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 2)

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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


If you're wild about a particular candidate, show your love by serving your guests your candidate's favorite foods.

Of course, this could be tricky. Mitt Romney is Mormon and doesn't drink, so if you follow candidates' preferences too closely your guests will be watching the returns without a beer or glass of wine in their hands. After a couple of hours listening to pundits spar with each other, you may have a mutiny on your hands.

In Romney's case, you could go with milk, which would pair nicely with one of his favorite foods, peanut butter sandwiches. (Actually, Romney told TV host Kelly Ripa that he prefers chocolate milk with his peanut butter.)

Other Romney favorites, according to various sources: hummus, organic applesauce, granola, pizza without the cheese, and the meatloaf cakes his wife makes for his birthday.

But apparently Romney really has a thing for peanut butter. He loves Reese's peanut butter cups, which he told Ripa are "not really junk food."

What about President Obama? As we have previously reported during one of his visits to Maine, Obama loves pie, especially banana cream pie. He also likes steak, broccoli, hamburgers, apples and sweet potatoes. 

Last week, Family Circle magazine announced that Michelle Obama had won its sixth quadrennial Presidential Cookie Contest by the smallest margin ever in the bake-off's history.

The first lady's white and dark chocolate chip cookies garnered 51.5 percent of the vote over 48.5 percent for Ann Romney's M&Ms cookies.

The contest began in 1992, after Hillary Rodham Clinton stated that she "could have stayed home and baked cookies and had teas, but what I decided to do was to fulfill my profession, which I entered before my husband was in public life."

This statement – taken out of context, of course – ruffled the feathers of stay-at-home moms and delighted the media, who know a good catfight when they see one.

In the end, Clinton was victorious, not only because her oatmeal chocolate chip cookies won out over Barbara Bush's classic chocolate chip cookies, but because she is now secretary of state.

Clinton actually won the cookie contest twice, as did Laura Bush. In 2008, Cindy McCain's oatmeal-butterscotch cookies beat Michelle Obama's shortbread cookies.

You could argue that this cookie contest should go the way of beauty pageants, but hey, there are lots of Americans, including working moms, who still love to bake.

And going after cookies? Well, that would be a little like going after Big Bird, wouldn't it? 

Staff writer Meredith Goad can be contacted at 791-6332 or at:


Twitter: MeredithGoad 

Were you interviewed for this story? If so, please fill out our accuracy form

Send question/comment to the editors

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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