Cookie Gate? Oh Paleese!, by Chef Sheila

Cindy McCain isn’t the only spouse of a presidential candidate to Pass a recipe of as her own. Bill Clinton, who entered Family Circle magazine’s 5th Presidential Bake-Off against McCain and Michelle Obama (who did not take credit for hers) before his spouse suspended her campaign, appears to have stolen one too….But who really cares?

Come On Folks. No one steals a recipe anymore. The only way to steal one is to put a patent on it. But if you do that, you can’t capitalize on it either and maybe make some bucks!.

I wouldn’t expect anyone to spend days and weeks like “America’s Test Kitchen” to make a Butterscotch Cookie recipe specifically for A silly presidential bake off that was for show and probably more likely, to sell a few Chocolate Chips and not a few magazines.

These Presidential Candidates and their spouses are like the rest of the country. Why in the world would these busy people go the distance when ya’ll are out there buying a dozen of your secret stash in your neighborhood store.

I’ll tell ya a little story about me and something I thought was an original thought… there I was in Mexico with the President. A little Time a little bite. I have the most marvelous brazed chicken I had ever had. So take with the complex flavors, I spent and hour savoring every bite and performing my favorite pass time of calculating by mouthfuls the ingredients. Did I ask for the recipe? Heck no, not much fun in that!

For a year after that I tried different American ingredients and I nailed down some semblance of the flavor I remembered, then I added more ingredients as I learned more about the region I had visited with the President, until it was a shadow of the original I had tasted. With every dinner, every catered event I used this dish, I received so many compliments! I really thought I had made something original. When a Master Chef I knew said there were no new recipes, I said, “I have one” and really believed it. Until one night at a dinner I was doing, the Mexican help had some before the dinner and complimented me on my “Mole” and how much it tasted like home. A Light Bulb moment in that.

So Cindy is forgiven and so is Bill. Lighten up Media and enjoy the cookies!

Michelle Obama’s Favorite Shortbread Cookies

The recipe comes courtesy of Mama Kaye, the godmother of both Obama daughters. Orange and lemon zest gives the squares plenty of citrus zing.

1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar2 egg yolks2 tablespoons Amaretto (almond liqueur)1 teaspoon each orange and lemon zest3 cups cake flour (not self-rising)1/4 teaspoon salt1 beaten egg white Chopped nuts or dried fruit (optional)
Method: Heat oven to 325°.

Line a 17 x 12 x 1-inch baking pan with nonstick foil. In large bowl, cream together butter and 11/2 cups of the sugar.

Slowly add egg yolks, and beat well until smooth. Beat in Amaretto and zest. Stir in flour and salt until combined.

Spread dough evenly into prepared pan, flattening as smoothly as possible. Brush top of dough with egg white; sprinkle with nuts or fruit (if using) and with remaining 2 tablespoons sugar.

Bake at 325° 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.
Yields: 6 dozen 2″ x 3″ cookies



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70 responses to “Cookie Gate? Oh Paleese!, by Chef Sheila

  1. I’m worried about you, chef. I think you are getting too close to the McCain campaign.

    Next you will be pushing Kool-Aid on us to go with that woman’s cookies! :rofl:

  2. I’m kidding around…of course

  3. The problem is Cindy claimed the recipe was her own. But we shouldn’t be surprised, John doesn’t seem to have much mastery of the facts either.

  4. Hey Cookie, how are you? Like the comment, and thanks for the recipes….I’ll never make them, but maybe I can convince someone else to take care of that deed.

    “look to the cookie, Elaine,look to the cookie”

  5. dnd

    Had Cindy said: “when it comes to cookies, there are no new recipes” she’d have been off the hook. Oh well live and learn.

    Now if she’d have substituted a can of beer for the liquid in her oatmeal-butterscotch cookies, that would be a new recipe!

