Tuesday, October 7, 2008

VeganMoFo: Presidential Bakin' and Debatin'

No need to watch the presidential debate tonight and get frustrated about the candidates avoiding questions or answering with a bunch of political mumbo jumbo. Instead, you can bake and eat your way to deciding who you will cast your vote for come November 4.

Before we get to the judging, I'll share the recipes which are both available online (from Family Circle magazine). My modifications to veganize the recipes are in blue. To be fair, I veganized them using the same methods.

Obama's Shortbread Cookies

1 1/2 cups Earth Balance buttery sticks
1 1/2 cups plus 2 T (reserved) vegan sugar
2 flax eggs (1 T flax meal + 2 T water = 1 egg)
2 T Amaretto (almond liqueur)
1 tsp each orange and lemon zest
3 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 T soy milk
Chopped nuts, dried fruit, or poppy seeds (optional)

1. Heat oven to 325. In a large bowl, cream together EB and 1 1/2 c. of the sugar.
2. Whip flax eggs in food processor. Add to Eb & sugar and beat well until smooth. Beat in Amaretto and zest.
3. Stir in flour and salt until combined.
4. I baked these as cookies by flattening out the dough and using round cookies cutters. You could also bake all together in a 17x12x1 inch baking pan.
5. Brush tops of dough with soy milk. Sprinkle on topping if desired (I used pistachios, dried cranberries, and poppyseeds), and sprinkle on remaining 2 T of sugar.
6. Bake at 325 for 25 minutes or until brown. Mine took a little less time than this since they were individual cookies.

McCain's Oatmeal Butterscotch Cookies

3/4 cup Earth Balance buttery sticks

3/4 cup vegan sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 flax eggs (1 T flax meal + 2 T water = 1 egg)
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
3 cups rolled oats
1 2/3 cups vegan butterscotch chips

1. Heat oven to 375.
2. In a large bowl, cream the Earth Balance, sugar, and brown sugar. Add the flax egg (use same method to make flax egg as in the previous recipe) and vanilla and beat well.
3. In a medium sized bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture and stir until blended. Add oats and butterscotch chips. Drop by tablespoonfuls about 2 inches apart on greased (or silpated) cookie sheet.
4. Bake for 10 minutes until the edges begin to brown (mine were done in 9). Transfer to wire rack to cool.

And here is a head-to-head analysis of how the presidential cookies stacked up. Each check mark is worth one point.

Veganizability - each recipe needed 3 ingredient substitutions

Access to vegan ingredients - vegan butterscotch chip are available only in the northeast (thanks to Bazu for mine!)

Ability to shape cookie into first letter of candidate's name - I tried an M but it came out a big ole mess

Inclusion of chocolate - I must say I was disappointed that neither included chocolate anything

Inclusion of booze - Boozy baking is always better

Office appeal - I set out a plate of cookies in the workroom kitchen at 8am, by 10am there were 2 McCain cookies left and 3 Obama cookies (I grabbed an Obama cookie so now it's even)

After tallying up my votes, it looks like a 4-2 win for...

But no matter if you make your decision based on cookies or credentials, make your voice heard.... get out and vote on November 4th!


Anonymous said...

Hooray for the Obama cookies! I think that the McCain cookies would be good the first time, but that I could only eat one. I think I could eat countless numbers of Obama cookies - they look delicious!

LizNoVeggieGirl said...

Mmm, butterscotch AND shortbread cookies?? I have yet to try vegan butterscotch OR vegan shortbread, so both cookie varieties sound enticing.

Veronica said...

Yay vegan baking! Yay Obama cookies! Yay voting!

Both sets look delicious. If presidential debates were based more heavily on baked goods, it might be a closer race - but alas, credentials and policies matter too.

Lisa (Show Me Vegan) said...

this is a fabulous idea for a MoFo post! I'll probably be glued to the debate tonight, but will take your advice and head to the kitchen if I get too worked up.

allularpunk said...

well thank goodness obama won the cookie debate. i would have be sorely disappointed otherwise.

Nicole said...

Ha! I love this post.

Destiny's Kitchen said...

Awesome decorating skills! I would love to see the candidates have a bake-off, but that's just me.

