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Cookies worthy of a president

She couldn't help but send the presidential family her award-winning cookies through a friend.

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COOKIES FOR OBAMA: A gift of pecan cookies sent through a friend were a hit with the presidential family over the holidays.

Joanne Ciccarello/Staff

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As I watched the inauguration last month, I couldn't help but smile. I wondered if the cookies I'd baked for the Obama family's Thanksgiving dinner had contributed to this moment in history.

My friend, Joan, is the mother-in-law of President Obama's half-sister, Maya. As soon as she told me about her Thanksgiving plans, my mind started to whirl. "Howard and I are driving to Chicago to have Thanksgiving with Obama and the family," she said.

I was quiet for a moment. I thought frantically about the skills I possessed that would make it impossible for her to leave me behind. "I'm great at carrying luggage," I offered. When she stayed silent, I tried again. "What about my sense of humor? I tell a good joke, and could help lighten the stress from these grueling days on the campaign trail." I was getting nowhere.

That's when the idea hit me. If I couldn't go, I could send cookies in my place. But not just any cookies – the $100 Pecan Cookies, which always inspired a win. And a win was just what they were after – this was my chance to influence history!

More than 25 years ago, the friend who gave me the recipe said, "The woman who submitted this recipe to a contest won $100, and that's why they're called, $100 Pecan Cookies." I didn't think much of it at the time. I just wanted the recipe because I thought they were the best cookies I'd ever tasted.

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