The Food Corner

A Contrast in Styles
Family Circle magazine is doing its fourth "Election Cookie Cook-Off."  Voting, on-line or via post card, runs through August 1, 2004.  First Lady Laura Bush would seem to have an edge, appealing to chocoholics with her "Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Cookies."  Teresa Heinz Kerry, in keeping with her slightly offbeat reputation, offers "Pumpkin Spice Cookies."1  Try both, then vote.

Laura Bush's Oatmeal-Chocolate Chunk Cookies

1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups light-brown sugar
3 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
3 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
3 cups quick oats (not old-fashioned)
2 cups chopped walnuts
1 1/2 packages (8 ounces each) chocolate chunks (3 cups)
2 cups coarsely chopped dried sour cherries

Heat oven to 350°. With electric mixer, cream butter and both sugars. Beat in eggs one at a time, then beat in vanilla. Add flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and oats; slowly beat until blended. Stir in walnuts, chocolate and cherries. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto cookie sheet covered with parchment paper. Bake at 350° for 12 to 15 minutes, until golden brown. Makes about 8 dozen.

Teresa Heinz Kerry's Pumpkin Spice Cookies

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature 
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 cup canned pumpkin puree (from 15-ounce can; do not use pumpkin pie filling)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon 
1/2 teaspoon allspice 
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup raisins
Heat oven to 375°. With electric mixer, cream butter and sugar. Beat in egg, pumpkin and vanilla. Sift together flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and allspice. Stir into pumpkin mixture. Stir in chopped walnuts and raisins. Drop
by tablespoonfuls onto a well-greased cookie sheet and bake at 375° for 12 to 15 minutes, until golden on edges. Makes about 5 dozen.

1. A Postscript
In a late July interview with Susan Stamberg on NPR's Morning Edition (taped July 25; broadcast July 27) the discussion turned to pumpkin spice cookies and Mrs. Heinz Kerry stated,

"It's not mine by the way.  No.  Somebody in our office gave that recipe out...  And in fact I think somebody really made it on purpose to give a nasty recipe.  I never made pumpkin cookies; I don't like pumpkin spice cookies."

On July 28 the New York Times reported that Heinz Kerry had submitted a recipe for "Yummy Wonders" but that the Family Circle kitchen found the recipe did not work.  Family Circle then contacted her office leading to the above recipe.