were rich, colorful, hefty, and a little dry. They also called for the use of corn syrup, which could be problematic with the rising cost of corn. Voters were either drawn to or repulsed by mint and/or peanut butter flavors. Absentee ballots for the bureaus were not counted due to a mess-up at headquarters. Exit polls were too close to call.

Our newsroom results:

M&M Cookies: 55 percent

White and Dark Chocolate Chip: 45 percent

Ann Romney's M&M Cookies carried the newsroom! Now, anyone got milk?

Cast your vote!

The following recipes are reprinted with permission from Family Circle.

Michelle Obama's Mama Kaye's White and Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies
Yield: 5 dozen cookies

Prep:   15 mins 
Bake:   12 minutes 375 degrees F. 

2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 stick Crisco butter-flavored solid vegetable shortening
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 cup each white chocolate chips, milk chocolate chips and mint chocolate chips (or Andes mint pieces)
2 cups chopped walnuts


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

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

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

Ann Romney's M&M's cookies
Yield: 3 dozen cookies

Prep:   15 mins 
Bake:   18 minutes  325 degrees F. 

1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1-1/2 cups crunchy peanut butter
1 tablespoon light corn syrup (such as Karo)
3 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
4-1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
2 teaspoons baking soda
6 ounces chocolate chips
2/3 cup M&M's candies


1. Heat oven to 325 degrees F. 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.

2. 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.

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

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