Michelle Obama chocolate chip cookie recipe secret ingredient
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It’s here! The highly anticipated (well, at least since the surprise announcement of its existence a few days ago) Michelle Obama documentary “Becoming” is now streaming on Netflix. But before you break out the popcorn, we have a movie munchie fit for the world’s most admired woman: her contest-winning triple chocolate chip cookies.  

Yes, the former FLOTUS is widely known for her Let’s Move! campaign which emphasizes physical fitness and a healthy, nutritious diet to help combat childhood obesity. Leading by example, she conducted a complete overhaul of the White House vegetable garden in 2009 to encourage others to follow suit and grow their own produce.

Related Reading: How to Start a Garden: 5 Tips for Beginners

But even Michelle Obama likes to indulge from time to time and she offered a glimpse of her sweet tooth during the First Lady Cookie Contest.

Michelle Obama


The origins of the competition date back to 1992 when then first lady Hillary Clinton made her infamous “I suppose I could have stayed home and baked cookies” retort when questioned why she chose to practice law. (Over a decade later, Beyoncé would co-opt the quote during a concert performance in recognition of the sexist backlash that resulted from it.) The now-defunct publication Family Circle attempted to diffuse the situation (and sell a few magazines) by inviting spouses of the Presidential candidates to show off their homemaking mettle with an old-fashioned bake-off and the rest is history.

After suffering defeat in the cookie competition to Cindy McCain in 2008, Obama enlisted the help of family friend Eleanor “Mama Kaye” Wilson (godmother to Sasha and Malia). Four years later, thanks to Wilson’s coaching, she took the crown, besting Ann Romney and her M&M studded-cookies. 

Related Reading: Try This Easy Chocolate Chip Cookie Hack When You’re Out of Flour

The key to victory was a unifying blend of white chocolate, dark chocolate, and mint chocolate chips along with an ample dose of unsalted butter and vegetable shortening for a soft and chewy finish. A sprinkle of walnuts provided the perfect finishing touch.

Try out the recipe below and become a baking superstar.

Michelle Obama's Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 stick vegetable shortening
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup each white chocolate chips, milk chocolate chips and mint chocolate chips
  • 2 cups chopped walnuts
  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. Whisk together flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl.
  3. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, cream butter, shortening, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, and continue to beat.
  4. Beat in the dry ingredients a little bit at a time until fully combined. Then, with a wooden spoon, stir in the chocolate and mint chips (along with the walnuts, if desired).
  5. Drop rounded tablespoons of the dough onto baking sheets, preferably lined with parchment paper or silicone sheets.
  6. Bake at 375° for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes and place on wire racks to cool completely.

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Related Reading: How to Clean Greasy Silicone Baking Mats

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David is a food and culture writer based in Los Angeles by way of New York City. His work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, CBS Local, Mashable, and Gawker.
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