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Government Cookies: White House Cookies

Cookie recipes found in government documents.

Cooking in the White House

For more information about cooking in the White House see the Library of Congress guide Presidential Food: A Resource Guide by Alison Kelly. “The purpose this guide is to offer a starting place for this wide-ranging topic and to assist the researcher interested in menus, recipes or the culinary culture of any given administration.”

Thomas Jefferson's Macroons

The recipe for these macaroons come from the papers of Thomas Jefferson, and were served to Macaroons to Queen Elizabeth at the Library of Congress in 1991. Could this have been written for James Hemings?

See the original document at:

Pour boiling water on your almonds and take off skin and put them in cold water. Wipe them well in a towel. Beat them in mortar.

Add whites of eggs from time to time, beating them always to prevent their turning into oil. Take them out of the mortar, add sugar. Beat them well with a wooden spoon. Taste the paste to see if it is not too bitter. Add sugar if you find too bitter.

Dresser les avec deux couteaux le grosseur d'un noix sur des feuilles de papier. (Using two knives, make pieces the size of a walnut on sheets of paper.)

Put them in an oven not too hot but hotter than after taking out the bread. You prove the proper heat of the oven by holding in it a little white paper. If it burns, it will burn your macaroons. If it just browns the paper, it is exact.

Hillary Clinton's Cookies


This recipe can be found at the National Archives

Hillary Clinton's Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 1/2 cup unsifted all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup solid vegetable shortening
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 (12-ounce) package semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease baking sheets. Combine flour, salt and baking soda. Beat together shortening, sugars and vanilla in a large bowl until creamy. Add eggs, beating until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in flour mixture and rolled oats. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop batter by well-rounded teaspoonsful on to greased baking sheets. Bake 8 to 10 minuter or until golden. Cool cookies on sheets on wire rack for 2 minutes. Remove cookies to wire rack to cool completely. 

Lemon Almond Coconut Cookies

This recipe was posted to the White House website on APRIL 3, 2012 by Julie Siegel, Special Assistant to the Office of the White House Counsel.  Click here to see the original, archived post and the recipe for Passover Birthday Brownies.

Susy’s Lemon Almond Coconut Cookies

1 1/4 cups of sugar

3 egg whites

Pinch of salt

1 teaspoon lemon extract

I teaspoon vanilla

Grated rind from one small lemon

3 teaspoons matzoh cake meal

1/2 cup potato starch

1/2 cup coconut

1/2 cup slivered almonds

1 cup chocolate chips

Place egg whites, salt and almond extract in a bowl. Beat for two minutes until stiff peaks form. Fold in vanilla and rind. Fold in cake meal and potato starch until completely blended. Add almonds and coconut. Spoon tablespoons-size cookies onto parchment paper. Bake for 15 minutes at 325 degrees. When cookies are cool, drizzle with melted chocolate chips. 

Susan Ford; Cinnamon Squares

½ lb butter

1 c sugar

1 egg, separated

2 c cake flour

2 tsp cinnamon

½ tsp. vanilla

½ lb nuts, chopped

Cream butter, sugar and egg yolk. Sift flour with cinnamon and salt. Combine creamed mixture with flour; add vanilla. Spread dough on cookie sheet; brush top with beaten egg white. Cover with nuts; press into dough, Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes. Cut into squares while hot. Yield; 35 squares.

John Eisenhower's Oatmeal Cookies

  • 1 egg
  • ½ c sugar
  • 6 ? butter
  • 2 ? milk
  • 1c rolled oats
  • 1 c flour
  • ½ t salt
  • 1 t baking powder

Harry and Bess Truman’s Coconut Balls

Source: Harry S Truman Library  

1/2 cup coconut

2/3 cup of condensed milk

1 tsp. vanilla

1/4 tsp. almond extract

Dash of salt

Preheat oven to 350. Combine ingredients in a bowl. Mix and form into small balls. Place the balls on a greased cookie sheet or cover the sheet with parchment paper. Bake about 15 minutes or until brown.

YIELD: 18 Coconut Balls

Bake a few cookies to check for consistency. Add more coconut if necessary.

Balls should be firm but not sticky.

Bess Truman- Hermit Cookies

Hermits (from the National Archive)

Preheat to 350-375

½ cup butter (generous)

1 cup brown sugar

2 ½ cup flour sifted tmse

2 whole eggs

1 scant cup butter milk

1 scant teaspoon soda in milk

1 cups nuts chopped

½ lb seedless raisins

1 large teaspoon allspice

1 large teaspoon cinnamon

1 large teaspoon cloves

Drop cookies, sheet to bake about 25 min.