White House holiday baking and decorating book

December 19, 2012 5:39:47 PM PST
It's less than a week from Christmas and you may be looking for some recipes or decorating tips to work on this weekend.

How about modeling some after the White House and first ladies through the years?

"Decorating the White House really was a pinch me moment, I couldn't believe I was there," said Coleen Christian Burke, author.

The year 2008, Coleen was part of the team getting the White House ready for Christmas.

"President Bush actually came through at the end of the second day and gave us a pep talk, he said get moving," Burke said.

Just some of the inside stories you'll find in her book, "Christmas with the First Ladies".

From tender moments, to a long held tradition by the Clinton's.

"Every Christmas Eve they would bake cookies together in the White House," Burke said.

The book shares the recipe to Hillary's Out of this World, Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Michelle Obama's favorite are ginger crinkles along with the men, they are something you can make at home with your kids but no eating allowed, they will last forever because the recipe uses glue, with good reason.

"They used to hang actual gingerbread men on the trees and they were finding that as visitors went by the tree they were helping themselves to a snack," Burke said.

You can also follow in the footsteps of Jackie O, she hung miniature jewelry boxes on her trees and you can make these carbon copies at home.

Colleen says each first lady has her own theme, and this year Mrs. Obama's "Joy to All" Nancy Reagan had celebrity Santas stop by and went with a glitzy childlike feeling.

"Lots of gold snowflakes, one year teddy bears in the White House," Burke said.

It's a rare glimpse at magical times inside one of the most well known homes on earth.

"You can look back in time and you see the White House as a real home and it's really special," Burke said.

Michelle Obama's Ginger CRINKLES

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp dried ginger
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar (for dipping)
  • 8 oz. (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
  • 1 ½ cups packed brown sugar
  • 2 whole eggs
  • ¹/³ cup molasses
  • 2 tsp fresh ginger, grated
    Directions 1. Preheat oven to 350°
    2. Beat butter and brown sugar in large mixing bowl until creamy
    3. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition
    4. Add molasses and fresh ginger
    5. Combine !our, baking soda, ground ginger, cinnamon, and salt in a small mixing bowl
    6. Add the !our mixture to large mixing bowl, and stir until combined
    7. Use a small spoon to scoop cookies into small balls, dip in ¼ cup of granulated sugar, and place on parchment-lined baking sheet sugar side up
    8. Bake at 350° F for 12 minutes, or less if you like them chewy
    9. Remove from oven and allow cookies to rest for 2 minutes before removing from cookie sheet.

    Yields 30-36 cookies

    Laura Bush's Hot Coco

  • 6 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa
  • 6 Tbsp. sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 1/2 cups light cream
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • pinch cinnamon powder (optional)
  • whipped cream
  • orange zest

    Cooking Directions
    Mix cocoa, sugar, and salt.
    Add milk. Heat to dissolve.
    Add light cream, vanilla and cinnamon. Heat to just under boiling.
    Mix very well and pour into warm mugs.
    Top with whipped cream, cocoa powder, and fine orange zest.

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