White House recipe for success
The heat is on, and the stakes are high, with the potential first ladies' bake-off underway and organizer Family Circle magazine looking to see which way the cookie is going to crumble.
In the past four presidential elections, readers of the magazine have successfully predicted who would be America's next first lady by favoring her recipe in the magazine's competition.
Something with chocolate has melted the hearts of readers in the last four elections. So both Michelle Obama and Cindy McCain might be taking a risk by eschewing everyone's favorite treat.
Instead, Michelle Obama, wife of Democratic Illinois Senator Barack Obama, has put forward a recipe for shortbread cookies with zest of lemon and orange, and a cheeky kick of almond liqueur Amaretto.
The recipe comes courtesy of Mama Kaye, the godmother of both her daughters, Sasha and Malia.
Cindy McCain, who earlier this year had to apologize for plagiarizing a recipe for passion fruit mousse from Food Network, went for oatmeal butterscotch cookies.
They are "an absolute must whenever the whole family gets together," says the multi-millionaire heiress to a large beer distribution firm, married to Republican presidential hopeful John McCain.
Readers can vote online at the magazine's website with the results to be published in mid-October, just ahead of the November 4 elections.
At the end of the week, Cindy McCain's recipe seemed to be slicing through the competition, with one online reader complaining that he had had to go out specially to buy Amaretto so his wife could bake Michelle Obama's treats.
If history is anything to go by, Obama might be in for a rough ride. In 2004, Teresa Heinz Kerry's pumpkin spice cookies failed to beat off the competition from Laura Bush's oatmeal chocolate chunk cookies.
Four years earlier the first lady had already set the bar high with her Texas Governor's Mansion Cowboy cookies made with chocolate chips and coconut, which proved more popular than Tipper Gore's ginger snaps.
Hillary Clinton won in 1992 and in 1996 with the same recipe for chocolate chip cookies, whipping the competition from Barbara Bush and then Elizabeth Dole.
This year former president Bill Clinton got a chance to show off his culinary talents, choosing a recipe for oatmeal cookies from long time Clinton cook, Oscar Flores.