By Mike Salmon
Alexandrians are always loaded with opinions when it comes to presidential politics, but there is a basket on the display case in Alexandria Pastry Shop and Catering at The Bradlee Shopping Center on King Street full of special cookies that are being used as a sweet barometer for the upcoming election.
And of course, they are shaped and colored to represent Republican elephants and Democratic donkeys, coated in frostings of red, white, and blue.
“This is a very political city,” says owner Tom Lally, who lives across the street in Fairlington. He is keeping a tally of the cookie purchases on a board above the cash register, and so far, more donkey cookies have been purchased, signaling a Democratic win could be in the cards or cookies in this case.
“We’re going to put out American flag cookies too, that’s for the undecided,” Lally added.
This is the fifth election for which Lally has used the cookie poll, and so far, “it’s been pretty accurate, except the last time,” he says. “That’s when President Trump won, and there were many that didn’t see that coming anyway.”
Margaret Shannon was down a few doors in the Bradlee Shopping Center getting her hair done when she learned about the poll.
“How clever,” she said when she heard about the cookies. “I’ll have to go in and get a dozen donkeys,” she added.
A mention of the cookie poll also tweaked the interest of Gabriela Hernandez at Potomac Paint. “I’d be curious if one tastes better than the other,” Hernandez said.
The election cookies are identical thick sugar cookies, but to tweak the flavor, “we put a little orange flavoring in them,” Lally said. To go with the colored fondant frosting, there are candy stars.
As with everything else in the world this year, COVID-19 has stepped in and made things tougher for all. At the pastry shop, Lally is finding that folks are staying in more and having in-house parties, where they may have gone out to celebrate in the past. He says the shop’s cake orders are reflecting that.
“The birthday cakes are a little more special,” said Lally.
Lally has been in business since 1988 and in addition to his cakes, muffins, and a variety of cookies and sweet treats throughout the year, he offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner as well as prepared meals to take home. Right now they are taking orders for complete Thanksgiving, Christmas, and other holiday dinners for small or large groups.
The election cookies are special though and are only available through Election Day, which is Tuesday, Nov. 3 this year.
Alexandria Pastry and Catering
3690 King St H, Alexandria, VA 22302