October 10, 2012

Soup to Nuts: Join the party, even you independents

If you find the rhetoric distasteful, add fun to the debates and election night by gathering friends and making the best of whatever the results may be.

By Meredith Goad mgoad@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

It's election season, time for political junkies everywhere to hunker down with friends and family in front of the tube and listen to the candidates trade barbs and sound bites in hopes of winning viewers' votes.

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Aurora Provisions in Portland makes a statement with sugar cookies it will be offering during election season. Several local bakeries also are making voting-themed treats.

Courtesy photo

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Maine-shaped cookie cutters let home bakers show pride in their state.

Additional Photos Below


MICHELLE OBAMA got this recipe from her daughter's godmother.


Makes 5 dozen cookies

Prep 15 minutes

Bake at 375 degrees for 12 minutes per batch

2¼ cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

1 stick Crisco butterflavored solid vegetable shortening

3/4 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 eggs

1 cup each white chocolate chips, milk chocolate chips and mint chocolate chips (or Andes mint pieces)

2 cups chopped walnuts

1. Heat oven to 375 degrees.

2 . Whisk together flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, cream butter, vegetable shortening, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract.

3. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.

4. On low speed, beat in flour mixture. By hand, stir in white and milk chocolate chips, mint chips and walnuts.

5. Drop rounded tablespoons of dough onto ungreased baking sheets.

6. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown.

Cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

ANN ROMNEY says her grandchildren love these cookies.


Makes 3 dozen cookies

Prep 15 minutes

Bake at 325 degrees for 18 minutes

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup packed light brown sugar

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened

11/2 cups crunchy peanut butter

1 tablespoon light corn syrup (such as Karo)

3 eggs

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

41/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats

2 teaspoons baking soda

6 ounces chocolate chips

2/3 cup M&M's candies

1. Heat oven to 325 degrees. In a large bowl, cream sugars, butter, peanut butter and corn syrup on high speed until well combined.

Beat in eggs 1 at a time.

Beat in vanilla extract.

2. In a separate bowl, mix together oats and baking soda. Stir into peanut butter mixture until combined.

Mix in chocolate chips and M&Ms.

3. Using a standard-size ice cream scoop, drop dough onto baking sheets (about 9 per sheet).

Bake at 325 degrees for 18 minutes or until lightly browned.

Cool 2 minutes, then transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.



HERE'S A LOOK at what some Maine candidates like to chow down on:


Angus King: Pulled pork sandwich, egg salad sandwich and blueberries on anything, but especially cereal.

Cynthia Dill: "I live on a Mediterranean diet of olive oil, garlic, cheese, pasta, fish, salad, crusty bread and wine."

Charlie Summers: Anything from Rapid Ray's in Saco.


• Chellie Pingree: "It's hard to beat a Maine lobster roll."

Jon Courtney: Rep. Joan Nass' cole slaw.



THURSDAY: Vice Presidential debate on foreign and domestic policy

TUESDAY: Presidential debate; town meeting format including foreign and domestic policy

OCT. 22: Presidential debate on foreign policy


Then, on Election Day, there are hours of return-watching, and all the talk about jobs and deficits is bound to make you hungry. So why not throw an election party and feed your friends while you argue over who's got the best plan for solving the housing crisis?

I've gathered some ideas for what to serve on debate- and election-night parties, including information on what election-themed goodies local businesses will be offering over the next few weeks.

Don't forget to vote!

Let's start with a little stew of ideas that could get your brain cells cooking up a menu:

Sloppy Joes in honor of Vice President Joe Biden, who is known for his mouth getting him into trouble.

A pitcher of Kool-Aid, as in "You've really drunk the Kool-Aid, haven't you?"

Pulled pork in honor of any member of Congress who has ever accepted federal funding for their state that was really unnecessary, while at the same time complaining about too much spending. In other words, any of them.

How about a drinking game where you take a shot every time Obama says "Make no mistake " or "Let me be clear " Two shots for "It won't happen overnight."

Romney doesn't drink alcohol or caffeine but he loves chocolate milk (wait, doesn't chocolate have caffeine)? Take a shot of chocolate milk every time he refers to his family. Two shots every time he says he won't cut the taxes of the 1 percent.

Cast a vote for cuteness with adorable little donkey and elephant truffles from Moonstruck Chocolate Co.'s "Election Collection."

Moonstruck, a Seattle company, sells the dark chocolate ganache critters by the four-pack or by the dozen at moonstruckchocolate.com.

You can buy them right here in town, too, at LeRoux Kitchen, 161 Commercial St., where they're being sold individually for $3.25 each.

Good Eats Boutique, 463 Stevens Ave., will be selling Democrat and Republican cookies in the shape of donkeys and elephants wearing colored neckties. Each animal sports a D or R on its body as well.

Don't be obvious and buy only the cookie of the party you support. Wouldn't you like to bite the head off your opponent?

Independents, you're on your own. Maybe somewhere out there a baker is selling a lone wolf cookie.

Good Eats will also be selling cake pops in the colors of each party, and striped colored cupcakes in the party colors.

Jill Dewitt, owner of the shop, says all the treats will be available beginning the week of Oct. 22.

East End Cupcakes, 426 Fore St., is taking orders for patriotic cupcakes topped with fondant donkeys and elephants, and will be selling them on Election Day.

A couple of local bakeries aren't making anything special for election season, but do plan to reward their customers for voting on Election Day. Pop into Bam Bam Bakery at 267 Commercial St. wearing your "I voted" sticker, and you'll get a free cookie.

At Bakery on the Hill, 253 Congress St., your "I voted" sticker will score you a free election-themed cupcake. 

Doesn't a whoopie pie poll sound so much better than a straw poll?

Cranberry Island Kitchen in Portland has been selling elephant and donkey whoopie pies ($35.95 for a dozen) and keeping track of which ones are more popular in its own little poll.

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Additional Photos

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Cranberry Island Kitchen in Portland has been keeping track of sales of its elephant and donkey whoopie pies, and says the elephants are “way behind.”

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Donkey and elephant truffles from Moonstruck Chocolate Co., a Seattle company, are available online and at LeRoux Kitchen in Portland.

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