The White House Gleaming like a Jack-o’ Lantern

“…the White House seems to stand upon a hill, gleaming like a Jack-o’-Lantern…” - Oliver T. Morton, The Atlantic Monthly, 1884

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama hand out Halloween treats to local children

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama hand out Halloween treats to local children and children of military families are trick-or treating at the South Portico of the White House, Oct. 31, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

On Halloween, President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama welcomed local students and the children of military families to the White House for the annual Halloween celebration and trick-or-treating.

The White House was lit in orange for the occasion and more than 185 pumpkins carved by volunteers decorated the South Lawn. Bo and Sunny topiaries were dressed up for the holiday – pipecleaner “Bo” as a pirate, and ribbon “Sunny” as a sunflower. The Black Bear Combo brass band from Chicago played Halloween music in the background as the President and First Lady handed out jelly beans, a White House sweet dough butter cookie, White House M&M's and dried fruit.

Check out recipes for some of the White House Halloween treats below:

The White House Sweet Dough Butter Cookie Recipe

1 lb Sugar                                                      1 tsp Vanilla
2 lbs Butter                                                    1 tsp Salt
3 Eggs                                                           3 lbs All Purpose Flour
                                                                       

  1. Mix the butter and sugar till soft and well beaten. Then add eggs, vanilla,salt and half the flour. Beat on slow speed till mixed, then add the rest of the flour and mix until incorporated.
  2. Push flat onto a cookie sheet and refrigerate overnight. Roll out to one quarter inch thick and cut out cookie shapes with cookie cutter.
  3. Bake at 350F for 14 minutes and then allow to cool. 

Make Your Own Dried Fruit Mix

Dried Apples                                                    Dried Pineapple
Dried Apricots                                                  Dried Papayas
Dried Pears                                                      Dried Cherries
Dried Blueberries                                            Banana Chips

Combine ingredients and serve.

President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama and Mrs. Marian Robinson hand out Halloween treats to local children

President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama and Mrs. Marian Robinson hand out Halloween treats to local children and children of military families trick-or treating at the South Portico of the White House, Oct. 31, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

Interested in learning more about the White House?

  • Check out our Inside the White House video series for behind-the-scenes looks into the White House and its history.
  • Go behind the scenes at the White House with the Google Art Project, a 360 degree street view camera that captures the rooms that are featured on the public tour.
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