Election Cookies

The U.S. presidential election is only four days away, so I thought it would be fun to decorate some sugar cookies in the name of patriotism. I decorated a batch of cookies in equal parts Republican elephant and Democratic donkey. If you’re planning on throwing an election-night party, these would be perfect for dessert. You could take your own informal poll based on how many cookies of each have been eaten. Maybe you’d eat one in support of your own party… or maybe you’d like to bite the head off of the animal from the opposing party 😉 Cookies do tend to make people happy, so it’s probably best to have a batch or two around just in case things get tense!

I never knew why these animals have long been associated with their respective political parties, so while I was in the middle of making these cookies, I decided to look it up and give myself a little history lesson. As it turns out, the Democratic donkey was the first of the two to arrive on the political scene and did so in 1828. During Andrew Jackson’s campaign, he was called a jackass by his opponents. He embraced this, and used the donkey on his campaign posters. A newspaper cartoonist, Thomas Nast, used the image in many of his cartoons and made it famous. The Republican elephant didn’t show up until 1874, when Nast drew a cartoon for Harper’s Weekly that portrayed a donkey dressed as a lion, scaring away animals at the zoo. One of the animals in the cartoon was an elephant labeled, “The Republican Vote.” Thus, the elephant became associated with the Republican party and has been ever since. So, there you have it!

To make these cookies, I used my basic sugar cookie recipe and cut out large squares. To decorate, I found some images of the Republican elephant and Democratic donkey and scaled them down until they fit inside that square, cut them out and then traced around them on the cookie with a sharp paring knife. (Unfortunately, I found the actual cookie cutters online as I was looking for the images! I linked to them below since you may just want to get and use them.) From there I used royal icing to outline and flood the shapes, then put the finishing touch on with star sprinkles. (See “Resources” below for all of the recipes and products used.)

Here’s to four more days of avoiding phone calls, annoying television ads, and secretly loathing half of your friends on Facebook. Soon life will return to normal and we can all go back to eating cookies and being happy 🙂


P.S. You won’t get me to spill the beans about who I’m voting for. My grandfather, an Italian immigrant, never disclosed who he cast his vote for, not even to my grandma. When they’d press him, he’d proudly say, “It’s my right as a United States citizen to cast a secret ballot, and I’m exercising my right,” and he never did tell. I’m playing my grandpap’s card here 🙂

One year ago: Macaroni & Cheese Casserole
Two years ago: How to Afford Le Creuset Cookware on a Budget
Five years ago: Peanut Butter Doggie Bones


19 Responses to “Election Cookies”

  1. Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes on November 2, 2012 at 12:31 am

    I love that your grandpa never told. I think everyone should do that! That way nobody can give their opinion on why you’re “wrong” for voting one way or another. These cookies are so cool!


  2. Maggie @ A Bitchin' Kitchen on November 2, 2012 at 12:51 am

    That’s awesome that you won’t tell. My parents were very big on manners, and I was raised with the understanding that asking someone where they stand politically was impolite. Sometimes I wish we could go back to that! Right now about 50% of my friends are hidden from my Facebook newsfeed since I can’t stand the mudslinging! I love these cookies by the way!


    • Michelle on November 2nd, 2012 at 10:28 am

      I’ve also hidden a large amount of my friends on Facebook. I get too irritated!!


  3. Nicki on November 2, 2012 at 7:43 am

    Love your blog! And, welcome to the addictive world of Homeland! From a fellow Homeland junkie!


  4. Joan on November 2, 2012 at 7:46 am

    Love those cookies. Thanks for the link to the cutters. I’ve been looking for them.
    Also, will Facebook be around in 4 years? Look at MySpace.
    My grandfather worked for the Dems. I work for the Reps. Both of us as volunteers. Pretty bi-partisan around my place.


  5. Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers on November 2, 2012 at 7:57 am

    Great job decorating the cookies!! Wow!! 4 days till election? Geez, I still don’t know who to vote for!!


