Thursday, January 30, 2014

"Tweaking" the Twinkie Recipe


I was so excited when I spied a Twinkie pan at my local craft store the other day; I came home and couldn't concentrate on work because I had Twinkies on the brain.  I have to admit to being behind the curve on some trends.  When I saw the news that Hostess wasn't going to be making the Twinkie anymore, my first thought was, "They still make Twinkies?"  Not that I didn't consume my fair share of Twinkies over the years, it's just that it was years ago.

Twinkies and the memory of my best friend are completely intertwined.  I had a funny story in mind,  but I've had a lump in my throat I can't shake.  I put a picture up of what I was working on for you guys the other day and when I went to respond to some comments I was stopped in my tracks by some very sad news that we had lost a blogging friend Elle from Elle's New England Kitchen.  Elle had friended me through Facebook early on and I enjoyed her spirited sense of humor and her beautiful beaded jewelry she was always working on.  She had these corgis that she loved sharing pictures of which always made me smile.

I have had my unfair share of experience with these types of things the last few years, and I really feel for her family and the grief they are going to go through.  I just want them to know Elle will be missed.

I had a hard time finding the right recipe to make Twinkies, I found quite a few that used shortening, cake mix or marshmallow cream in them.  If you are going to make something and call it homemade I think it deserves better ingredients than that or I would just buy them made, or at least that is my pet peeve.  So I set about on a "Tweak the Twinkie" mission.

Cake:
1 cup cake flour, sifted
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 eggs, separated
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 tablespoons coconut oil, melted

Cream filling:
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoon granulated sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Spray the pan with no-stick spray.  I bought the Twinkie shaped pan at my local craft store it is a Wilton brand, but I'm sure if you looked online there are more options.

Sift together cake flour, baking powder, and salt.  Set aside.

In the bowl of a mixer add the three egg whites and whip on high speed until stiff peaks are starting to form. Transfer the whites to another bowl and put the bowl back on the mixer.

Add the egg yolks and sugar and beat until the egg yolks get paler and lemony in color.  Add the vanilla extract and coconut oil and mix until combined.  Add the sifted dry ingredients and mix until it comes together on low speed.  Add one third of the egg whites and mix until combined.  Take the bowl off the stand and fold in another 1/3 of the whites until combined, then fold in the remaining egg whites.

My daughter insisted I keep half of them vanilla, but I needed a little more zing from my Twinkies so I poured half of the batter in another bowl and mixed in the following ingredients.

Lemon- Strawberry version:
Zest from 1 lemon (I used a Meyer lemon, but regular will work just fine)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons dried strawberries, minced

Pour the batter into each hole about 1/2 full.  You should get six vanilla and six lemon-strawberry Twinkies. If you want, you can increase the amount of lemon juice a little and up the strawberries and do all twelve that way.

Bake for 7-9 minutes, until they are just set.  You don't want to over bake them or the will dry out fast.  Let cool on a rack.

In the bowl of a mixer whip the heavy cream and sugar on high speed until stiff. (If you want lemon cream, just add a little zest and juice.)  Place the whipped cream in a piping bag with a tip and fill them from the bottom.  These are a little denser than spongy more like a Madeline, but I think I preferred this version, even though I certainly enjoyed trying the other versions I experimented with.

Note: I used a Wilton 230 tip to fill them, because it's longer and can be inserted from the side as well as bottom. Also on my bag when I use tips that I may want to change out I use a coupler, they are available where the tips are sold.  It makes things so much less messy.

Because these are filled with whipped cream you should store them in the fridge.

Peace and Twinkies,

Gina



13 comments:

  1. Hi Gina, What a fantastic idea to make homemade twinkies where ever did you find a twinkie pan? How awesome...I was heartbroken to hear about Elle. I still can't get over it. My mom and I connected with her and it's just...so unreal to us still.

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    1. Hi Tammy, so sad I know. I got mine at my local Michaels, use the 40% off coupon at it was $10 I found a link on Amazon, but it's more money. http://www.amazon.com/Wilton-2105-3646-Non-Stick-12-Cavity-Delectovals/dp/B00G31DNUO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1391

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  2. Yay for real ingredients! I haven't had Twinkies in years but would have no problem devouring a few of these :)

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  3. Gina,
    I would never buy Twinkies for my kids, because I was "Earth Mother" back then, but I would have certainly made your version for them. All natural ingredients and flavors, how amazing, and you are so creative.

    I was surprised and sad about the news on Elle. You just have to make live everyday to the fullest, because you don't know what is around the corner.

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  4. Gina, awesome homemade twinkies!
    So sad to hear about Elle...life is so unpredictable.
    Have a marvelous day!
    Angie

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  5. Your Twinkies are way the best! So much better than the packet.

    I am sorry to hear about Elle, it is so unexpected. You really have to appreciate every day in case.

    hugs
    Uru

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  6. Such sad news about Elle! She will be missed. Anyway, homemade Twinkies? Never even thought of making them! Of course now you know I have to do this, just because. Fun recipe -- thanks.

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  7. I love your homemade spin on the classic, artifically crafted Twinkie. I will have to put my feelers out their for a Twinkie pan so I can make these. Yum!

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  8. when I was in high school, I kept a box of Twinkies in there for in between classes haha - good times! This tweaked twinkie looks AWESOME! So so sorry to hear about Elle, life is so fragile, mortality is such a reminder to seize the day....

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  9. What a heartbreak to hear about Elle. Life really is fragile and unpredictable.
    Gina I love your recipe and couldn't agree with you more. I was never a fan of twinkies....o.k....there, now I've said it ;) But I know I'd be a fan of your homemade version and especially the strawberry, meyer lemon! So Fresh! Anything accompanied by, filled with, (or made entirely of) fresh homemade whipped cream is easy for me to love. They look perfect! xoxo

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  10. SO MUCH FUN!!

    How awful to hear about Elle, that is terrible :-/

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  11. How fun! Love that you made your own twinkies and bet they did not last long. Hope you are doing great and loving the rain we are getting.

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  12. Oh my goodness..can you move next door and make a batch of these for me each week? I'd pay you! I just love that the filling is made with real whipping cream. Drool!

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