  6. She could have simply said “this is my favorite” cookie recipe. But lets face it the whole cookie thing is done, the only time Cindy goes into the kitchen is to tell cook they are out of olives.

  7. dnd

    Repost from the last post on the last thread, which won’t make Cindy feel any better:

    Pew Hispanic Center survey shows Hispanics favor Obama over McCain 66% to 23%:

    Se Si Pueda!

  8. dog's eye view

    Shortbread cookies are a good memory for me. Visited some newly married friends in London on my first trip abroad and she, a Brit, had made up a pan of shortbread that came out of the oven just perfectly. Jill said shortbread is easy to make, but I have never tried.

  9. Karolenna


    Funny piece and I enjoyed it. “The only way to steal one is to put a patent on it.” Actually, having worked in intellectual property for 20 years I believe you could have trademarked it. You can put a trademark disclaimer on anything you write, at least that’s what I remember unless the laws have changed with the internet.

    Senior Barbie’s Oatmeal cookies recipe really got the press time. Your “Mole” story, Sheila, reminds me of my Baked Beans recipe. I had received it from someone years ago. It’s the one that has the butter beans, red kidney beans, and pork and beans in it with tons of other ingredients. I’d take it to picnics and everyone wanted a copy of it. Since I had a copy on the computer, I named it “K’s” Baked Bean. After all, I’d gone to the trouble of typing it up to hand out. Who knows where the recipe came from but from then on it was mine?

  10. dog's eye view

    Karolenna: greetings. Please share that Baked Beans recipe.

    But gotta say this: I cringe when Cindy McCain is referred to as Barbie. Yes, she’s fortunate with her good looks and mucho $$$, but she’s done a lot with her life as well, which has had its difficult moments.

    I cannot imagine being in the 24/7 spotlight like that.

    Didn’t follow the cookie scandal du jour, but proper attribution is usually good.

    Maybe she should have just said “Girl Scout Thin Mints. Cannot surpass them.”


    Is America ready for a presidential spouse with a good lemon bars recipe? Always on the lookout for that; mmm.

  11. Chef Sheila

    Hey guys, Thanks lol

    I am going to start doing this more often. Poor Cindy. She didn’t deserve that. I was probably someone from her entourage that did it. Because I bet she has not been in a kitchen too often.

    But then neither has Bill and he gave credit to his Chef, which turned out to be another recipe that was from a Betty Crocer Cookbook. lol

    I think Presidential food preferences are fun though.

  12. Chef Sheila


    I remember that recipe well! It was introduced to my family when I was a teenager by my Great Aunt. Was made for many years. I haven’t thought of that one in as many.

    But then, I bet you tweeked it enough to call it YOUR version and so that is a valid point!

    I have twisted many recipes to my liking and so end up making it my own version.

    I’m sure Brian does too.

  13. Chef Sheila

    Oh and,

    Thanks for the education, I think trademark is probably the best way. Like Bush’s Beans. We still don’t know the full recipe. its protected by something.

  14. dnd

    I gotta agree about Cindy. She does a ton of charity work, all of it behind the scenes. She doesn’t want to be in the spotlight. Good person.

    But I’m still not voting for her husband 😉

  15. Chef Sheila

    LOL Me Neither. I don’t want anyone who can’t get
    world history and geography straight.

    But poor woman. What a media snark.

  16. dog's eye view

    Excellent speech. Do you think it will go over better in Europe than here?

  17. dog's eye view

    Love C-Span, because hearing crowd noises. You might be listening to buckrakers opining on a cable channel.

    Hearing “Yes, We Can.” Wish they’d chant it in German too. That’s Ja — what?

  18. dnd

    No “Ich bin ein Berliner” or “Mr. Gorbechov tear down this wall” lines, but many powerful ones. Helluva speech.

  19. dnd

    It’s not the Obama speech, but pretty interesting was Jack Cafferty on Stephanie Miller this morning:

  20. I thought it was an awesome speech. The delivery was a perfect balance between looking Presidential, and not looking smug. The more he speaks his mannerism appear more natural and true.