  6. Jen @ Savory Simple on November 2, 2012 at 7:58 am

    These are so cute!


  7. Dana on November 2, 2012 at 8:21 am

    I’m SO anxious for the election to be over, too! I’ve been apolitical on FB even though I’m not in life. I wish everyone could be more respectful in general, and not just in regards to politics. Because of human nature, your grandfather (and you!) had the right idea! The cookies are super cute and timely yet above the fray!
    We just finished episode 2 of Homeland last night. I’ve liked Damian Lewis since his Band of Brothers days and Claire Danes has been a favorite, too. Can’t wait to see more of them!


  8. Stephanie on November 2, 2012 at 9:40 am

    HAHAHAHA!! Love the comment about secretly hating your friends… I have FB friends on both sides of the election who are actually working the campaigns. I really can’t wait until this is all over and I never have to see another political post! (well, at least not until next time… hahaha)


  9. Dixya @ Food, Pleasure and Health on November 2, 2012 at 9:50 am

    thanks for sharing the history behind both animal symbols. these cookies will certainly keep the political heat thats is going on lately into control on both sides. What a creative idea.


  10. Donna @ The Slow Roasted Italian on November 2, 2012 at 11:08 am

    I remember when I was a kid my mom and dad were registered for different parties and that was something we just did not discuss.
    Your cookies are lovely. I think I would like to have one of each and bite the heads off both. : )


  11. Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts on November 2, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    Cute cookies! I have officially started screening my calls! After Susan Sarandan and Clint Eastwood called today, I am done with it!


  12. angela on November 2, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    I always wondered why the animals. Cutest cookies, but it’s not going to be a cute Tuesday. Gulp!


  13. Barbara | Creative Culinary on November 2, 2012 at 7:41 pm

    The cookies are adorable and the right to privacy absolute. It does bother me how so many get so stuck that they unfriend or unfollow someone just because they might show their political bent. How the heck are we to ever work together if we can’t come together better then we do now.

    My daughter and I are on opposite sides of the fence but she offered to take my mail in ballot to a drop off box and when I looked at her sort of sideways she said, ‘We may not agree on this Mom but one thing we agree on…everyone has the right to vote; I would not take that away from you.’ If only more folks thought that way and we could find a way for true discourse…ah, well, maybe just a lot easier to make some cookies. 🙂


  14. Laura Dembowski on November 3, 2012 at 8:36 am

    These are adorable! I think it’s great that you aren’t sharing whom you’re voting for, neitger am I. People share too much these days. It’s also nice that this isn’t another place all about politics, as it seems that’s all anyone’s talking about.


  15. StarvingBitch on November 3, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    My dads registered Rep, mom registered Dem and I’m registered Independent. HA!


  16. Fran@fransfavs.com on November 5, 2012 at 11:17 am

    Love the effort you put into making your cookies! I took the easy way out and used patriotic sprinkles on cupcakes I posted today. I know I’m one of those people who irritated others on Facebook, but I think the election is too important not to try to reach independents with some facts that will affect their everyday lives. I got a kick out of posting a graphic on FB that said, “Oh, are my political posts bothering you? I just thought picking the next president and leader of the free world was worthy of discussion. By all means, tell me what you had for dinner last night!” Of course, as a blogger, I do the dinner thing, too! 🙂


  17. Katie @ Blonde Ambition on November 5, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    These are AWESOME! My boyfriend has been working on an insanely competitive congressional campaign for the past 5 months; maybe I’ll bring this to their Election Night party tomorrow?
    I get pretty heated about some of the extreme things I see posted by the other side on Facebook. But I know it’s not the place to argue, so I don’t. At the same time, I see people on *my* side posting extreme things and feel ashamed for them as well! So it’s pretty much a lose-lose. Sigh. Excited to see what happens, but I’m also ready for it all to be over!


  18. Hp Ce285A on November 6, 2012 at 2:12 pm

    I don’t have the time or the patience for this much detail… they’re adorable though!


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