What’s Cooking in the Deep State, Super-Secret Bakery? The 1996 First Ladies Cookie Contest, Sort-of

1996 pitted Hillary Clinton against Elizabeth Dole in a take-no-prisoners cookie-off. Okay, not really. Hillary offered the same recipe she used in 1992, while Dole’s recipe is quite similar to the Russian Tea Cakes recipe I’ve already posted.

So… I was left to wonder, what do I do for today’s post?

Since you can look at last week’s post for Hillary’s recipe, I decided to do a “Centrist Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies” recipe which plays up the best features of both of last week’s cookies. (Less sugar as in Hillary’s but the butter of Bush’s cookie.)

Then I realized Dole’s recipe isn’t exactly like the Russian Tea Cakes (it has half the sugar, less flour, and a LOT more nuts), so I went ahead and baked them up for our head-to-head today.

Pecan Roll Cookies

Recipe from DoleKemp96.org


  • 1/2 lb. margarine, creamed with
  • 4 TBSP powdered sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 TBSP cold water
  • 2 cups broken pecans


Mix above ingredients together.

Flour hands and roll teaspoons of dough in date – like shapes.

Place on greased cookie sheet and crease with a knife length wise.

Bake at 275 oven for one hour.

Roll on powdered sugar while still warm.

Makes 50 cookies.

Notes: I used the small cookie scoop (two teaspoon size) to make these and came up with the expected number.

These cookies were very dry and just not very good. Not as good as the Russian Tea Cakes recipe previously posted. While the extra nuts were a pleasant addition, the rest of the cookie seemed bland.

Centrist Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

My own mashup of the Clinton/Bush 92 cookies


  • 2 1/2 cups unsifted all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chopped nuts (optional)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda in a bowl. Set aside.

Cream together the butter and sugars. Add in eggs and vanilla, beating until light and fluffy. Add in the flour. Once combined, add in the chips, oats, and (optional) nuts.

Using a 1 1/2 Tbsp cookie scoop, drop cookies onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, 2 inches apart. Pat the cookies down until they’re about 1″ tall.

Bake for 10-12 minutes. They should be slightly browned on the edges, but still pale on top. Cool on cookie sheet for two minutes, then remove to cooling racks.

Notes: These cookies are a win in my book, but YMMV. This is a toothsome cookie; not exactly chewy or cakey.

If you leave out the oats, you’ll have a cookie similar to my Grandmother’s chocolate chip cookie.

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