    The crowd loved him….how refreshing for them……McCain has to be steaming. I can see his face getting all red and stream coming out his ears….

  21. Karolenna

    Baked Beans

    This makes a big batch, so you might want to reduce recipe

    1 lb Bacon (fried & broken up)
    2 Large onions (sautéed until transparent)
    2 lbs Pork & Beans (in tomato catsup)
    2 lbs Red Kidney beans
    2 lbs Butter beans (drained)
    8 oz Cheddar cheese (shredded)
    1 Cup catsup (I dump it…probably more than a cup)
    1 Cup Brown sugar (again, I use little more)
    4 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce

    Bake at 350˚ F until hot and bubbly
    Reduce to 150˚ F until served

  22. Karolenna

    I loved the crowd and the speech as well in Germany. After so much of burning Bush in effigy, it is nice to see a US politician received with such grandeur.


    Sorry if I upset you about the Cindy McCain remark, but if I had her money I could just about do anything for anyone I wanted.

    There are so many here in Ohio who need help. Last Sunday’s Dispatch showed a man with a teenage son completely disabled with Cerebral Palsy and his wheelchair had broken and Medicare had not replaced the broken one in two attempts the father made to appeal. The father had to carry this young man every time he had to go out of the house. I know what that would be like having a nephew with severe Cerebral Palsy. After the piece came out on Sunday, there was so much an outpouring of help from the people that the son now has a new wheelchair.

  23. Chef Sheila

    That’s the beans! Funny how a great recipe makes it around the world with or without the internet.

    I’m sure Dog’s mom will love it.

  24. Chef Sheila


    Nice to hear this. Sounds like great people. But how horrible that Medicare won’t…

    I didn’t get to see the speech. I hope I can some time!

  25. Crowd count was updated to 200 thousand in Berlin.

  26. dnd

    I’d bet the bier halls in Berlin and all around Germany are abuzz with the speech.

  27. Chef Sheila

    Oh gosh, maybe it will be rebroadcast tonight. I hope so.

    I am disapointed I didn’t get to see it.

    How is it looking on the MSM side? Are they seriously critical?

  28. If anyone missed the speech and wants to see it, MSNBC has it up online:

  29. dog's eye view

    Think it’s a sure bet that C-Span will air it several times.

  30. dnd

    Candy Crowley on CNN reports that German police estimate the crowd at 200,000.

  31. that’s an insane amount of people…..looked like there was over-whelming support….

    Has there been any reports of anti-American protests?

  32. Chef Sheila

    McCain visits German restaurant in Ohio

    LOLOL Spitting Diet on the Computer Screen.

    He sounded like sour grapes in the writing too!

  33. dog's eye view

    It takes a brave man to hold a press conference at The Fudge Haus.

  34. dnd

    The IOC has banned the Iraqi team in the 2008 Olympics.
    Ok, maybe the Iraqi government isn’t dancing the right step, but is it right to ban this war torn state from some symbolic measure of national pride?

    If Bush had a backbone, he’d say if Iraq can’t go, America can’t go. Ditto for all the members of the coalition.

    I say boycott the 2008 Olympics and let all the TV sponsors know, and why.

  35. Karolenna

    “McCain visits German restaurant in Ohio”

    Yes, it is lame but I think McBush is lame. He is the most uninspiring person I can remember running for president.

    I knew when they said he was at a German restaurant that it would be Schmidt’s. It is in an old restored area in south Columbus called German Village where there are many nice restaurants. Schmidt’s is more of a casual atmosphere. Ironically, though, I believe that German Village may have a majority of liberal-thinking voters. Just my opinion and belief.

  36. surprised Johnny didn’t show up wearing leiderhosen.

  37. On Friday, Obama will fly to Paris for a meeting, so, I take it McCain will be dining at a French restaurant tomorrow.


