The ModernDomestic Presidential Cookie Bake-Off: Welcome To The SmackDown


Cookies, a proud political tradition.

While all eyes are on the Presidential candidates and their health care/economy/foreign policy plans these days, as a domestically-minded individual, I have another concern on my mind: whose cookie will enter the treasury of White House recipes?

I know that having candidates wives submit cookie recipes harkens back to pre-feminism and pre-internet days where a woman’s place was in the home and everyone didn’t get their recipes from Epicurious (in fact, this has proven a problem for several recent candidates’ wives, as I’ll explain later). But part of me loves this American tradition. After all, cookies are such a rich part of our culinary culture—who doesn’t remember baking gingerbread cookies at Christmas time, or baking up a batch of chocolate chip cookies with their mom? So I find it oddly fitting that cookies would get mixed up in politics.

According to this New York Times article, the actual Presidential Cookie Bake-Off as we know it today is relatively new, beginning in 1992 after Hillary Clinton said her famous quote that she could have “stayed home and baked cookies and had teas,” instead of entering the workforce like she did. Family Circle spotted an opportunity and started the Presidential Cookie Bake Off, where readers vote for their favorite cookie recipe from the presidential candidates’ wives.

So in the first of a four part series, ModernDomestic will be having our own Presidential Cookie Bake Off. After researching first lady and first- lady-candidates recipes, I’ve chosen my favorite eight to compete against each other in an all-out four part Presidential Cookie battle. For the next two weeks the flour will fly, the whisks will stand at attention, and we will discover which first lady has the ultimate presidential cookie recipe.

Tomorrow: We kick it old school, as Martha Washington’s Shrewsbury Cakes Go Head-To-Head with Mary Todd Lincoln’s Gingerbread Men.



  1. candace said

    everything about this idea kicks ass. just wish i were there to judge. 🙂

  2. moderndomestic said

    My God, I wish you were here to judge too. We’ve eaten so many cookies in the past two weeks!

  3. […] our eight favorite presidential cookie recipes, and picking the best of the bunch. Check out yesterday’s entry for the introduction to the bake off. Tomorrow Teresa Heinz Kerry’s Pumpkin Spice Cookies […]

  4. Bonnie (AKA Mom) said

    I’m so burned out on all other aspects of this campaign, what a breath of fresh air to get back to the basics–a good cookie. Wouldn’t it be fun to bake Michele Obama’s cookies for an election night party! Looking forward to seeing the recipes.

  5. […] in my updates on the Washington Post’s Cupcake Wars, now that so much of my time is taken up the ModernDomestic Presidential Cookie Bake-Off. Well, that, and Wonktheplank’s computer is still in the shop, leaving us computer-less at […]

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