Monday, November 5, 2012

Election Day Candy Button Ballots

This week has been absolutely insane here in New York: Hurricane Sandy showed her ugly face and now we're gearing up for a nasty nor'easter. If we weren't paying attention, election day might have passed us by. Luckily, we haven't forgotten how important this day is–so if you haven't voted yet–stop reading this and get out to your polling place. Once you've rocked the vote, you can sit back and wait with your eyes glued to the TV. If you're headed to an election party, don't you dare show up empty handed! Bring these candy button ballots and liven up the voting process. This election day treat lets you cast your vote (and eat it, too). They're basically a spin on those nostalgic candy button paper strips, made with royal icing and parchment paper. There's no complicated voter instructions, just eat your vote! I've included templates that you can download for the ballots and the traditional paper strips. Here's how you make 'em...

Royal Icing Candy Button Ballots
1 lb. (about 4 cups) confectioners sugar
3 tablespoons meringue powder (you can find it at baking supply and craft stores)
6 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon vanilla, almond, or lemon extract
red and blue food coloring
zip lock or piping bags
Several ballots printed on 8.5x11" parchment paper or vellum 
    Download the ballots here (print on parchment cut into 8.5x11" sheets")
Candy buttons template 
    Download the template here (print on regular 8.5x11" paper)
parchment paper strips

1. Combine all ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat until smooth and lump free. The frosting should be able to drip, but not run. If it's too thick, add more water and if it's too runny, add more confectioners sugar. Scoop 1/3rd of the icing into a zip lock bag and seal bag. Divide remaining icing into 2 bowls. Color one batch red, the other blue, then scoop into separate zip lock bags and seal.

2. Cut printed ballots out of parchment. Cut strips of parchment and tape on top of the candy buttons template.

3. Use scissors to snip a tiny whole off the corner of the bag. Carefully pipe "dots" on the ballots and parchment strips. Let dry completely.

Not sure how my dog managed to get his name on the ballot, but I guess he'd be good in public office.

Whichever side you lean towards this election day, just make sure your voice is heard and you've got these sweet treats by your side.