A Cookie Fit For The President

Cookies are loved and appreciated by all and with the holidays upon us, you are sure to need some recipe ideas. Here is a fabulous cookie recipe that according to former Spago pastry queen, Sherry Yard, happens to be Former President Bill Clinton’s favorite. This recipe comes from Sherry’s pastry book Desserts by the Yard: From Brooklyn to Beverly Hills: Recipes from the Sweetest Life Ever.

According to Sherry, Bill Clinton is allergic to chocolate, but loves cookies and so she created this crunchy oatmeal cookie for a private party he was attending.

One of the special tips from Sherry’s book is her Fat Raisin recipe. This special touch adds a delicious extra element to this recipe and all other pastry recipes that require raisins.

The beauty of this cookie is that the dough can be made ahead of time and refrigerated for up to three days without drying. It can also be frozen for use at a later date.  Once you try these, we are sure they will become a family favorite.


President Clinton’s Favorite Oatmeal Cookies



  • 1-1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 7 ounces (1-3/4) sticks unsalted butter softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1-1/2 tsps freshly grated nutmeg
  • ¾ tsp cinnamon
  • 2 large eggs, at room tempature
  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1-1/2 cups Fat Raisins ( See Recipe below)



Sift together the flour and baking soda and set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Cream the butter on high speed until lemony yellow for about 2 minutes. Scape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle. Add the sugar, brown sugar, nutmeg and cinnamon.  Continue creaming the mixture on high speed until it is smooth and lump free, about 2 minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl and paddle.

Add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl and paddle after each addition.  Beat on low speed for 15 to 30 seconds, until the eggs are fully incorporated.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle.

On low speed, add the flour mixture, beating until incorporated.  On low speed, mix in the oats and raisins.

With a rubber spatula, scoop out the dough and divide it in half. Center one half along the bottom of a sheet of parchment paper, creating a log about 2 inches wide and 12 inches long. Repeat with the second half. Twist the ends and wrap in plastic. Chill the dough logs for a minimum of one hour. Dough can keep in the refrigerator for up to three days or up to one month in the freezer. You can also simply spoon the dough onto parchment paper covered baking sheets and bake at once.

Place racks in the middle and lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. When the dough is chilled, slice ½ -inch rounds off the log. Place the cookies on the prepared baking sheets, spaced 2 inches apart. Bake for 12 minutes.  Rotate the baking sheet from top to bottom and from back to front, and bake for another 5 to 8 minutes, until nicely browned.  Remove the cookies from the oven and slide off of the parchment paper. Allow to cool. Store in airtight container. Cookies will keep for three days at room temperature.


Fat Raisins



  • 1 cup golden or red flame raisins
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 1 Tablespoon dark rum
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar



Combine the raisins, wine, orange juice, rum and sugar in a small heavy saucepan. Bring just to a boil over medium heat, stirring all the while. Lower the heat so the liquid is at a bare simmer and poach for 20 minutes. Remove from heat, cover the pan with plastic wrap, and allow to cool to room temperature.  Transfer to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

We love, love, love these raisins since they elevate all baked goods that we included them in. You can use the same recipe to poach dried cherries and cranberries as well with equally delicious results.