Betty Ford Thanksgiving Cookie Recipe

The holidays are a special time at the White House. The First Ladies left their marks with the holiday recipes they shared with staff. Betty Ford was no exception. Her Thanksgiving cookies are so special that you might want to whip a batch not just for this all-American holiday but also for special occasions. Her Thanksgiving cookie recipe is so good that you might also want to try her stuffing recipe too!

Betty Ford’s Thanksgiving Cookie Recipe

This spirited First Lady did things her own way, even baking cookies.

If you appreciate traditional recipes with plenty of butter, you are going to want to add these to your holiday rotation!

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Chocolate lovers are going to love this Thanksgiving cookie recipe:

Betty Ford’s Double Chocolate Thanksgiving Cookies

Makes approximately 20 cookies

  • 1 cup of butter, softened (see footnote)
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar (see footnote)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla or brandy
  • 1 oz. unsweetened baking chocolate, melted
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup cocoa
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt (omit if using salted nuts)
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 cups white chocolate chips (or butterscotch)
  • 1 cup chopped Brazil nuts or almonds

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, and beat well. Add the brandy or vanilla. Stir in the melted chocolate and the sour cream. (You can melt the chocolate in the microwave, but do this gradually, because baking chocolate can easily scorch. Microwave it one minute, then in 30-second intervals. As soon as the chocolate has lost its solid shape, take it out and stir it until smooth.)

In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Mix them all together with a fork, and then a spoon. Turn the mixer back on at a low speed, and add the dry ingredients, about a cup at a time. Incorporate everything thoroughly.

Stir in the chocolate chips and the nuts. Drop dough by tablespoonfuls onto cookie sheets. (You can use ungreased cookie sheets, or line them with parchment paper. I prefer parchment because I found the cookies would sometimes stick to the ungreased cookie sheets, but the cookies can dry out a little with parchment, making them more like a biscotti, so for a gooey cookie, bake them at the lower end of the time scale.)

Bake for 12-15 minutes. Twelve minutes is enough for a softer cookie; 15 minutes gives you a firmer cookie. These cookies do not spread on the baking sheet, and because they’re so rich, the smaller size seems just right. Let the cookies rest on the cookie sheet for five minutes before you move them to wire racks or towel paper to finish cooling.

Betty Ford’s Celery Stuffing 

Betty Ford’s cookie recipe isn’t the only memorable one. Each First Family has a special twist Thanksgiving dinner at the White House. Betty Ford left her mark with her celery stuffing.

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Gerald and Betty Ford’s Celery Stuffing

About 8 servings

1 medium onion, chopped
1 stalk celery with leaves, chopped
1/3 cup butter
2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
2 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 teaspoon salt
Pinch white pepper
5 cups diced stale bread
1 cup giblet broth
2 eggs, beaten

Sauté the onions and celery in the butter until tender but not brown. Combine the seasoning and the bread and mix together with the onion and celery mixture. Combine giblet broth and eggs. Add to stuffing. Mix well.

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