In order to fulfill my patriotic duty of doing something that celebrated the fourth of July, I spent the day in the kitchen making cookies from the recipes of Laura Bush and Teresa Heinz Kerry. I wasn’t proud of this fact, but hey, I’ll do anything in the name of science…or politics…or for the taste of homemade cookies.
Truth be told, I feel a little dirty about this endeavor. After all, it’s damn hard for me to picture either of tese women, sitting in their respective kitchens, mulling through grease-stained index cards, looking for the perfect recipe to show the readers of the Family Circle magazine. The reality is probably more disheartening, with each recipe being researched and focused group, all in the hopes that the billionaire and the president’s wife is more like you or I. But hey, I’m game.
So I’ll let you know at the end of all of this who I think won and who I think lost this sham of a contest.
Laura Bush’s Oatmeal-Chocolate Chunk Cookies
The first thing I had to do was cut the recipe in half, as the recipe submitted by the First Lady would feed 8 dozen people. Now I have a lot of friends, but certainly not 8 dozen cookies worth. And the idea of having that many co9okies in my apartment, just sitting there, waiting for me to eat them, did not make my waistline very happy.
The second thing I noted was the use of dried sour cherries. Here is a food item that runs Nine a pound. Add in the fact that the recipe calls for chocolate chunks (rather than the more pedestrian and cheaper chocolate chips) and nothing says “I connect with the common person” than having a recipe that ends up costing them the price of your typical cable bill.
That being said, the cookies came out quite nicely straight out of the oven. With the chocolate melting over the dried cherries, it gave a nice dichotomous taste. Add to that the walnuts, and you had a full bodied cookie, with both crunch and taste.
As I bit into the cookies, I fell into a weird, trance-like state. I felt myself desiring more tax cuts for the rich. I felt as if I now fully understood Milton Friedman, Ayn Rand and Bill O’Reilly. Part of me wanted to invade Epicurean.com in search of recipes of mass distraction. If it wasn’t for the fact that Air America was playing in the background, I fear that I might have turned to the dark side.
So, in short…Laura Bush’s Oatmeal-Chocolate Chunk Cookies taste great right out of the oven and makes one want to privatize social security.
Teresa Heinz Kerry’s Pumpkin Spice Cookies
Obviously Teresa didn’t get the note that pumpkin anything really isn’t en vogue until October, making it a little difficult to find Pumpkin Puree in the middle of July. At least I didn’t have to cut her recipe in half however, although 5 dozen pumpkin cookies in the middle of Summer is a bit of a hard sell. And after being able to locate the puree, this recipe was cheaper to make than the “recipe for the common person” of Laura Bush.
My hopes were initially dashed when the cookies came out of the oven. This is not a good cookie when hot, certainly not as good as the $640 chocolate chip cookie of the right. But a weird thing happened. I let both cookies stay at room temperature over night. And the next day
As I bit into another pumpkin slice of heaven, I realized that this was the cookie of our forefathers. It was the underdog cookie, destined to defeat the standard bearers with perseverance and temerity. This was a cookie that brought forth the imagery of All-American indulgence, Thanksgiving. This was a cookie that not only stood the test of time, it thrived in it (even if it was only overnight). In short, this was America’s CookieÂ®!
Who was the winner, in this tÃªte-Ã -tÃªte between these cookie goliaths? Which cookie would I pick?
Winner: The Pumpkin spice cookie, only because I really like pumpkin dishes.
Loser: The feminist ideal of a wife being a partner in a marriage, rather than one of political convenience.