Tami said...

I always love your posts, but this one really shines!

I'm watching the debates tonight, but will do some baking first to fortify myself.

Yes, Go Vote!

Tami said...

I always love your posts, but this one really shines!

I'm watching the debates tonight, but will do some baking first to fortify myself.

Yes, Go Vote!

jessy said...

sweet AWESOMENESS - hooray for Obama! sadface on the lack o' chocolate (i agree!), but i love booze in my food - so yay!

i want to eat all of those cookies! mmmmmmmmmmm!

Bianca said...

Yea for Obama cookies! But as much as I detest McCain, I think his cookies sound pretty good. Of course, you can't go wrong with butterscotch. But I like that Obama's include booze and easy-to-find ingredients!

Anonymous said...

I pity McCain, but I am envious of his cookies! I love both cookies, really.


Anonymous said...

What a cute idea for a post! Love it! I just hope the candidate Obama wins like the cookie Obama did!

Cheryl said...

Clever post! I love it!

Sheree' said...

Sorry Obama, but those Oatmeal Butterscotch Cookies gave a bigger drool than yours. How I love butterscotch.

Lisa -- Cravin' Veggies said...

Excellent post! Glad the O's won, but I think I'd be partial to the McCain's. Cookies, that is.

beauty and bread said...

oh this was wonderful!

Animal-Friendly said...

Obama cookies- woohoo! Both cookies sound great (vegan butterscotch chips? I gotta get some!), but Obama will always beat out McCain every time for me :) I'm so sad that I can't vote this time, but next election I'll finally be old enough!

Marni said...

Hooray! What a clever post.

I agree - boozy baking *is* always better. Especially when there's a shot glass and a baking drinking game involved.


Colleen said...

What a great idea!!

Anonymous said...

Another excellent post! The debate's on right now and I should be watching it.. I need to make some Obama cookies for my co-workers - I bet they'd love them!

Anonymous said...

What a brilliant idea! I think both cookies actually sound delicious (though I agree--no chocolate? What's that all about??). I love the way you grabbed an Obama cookie to even it out!

Bex said...

ha! and this is how elections should be!

aTxVegn said...

Are these the infamous plagiarized recipes from the wives? No matter, they both look wonderful. This was such a clever idea. Surely there are more occasions that call for baking two batches of cookies.

...barbara... said...

i love this idea.....

eating cookies is way better than listening to debates...

Monika K said...

Such a cool idea - you're so creative!

Amey said...

holy carp!
that's an awesome post!! Well done. I love it.

:) amey

Anonymous said...

I would give my vote to those cookies...to both of them.

Ruthie said...

I have to say something.

First of all, who votes based on a cookie?

And second of all, I'm guessing these are supposed to be the candidate's favorites, WHOSE FAVORITE COOKIE IS SHORTBREAD? (Outside of Scotland and the UK)

I am totally voting for O, but what the heck? Seems like just another example of people pegging republicans/conservatives as old fashioned, down home types and democrats/liberals as a fancy pants, upper crust elitists.

This down home, old fashioned liberal is a bit perturbed.

Sorry, I know it was a fun post but this topic has been getting to me lately. :-S


Alicia said...

Good thing they both didn't have access to your cookies: you cannot answer questions with your mouth full!

ChocolateCoveredVegan said...

Hahaha you are too cute! (And I must say, I'm glad Obama's cookies won.)

Yup, it's nice n dry here... but it's getting colder. It was in the low 50s this morning when I went to class... I miss the 80s!

Carrie™ said...

HA! What a fun post!
Our upcoming election is pretty boring compared to what's going on in the US. I like both of those cookies, so I'd be hard pressed to choose just one.

Carrie™ said...

HA! What a fun post!
Our upcoming election is pretty boring compared to what's going on in the US. I like both of those cookies, so I'd be hard pressed to choose just one.

Melisser; the Urban Housewife said...

While I don't want to vote for McCain, Butterscotch Oatmeal sounds good!

Unknown said...

I've never been a fan of butterscotch flavor, so I must say that whether it be cookies or the election, "this Hot Mama is for Obama!" : ) Love the post! What a cool idea!