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

(Continued from page 1)

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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


"The elephants are way behind," said Carol Ford, co-owner of Cranberry Island Kitchen.

Ford said lots of people have been ordering half elephants, half donkeys, which she takes to mean that either there's a lot of undecided voters out there "or that people are too polite and they don't want to offend anybody."

"People have definitely been doing this to tease their friends," Ford said. "They're sending elephants to their friends who are Democrats and they're sending donkeys to Republicans. They're doing it just to aggravate each other, basically."

The business is donating 10 percent of every "Election Collection" purchase to the Good Shepherd Food Bank.

The Cookie Jar, located at 554 Shore Road in Cape Elizabeth, will be making sugar cookies with the party logos, as well as special-order cakes and cupcakes.

For the young Republicans and Democrats, there will be elephant and donkey sugar cookies. 

Aurora Provisions will be making sugar cookies that make a statement: Vote! 

Want to make the goodies yourself? I've done the shopping for you, both online and in local shops:

Let them eat cake. Wilton sells a "Stars and Stripes" cake pan ($9.99) at wilton.com that looks like a waving flag.

There are also plenty of sources for election-themed cookie cutters out there, and many of them go beyond the usual donkey and elephant motif. There's plenty of time to order online before the late-October debates and Nov. 6 election night.

A website called thelittlefoxfactory.com has an Americana collection of cookie cutters that includes not only an elephant and donkey, but also an Uncle Sam, a Colonial Patriot, a map of the United States, the Capitol Dome, an American flag, George Washington's head, Abe Lincoln's head (which would be good for a Republican gathering) and two kinds of eagles – an eagle head and an eagle with spread wings.

If you're the cynical sort, this collection also includes a cookie cutter that will remind your party guests of what's driving politics today – a dollar sign.

Cheapcookiecutters.com has a Washington Monument, and the entire Capitol building in addition to the Capitol dome. The site also sells Lincoln and Washington heads, an American flag and a Liberty Bell.

Cookiecuttercompany.com has two eagles with spread wings, an elephant and donkey set, flags, a liberty bell, a Lincoln head, a Statue of Liberty, a U.S. map and two kinds of stars.

Fantes.com has a U.S. map, flag, eagle, Statue of Liberty, donkey and elephant.

Locally, LeRoux Kitchen on Commercial Street sells an elephant cookie cutter, and manager Suzie Rephan says their horse cookie cutter could make donkeys if you add longer ears.

Keys to the Kitchen, 155 Port Road in Kennebunk, has a complete elephant and donkey set.

If you want to show pride in our state, I found three websites (thelittlefoxfactory. com, CopperGifts.com and cheapcookiecutters.com) that sell cookie cutters shaped like the state of Maine.

You could have some fun with these, icing them red or blue, or writing your favorite legislative candidate's name on them. Or you could pronounce to every one at your party how you feel about a particular issue (Yes on or no on ).

If you're a Mitt Romney supporter, you can buy a Massachusetts cookie cutter, or maybe a Utah one to represent his Mormon heritage. If you prefer Barack Obama, there's also an Illinois cookie cutter and, believe it or not, cheapcookiecutters.com has one for Hawaii. (Don't worry, it's just one island.)

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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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