Thursday, January 15, 2009

Michelle Obama's Shortbread Cookies

Ever since the first Presidential Cookie Bake-Off in 1992, the winner of the bake-off has gone on to win the election. There was Hillary Clinton (with my favorite chocolate chip cookies) in '92 and '96. Then Laura Bush in '00 and '04. But 2008 was different. Cindy McCain won the contest with her recipe for Oatmeal Butterscotch cookies but she didn't make it to the White House. That honor went to the Obamas. And personally, I think Michelle should have won the bake-off, too. Her shortbread cookies are dense, full of citrusy flavor, and perfect with a cup of hot tea.

Michelle Obama's Shortbread Cookies (Bake-Off results are here)

1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened (of course, I used salted butter)
1 1/2 cups plus 2 tbs sugar
2 egg yolks
2 tbs Amaretto (I used 1 tsp almond extract)
1 tsp each orange and lemon zest
3 cups cake flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 beaten egg white
chopped nuts or dried fruit, optional (I used chopped pecans)

1. Heat oven to 325°F. Line a 17 x 12 x 1-inch baking pan with nonstick foil. In large bowl, cream together butter and 1-1/2 cups of the sugar.
2. Slowly add egg yolks, and beat well until smooth. Beat in Amaretto and zest.
3. Stir in flour and salt until combined.
4. Spread dough evenly into prepared pan, flattening as smoothly as possible.
5. Brush top of dough with egg white; sprinkle with nuts or fruit (if using) and with remaining 2 tablespoons sugar.
6. Bake at 325°F for 25 minutes or until brown, turn off oven and allow cookies to sit in oven (with door ajar) for 15 minutes. Cut while slightly warm.

VERDICT: Yum! My mom liked them so much that she made a batch for herself earlier this week. The dough is kind of thick, you won't think that you'll be able to spread it all out in a 17 x 12 pan, but it can happen. The original recipe says that it makes 6 dozen cookies. No way it makes that many. I got around 2 dozen, as did my mom.

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  1. I was so glad that you saved me some when I came to visit. They were delicious! I especially liked what the egg white and sugar on top did - just a thin layer of crunch.


  2. Oh yummmm, they sound good Ali, I'll have to make those next week, maybe as an innauguarion treat!!!

  3. Gosh, those look REALLY good! Thanks for sharing! didn't use any of that banana in your recipe I hope! lol!!!!!!

  4. Ali your an angel, I've been looking for a great shortbread recipe. Hmmm, maybe I should do some baking today. Thanks for sharing.

  5. These look and sound like heaven! I think I am going to set aside just one Saturday and do nothing but cook and bake some of your delicious recipes!!!

  6. They look yummy thanks for sharing!

  7. So wait- if I become First Lady I need to have a cookie recipe?

    I'm screwed.

  8. Those cookies sound delicious. I am going to have to remember them when I am off my road to being slim and trim1

  9. Wow! What a great recipe! I'm going to print it off right now! Love the Hillary Clinton chocolate chip ones too!

  10. I didn't know about the bake-off. Those sound good and if I wasn't trying to slow down on the sweets I might have tried them. I will, however, keep the recipe for one of my week days!

  11. They look good but I have to admit I think I would like the oatmeal butterscotch better.

  12. Thank you so much for visiting my Blog today & Laughing with me.
    Come back anytime.

  13. Hello!

    Thank you so much for stopping by and supporting my big day the other day (Wednesday). It meant so much and I really am grateful:)

    Stay in touch!

    ps. that cookies look so yummy..

  14. I LOVE shortbread cookies! That sounds absolutely scrumy (is that a word?)!

  15. I love shortbread cookeis--I found a recipe that is close to Panera Bread's shortbread cookies (do you have Panera in Ark?!)

  16. Yay! Thank you so much for sharing this! I have been looking for a good shortbread cookie recipe.

  17. I just made these this weekend. They are so good. My husband has been devouring them. He really loves them. They're good with chopped dried cranberries on top too. We also both really love Michelle Obama's apple cobbler recipe. These are must-make recipes from our first lady.

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