Barbara Bush's Famous Chocolate Chip Cookies


An emblem of grace, a fierce advocate for literacy, and a public servant, Barbara Bush was much more than a public figure. A beloved wife, mother, and grandmother, the former First Lady spent many of her early years as a mother in Texas. And like many Texas mothers, she was known for a handful of recipes. We thought we'd give her famous Chocolate Chip Cookies a try. A unique characteristic of her cookie recipe is that it calls for almost equal parts of chocolate chips and flour—this means that her cookies are packed with semisweet chocolate chips, and we aren't mad about that. When finished baking, the cookies come out beautifully golden brown. After cooling on a wire rack for a few minutes, a bite into one cookie reveals a crisp tender texture that comes from the fluffy butter-sugar mix made with the addition of hot water and vanilla. These cookies are not gooey, but instead they are crisp on the outside and remarkably soft on the inside with pockets of half-melted chocolate chips dispersed throughout. This recipe makes for a batch that keeps very well (when stored in an airtight container).


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar

  • 1 cup granulated sugar

  • 2 large egg

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 1 (12 ounces) bag semisweet chocolate chips, preferably Valrhona

  • 2 cups quick-cooking oats (not instant)


  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Sift together flour, baking soda, and salt onto waxed paper. Set aside.

  2. Beat together butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla in a large bowl until fluffy. Stir in flour mixture until well blended. Stir in oats and chocolate chips.

  3. Drop batter by rounded tablespoonfuls, 2 inches apart, onto ungreased cookie sheets.

  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes, or until lightly browned. Transfer cookies to wire rack to cool.

    Barbara Bush Chocolate Chip Cookies
    Micah A. Leal
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