  38. Chef Sheila

    Certainly not at Chz Sheila’s….

    Seriously, ok maybe not so seriously, maybe a Bistro or Arbi’s for an Au Jus Roast Beef Sandwich.

    I bet he won’t be proclaming Freedom Fries

  39. Well, all in all, I can’t really believe that anyone is considering voting for McLame…okay the old senile group that’s ok….but seriously…the world is only so big, and Obama has done more in one trip to ignite passion in general population than others have done in a lifetime.

    It’s really amazing and exciting.

    Timing is everything, once again!

  40. “Timing is everything” Tell that to people who thought the rhythm method was effective!

  41. they know that already, they just either got it wrong or right…lol

  42. sturgeone

    liederhosen……..i before e except after c……….

  43. sturgeone

    unless it’s lye-der-hosen, as it could well be……

  44. Morning BC, checking in for a bit, doubt anyone is here……

  45. McCain is supposed to meet with the Dalai Lama today. I wonder how that is going to play with the Hagee/Parsley Axis.

  46. Seante Races:

    Shaheen up 6 in NH on Sununu Shaheen’s lead has been slipping in recent polls.

    Wicker +1 on Musgrove in MS
    I really don’t think Musgrove has much of a chance as he lost the Governship to Haley Barbour down there but he might pull an upset with a big turnout

    Colorado race is tied.

  47. Here’s a (crappy) article on the Dalai Lama thing, complete with comments from nuts across the globe attached to the bottom

  48. Ok, see you guys later this morning when you start logging on

  49. dog's eye view

    Morning guys. Did the cookie topic inspire any baking last night?

  50. Chef Sheila

    Good Morning, No Cookies Last night, but Apple Sauce while I made dinner.

    This morning I’m making and canning Apricot Jam along with Breakfast.

    Then baking choclate chip along with lunch! lol

    And after that dinners for the weekend with Carbonara

  51. dog's eye view

    Sounds yummy. Making spaghetti a la Carbonara? A favorite.

    Sorry to book, but will check back in later. TGIF.

  52. Chef Sheila

    Have a great time doing the Obama ground pounding dog,

    I’ll be doing the same thing tomorrow afternoon.

  53. Chef Sheila

    Morning Brian Yawns….

  54. dnd

    When McCain meets with the Dalai Lama, maybe he’ll receive total enlightenment. One can hope 😉

  55. Chef Sheila

    Dnd and all,

    Maybe The Dalai Lama will become McCain’s Spiritual Advisor. Hagee didn’t work. Dobson doesn’t want him. Could be the Right Wing will forgive him if he uses a Budist Priest.

  56. Somebody better show McCain where Tibet is on the map!

  57. folks check out the, voters from abroad, and the zogby links (upper right corner of this page). McCain is sinking in fast in all three electoral college projections, last week he was hovering near 200, now the mid 100s.

  58. dnd

    LOL! Great idea!

  59. dnd

    David Brooks not impressed with Barack in Berlin:

    Just can’t please some people.

    Obama uber alles!

  60. David Brooks projections on Obama I’m sure will be just as accurate as his projections on the Iraq War proved to be!

  61. dnd

    David Brooks writes better than he thinks.

    Well, at least Angela Merkel was impressed:–+Latest+news

    Can a shoulder rub be far behind?

  62. Well didn’t Merkel describe Obama as being “well equipped” ,LOL

  63. scooting in for a few minutes—-

    Watching the news…

    Rasmussen tracking has Obama +5 today, hopefully we are finally seeing a bounce.

    I understand McCain and the Dalai Lama will be meeting in the shredded Cheese aisle of th Supermarket where his holiness will talk about how the surge may lead us all to offshore drilling.

  64. Guys, trust me on this one, you will want to see this link. This chart tells EXACTLY where Johnny Mac is spending his money. Some interesting stuff here, and not a dime in Florida…..

    I thought the most revealing was the North Dakota buy.

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