Monday, November 02, 2009

White House Halloween Cookies Made With Honey From The White House Beehive

The charming "Spider White House" shortbread cookies that President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama handed out to thousands of invited trick-or-treaters at last night's White House Halloween festivities were made with very locally grown honey: It came from the White House beehive.

It's pretty spectacular that the kids were getting "home made" cookies from "The People's House" with a home-grown ingredient from a part of the garden--the beehive--that has captured the imagination of millions of people. The honey has been used at many White House events, but the Spider White House cookies are certainly the biggest and most high-profile use of the honey to date. (Above: President Obama and Mrs. Obama greet a trick or treater, while White House Social Secretary Desiree Rogers (in white wig) looks on; inset is a photo of the Spider White House cookies, during their creation).

Executive Pastry Chef Bill Yosses was charged with treat-making duties, and he calls the Spider White House cookies an "English-style shortbread," and notes that in addition to using White House honey, the cookies were made with organic flour, organic eggs and "other organic materials." The cookies were in the shape of the White House, with a big black spider piped on to one side, which replicated part of the actual White House holiday decorations; a huge stuffed spider dangled from the North Portico as President Obama and Mrs. Obama, dressed as a post-modern Cat Woman, surprised the local kids by personally handing out treats (the kids had been warned not to expect the Obamas). An assortment of dried fruits--sour cherries, peaches, and pears were also in the cellophane-wrapped treat bag, in keeping with Mrs. Obama's health conscious agenda. Also included: M&Ms. (Above: White House Halloween treat bags)

Using White House honey for the Halloween treats wasn't in any media coverage of last night's events because the White House didn't make an "official announcement" about the honey use. But the AP news service, which has an all-access pass to the White House, made the video, below, about the creation of the Spider White House cookies, and Yosses describes the ingredients, and notes the honey usage. As of the Fall Harvest of the Kitchen Garden, the White House beehive had produced 134 pounds of honey, according to Mrs. Obama's deputy press secretary, Semonti Stephens. The bees are now "asleep" for the winter, according to Stephens. The video:

More on the first Obama White House Halloween: Preparations for the festivities are here; photos from the event are here. Halloween photo via Getty/pool.