Election 2020 Cookies

November 3: Election Day 2020

Family Circle has discontinued its Presidential Cookie Poll (which began in 1992) because the magazine itself ceased to exist (2019). While it was a fun food event, it was outdated and inaccurate in predicting the winners of the White House.

We had a request this year to make election cookies again—something sweet in a not-so-sweet year. We have made them for Islander’s brother’s student prayer group for the past three presidential elections. Social gatherings have been cancelled because of COVID-19 so we made—and mailed—the cookies just for his religious community. They won’t have any students gathering with them in 2020 to pray for America and to vote on the cookies. But the nine priests and brothers can still enjoy a little Election Day dessert.

We already had First Lady of the United States Melania Trump’s cookie recipe (posted on our blog in 2016). But we could not find any official cookie recipe from former Second Lady Dr. Jill Biden (her guilty pleasure is French fries, according to Parade). The only mention of cookies in any interview was on the U.S. World Herald where she shared about her Italian-American upbringing. She stated, “My grandfather had a saying, ‘Finire a tarallucci e vino’—to finish with little cookies with wine. It essentially means, no matter our differences during dinner, we finish as a family.”

With that only hint for a cookie, we made Italian taralli with Marsala vino, olive oil and a light lemon glaze to represent Team Biden. We also baked star-shaped sour cream sugar cookies again to represent Team Trump. Put the cookies on a patriotic platter and exercise your right to vote for your favorite election cookie and candidate!


(Adapted from Martha Stewart)

For the taralli cookies

  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspon salt
  • ½ cup sugar, granulated white
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup extra virgin olilve oil
  • ½ cup Marsala vino (wine)

For the icing (optional but recommended)

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice


In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl, beat the egg with the sugar. Stir in the olive oil and Marsala.

Gradually add the flour mixture and blend well until a dough comes together. Turn out dough onto a clean, dry surface. Pinch out pieces of dough and roll into half-inch thick ropes. Cut into 6-inch pieces and form into a loop.

Press the dough ends to seal into a circle. Place each cookie onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake in a preheated oven at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until lightly golden. Remove from the oven and cool completely on a wire rack.

Make the glaze by combining in a small bowl the powdered sugar, milk and lemon juice. Stir until thick and smooth. Dip the top of the cookie in the glaze and let dry. Serve with some wine.

For Trump’s Star-Shaped Sour Cream Sugar Cookies

(Please see our 2016 blog post for the recipe.)