Ann Romney and Michelle Obama Face Off Over... Cookies?

Forget about health care mandates, helping military families, and fighting childhood obesity. It's time to focus on something we can really relate to right now: Baking.

Every year since 1992, "Family Circle" has asked the wives of presidential candidates to submit their favorite cookie recipe for the magazine's Presidential Cookie Bake-Off. This year, first lady Michelle Obama pits Mama Kaye's White and Dark Chocolate Chip Cookie against Ann Romney's M&M's Cookies. Readers test out the treats and vote (via Facebook) on the winner.

"Every evening, Barack, the girls and I sit down for a family dinner with good conversation and healthy food," Mrs. Obama writes in the introduction for her recipe. "If we want to splurge, these White and Dark Chocolate Chip cookies, created by the girls' godmother, are the perfect special treat."

"Mitt and I love spending time with our children and grandchildren," counters Mrs. Romney in hers. "Whenever we get together you can be sure that we'll mix up a batch of our family favorite M&M's Cookies. They smell delicious coming out of the oven -- our grandkids can't resist them!"

The contest is not without controversy: In 2008, Cindy McCain was accused of copying her recipe for Oatmeal Butterscotch Cookies from Hershey's website. Readers still deemed her recipe delicious, though, and they beat out Mrs. Obama's shortbread treats -- the first time that the winner of the bake-off didn't also go on to win the White House.

This year, both contestants have offered up chocolate-y creations, which may make for a close competition. In 2004, Laura Bush's oatmeal-chocolate chunk cookies beat out Teresa Heinz Kerry's pumpkin spice cookies; four years earlier, her "cowboy cookies" won over Tipper Gore's ginger snaps. (You can check out the past recipes here.)

Both Mrs. Obama's and Mrs. Romney's cookies look delicious and it may be tempting for some to read into the recipes. Is combining white and dark chocolate chips a statement about race and politics or a plea for bipartisanship? Do the rainbow of colors in M&Ms and the use of both oatmeal and crunchy peanut butter signify a secret support of gay marriage or a hidden hippie sensibility?

We kid, we kid. What the bake-off really makes us wonder is: It's 2012. Why do the ladies still have to compete in the kitchen?

Copyright © 2012 Yahoo Inc.

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