That's the way cookies crumble

FLAGRANT - and fragrant - electoral fraud was practised at the Democratic convention. Hillary Clinton distributed 6,000 of her chocolate chip cookies in an attempt to distort the results of the other November election: her great cookie bake-off with Barbara Bush.

The voters were given no opportunity to taste Mrs Bush's cookies. They were bribed (with cookies) into voting for Mrs Clinton's version. Family Circle magazine devised the great bake-off after Mrs Clinton's remark that she did not want to 'stay home and bake cookies'. Mrs Clinton, berated by Republicans as a liberal, feminist harridan, adopted her most maternal manner for convention week. 'Try my cookies. I hope you like them but, like good Democrats, vote for them anyway,' she said.

Hillary's cookies are rather good and, according to a New York Times nutritional analysis, healthier than the Bush version.

The rival recipes are:

CLINTON'S CHIPS (90 cookies)

1.5 cups flour

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

1 cup shortening

1 cup brown sugar

Half cup granulated sugar

1 tsp vanilla essence

2 eggs

2 cups rolled oats

12 ozs chocolate chips

Pre-heat oven to 350F. Grease baking sheets. Combine flour, salt and baking powder on to waxed paper. Beat together shortening, sugars and vanilla in large bowl until creamy. Add eggs, beating until light and fluffy. Beat in flour mixture and rolled oats. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop teaspoonfuls of batter on to greased baking sheets. Bake in oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden. Cool on wire rack.

BUSH'S BATCH (36 cookies)

1 cup flour

Half tsp baking soda

Half tsp salt

Half cup butter

One-third cup brown sugar

One-third cup granulated sugar

1 egg

1.5 tsps hot water

Half tsp vanilla extract

1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375F. Sift flour, baking soda and salt on to waxed paper. Beat butter, sugars and egg in bowl until fluffy. Beat in hot water and vanilla. Beat in flour mixture until smooth. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop dough in teaspoonfuls on to greased baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes. Cool on wire rack.

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