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Recipes for an election-themed party

Are you sad that the excitement of the election is over? Then invite your friends over to celebrate the win or mourn the loss of your favorite candidate with these politically themed snacks. Here are a few recipes for your Election 2012 Reenactment Party:

SALTY SNACKS 

CHEESE STRAWS

Have your guests participate in a STRAW poll by testing their opinions on whether they enjoy these cheesy treats.

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Ingredients

  • 6-ounce piece sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for work surface
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425° F. In a food processor fitted with the grating blade, grate cheese. Switch to cutting blade; add flour, butter, mustard powder, salt, ground pepper, and cayenne. Pulse until dough forms.
  2. Transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface; divide into 4 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a rope, about 3/8 inch in diameter and 18 inches long; cut each rope into six 3-inch pieces. Place pieces 1 inch apart on a baking sheet. Drag the tines of a fork down each straw to create ridges.
  3. Bake until golden and firm to the touch, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

CAMPAIGN TRAIL MIX

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Ingredients

  • 8 cups air-popped popcorn
  • 1 cup roasted peanuts
  • 1 cup pumpkin seeds, toasted
  • 7 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Salt and black pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 200° F. In a large bowl, toss together the popcorn, peanuts and pumpkin seeds.
  2. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Whisk in the brown sugar and cayenne until bubbling and thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Pour over the popcorn mixture; toss to coat. Season with salt and black pepper.
  3. Transfer to a foil-lined baking sheet. Form small clumps of the popcorn mixture and bake until toasted, 40 minutes. Let cool completely.

SWEET SNACKS

ELEPHANT EARS AND DONKEY TAILS

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 2 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400° F. In a small bowl, mix the sugar and cinnamon.
  2. Dust a work surface with some cinnamon sugar. Unfold 1 sheet of the thawed dough onto the sugared surface and roll out into a 10-by-13-inch rectangle. Spread more cinnamon sugar over the dough to cover. Repeat with the second sheet of dough and place on top of the first; sprinkle more cinnamon sugar on top to cover.
  3. To make Elephant Ears: With the long side of the dough facing you, fold over 1 inch of dough from the left end. Repeat the same fold on the right side. Repeat this process, folding the dough over itself until the two sides meet in the middle. Fold the left side so that it rests on top of the right side, forming a cylinder. Roll the cylinder of dough gently on the countertop to help keep its shape. If the dough seems soft at this point, place on a plate and freeze for 15 minutes. Using a sharp knife, thinly slice crosswise. Place the slices on 3 parchment-paper-lined cookie sheets. Sprinkle with the remaining cinnamon sugar. Bake, rotating the cookie sheets halfway through, until golden and puffy, about 10 minutes.
  4. To make Donkey Tails: With the long side of the dough facing you, and using a knife or pizza cutter, slice the dough crosswise into thin strips. Take each strip and lightly twist together. Place on 3 parchment-paper-lined cookie sheets. Make two cuts at each end of the twists and fan the pieces out. Sprinkle with the remaining cinnamon sugar. Bake, rotating the cookie sheets halfway through, until golden and puffy, 12 to 15 minutes.
  5. Transfer the cookie sheets to racks to cool for 5 minutes, then transfer the cookies onto racks to cool completely.

RED WHITE AND BLUE BITES

For a simple and healthy(er) sweet treat that shows off our patriotic colors.

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Ingredients

  • Carton of strawberries
  • Carton of blueberries
  • Can of whipped cream

Directions

  1. Cut off the top of each strawberry
  2. Swirl whipped cream on the newly-flattened top
  3. Place a blueberry right on top

FLAG CUPCAKES

Make cupcakes with the American flag decorated on them. My preferred cupcake combo is chocolate cupcake with vanilla frosting, and the recipes for the easiest chocolate cupcake recipe and my all-time favorite vanilla buttercream recipe are hyperlinked to their words, respectively. To decorate the cupcake, use Twizzlers or other red licorice laces to create the red stripes of the flag, which should be placed on un-colored vanilla frosting. For the stars, pipe blue frosting or place blue mini M&M or other blue small candies in the corner of the cupcake.

And in case you want to make this into a cocktail party… 

COCKTAILS

BARACK BERRY AND POMEGRAMITT MOJITOS

Inspired by Policy Restaurant and Lounge in Washington DC

BARACK BERRY

Mix together blueberry Stoli, orange blossom simple syrup, muddled basil and lime, soda and blue curacao.

POMEGRAMITT

Mix together pomegranik Stoli, cranberry juice, simple syrup, muddled mint and lime and soda.

If you’re worried that you’re not serving your guests enough food, you can always make them sandwiches and title them UNCLE SAMMIES!

Hope you enjoy these recipes and the political process at your Election Party!

–Izzy Levenson

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