First and foremost, the Twinkie has never been kosher, so missing it isn’t really an issue for me. However, I believe that reports of the Twinkie’s imminent demise — along with its friends the Ho Ho and Ding Dong — is being blown slightly out of proportion. Yes, the company has entered a liquidation phase, but I know in my heart of culinary hearts there will be a rebirth of the confections that have been a part of Americana since the 1920s.
Maybe a large multinational conglomerate or a private equity firm whose director ate them 24/7 when he was 9 years old will be the white knight. There are 30 separate brands in the Hostess (a.k.a. Interstate Brands) family, so until we hear otherwise Twinkie, Dolly Madison, Drake Brand (they were kosher certified) and Wonder Bread are on a permanent vacation. Hopefully the company that buys the brands will have the foresight to see how important kosher certification is.
Since die-hard foodies are known for not letting something as annoying as a product being unavailable stop them from enjoying what they want, I will share how you can make own Twinkie — one that’s delicious and kosher. Todd Wilber, one of my favorite cookbook authors, has been recreating iconic recipes for years and he has created a fabulous recipe that tastes almost the same as the original. A little work, yes, but so worth it.
Faux Twinkie (dairy)
4 egg whites
One 16-ounce box golden pound cake mix
2/3 cup water
2 tsp. very hot water
1/4 tsp. salt
2 cups marshmallow creme (one 7-ounce jar)
1/2 cup shortening
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
You will need a spice bottle, approximately the size of a Twinkie, ten 12 x 14-inch pieces of aluminum foil, a cake decorator or pastry bag, and a chopstick.
Preheat oven to 325º.
Fold each piece of aluminum foil in half twice. Wrap the folded foil around the spice bottle to create a mold. Leave the top of the mold open for pouring in the batter. Make 10 of these molds and arrange them on a cookie sheet or in a shallow pan. Grease the inside of each mold with a light coating of non-stick spray.
Disregard the directions on the box of cake mix. Instead, beat the egg whites until stiff. In a separate bowl combine cake mix with water and beat until thoroughly blended (about 2 minutes). Fold egg whites into the cake batter and slowly combine until completely mixed.
Pour the batter into the molds, filling each one about 3/4 of an inch. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until the cake is golden brown and a toothpick stuck in the center comes out clean.
For the filling, combine salt with the hot water in a small bowl and stir until salt is dissolved. Let this mixture cool. In the bowl of an electric mixer combine the marshmallow creme, shortening, powdered sugar and vanilla and beat, high speed until fluffy. Add the salt solution to the filling mixture and combine.
When the cakes are done and cooled, use a skewer or chopstick to make three holes in the bottom of each one. Move the stick around inside of each cake to create space for the filling.
Using a cake decorator or pastry bag, inject each cake with filling through all three holes. Serves 10
Recipe by Todd Wilber.
When the Twinkie turned 75 in 2005, Hostess asked everyone who had ever eaten a Twinkie to share their recipes and ideas for showcasing sponge and filling cake-ette in a cookbook. They got a bazillion wacky and oddly delicious treats that included (and I’m not kidding you) Twinkie Sushi, Twinkie Burrito and Twinkie Bread Pudding. All of the recipes make sense when you realize they are sweet lookalikes for their namesakes.
Twinkie Sushi (dairy)
3 homemade Twinkies
Assorted dried fruits
Assorted fruity decorative candies
2 green fruit leather roll ups
Slice the Twinkies into pieces about an inch tall. Slice fruit rollups in strips to be long enough and wide enough to wrap around the Twinkie pieces. Place dried fruits and candies into the cream filling. Place the Twinkie rolls on a plate. Garnish with strips of dried mango (kinda looks like pickled ginger). And serve them with chopsticks
Note: You can use crushed cookies or up black sprinkles (like caviar) or even crush up a Butterfinger to look like the fried onions
Submitted by Anna Merth-Simpson, modified from the old Hostess website.
Deep-Fried Twinkies (dairy)
6 homemade Twinkies
4 cups vegetable oil
flour for dusting
1 cup milk
2 Tbs. vinegar
1 Tbs. oil
1 cup flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
Powdered sugar to taste
Freeze Twinkies overnight. In a deep fryer or large ,saucepan heat the vegetable oil in deep-fryer to about 375º. In a bowl combine the milk, vinegar and oil. In another bowl, blend flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk wet ingredients into dry and continue mixing until smooth. Push sticks into Twinkies lengthwise, leaving about 2 inches to use as a handle, dust the Twinkie with flour and then dip it into the batter. Flip it a few times until totally coated. Place the coated Twinkie into the hot oil (stick and all). The Twinkie will float, so hold it under with a utensil to ensure even browning. It should turn golden in 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the Twinkie and drain it on a paper towel. Remove stick and allow Twinkie to sit for about 5 minutes, and dust with powdered sugar if desired before serving. Serves 6.
Modified from about.com
Chocolate Pumpkin Twink-A-Like (dairy)
1 white cake mix
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup flour
1 cup pumpkin purée
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
For the Cinnamon Marshmallow Cream Cheese Frosting
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 stick butter
1/2 cup marshmallow creme
1 tsp. vanilla
1/8 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 cup flour
4 cups powdered sugar
1 Tbs. milk
For the Topping
1 pkg. (12 oz.) chocolate chips
1 tbsp. shortening
Preheat oven to 350º. Spray a Twinkie pan or cupcake pan with non-stick spray and set aside. In a large bowl combine the cake mix, buttermilk, eggs, oil and flour and mix to combine. Add the pumpkin and beat for about 2 more minutes. Spoon the batter into the prepared pans. Do not fill more than 1/2 full. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, until golden. Cool in pan for 2-3 minutes, and then carefully remove from pan. Finish cooling on a wire rack. When they are completely cool, use a piping tip to fill with the cream filling.
In the bowl of an electric mixer or food processor combine the butter, cream cheese and vanilla and beat/process for 2-3 minutes. Add the marshmallow creme, salt and cinnamon and beat to combine. Slowly add the flour and powdered sugar until incorporated and thick. Add the milk and beat until creamy.
For the topping, in a glass bowl combine the chocolate and shortening. Microwave for 30 seconds, stir, combine and repeat until all the chocolate is melted and smooth. Place the Twink-a-Like on a wire rack and drizzle the chocolate over the top. Makes 24.
Submitted by Geri Marie Constantine Troy MI, source unknown