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Hostess

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    The Twinkie company, otherwise known as Hostess, was one of the first to introduce reduced-fat baked goods to the masses. In 1990 the company took its most popular products and created lower-fat versions under the "Hostess Lights" label. Among the company's well-known low-fat offerings is this popular cupcake, with its seven loops of white icing on the top of frosted, creme-filled cake. Here's a way you can recreate these popular cupcakes at home, with applesauce in the cake to help replace the fat, and filling made with marshmallow creme.

    Nutrition Facts
    Serving size–1 cupcake 
    Total servings–12 
    Calories per serving–220 
    Fat per serving–1.5g

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Lite by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 4.00. Votes: 21

    Recently I've had an opportunity to go back and improve the recipe for the Hostess Twinkie clone found on page 47 of the first book, Top Secret Recipes and here on the website. Specifically, I wanted to make the creme filling more stable, using non-dairy ingredients like the original product, so that it was shelf-stable and easier to make. Here now, is the much improved recipe, using fewer ingredients than the original clone, and with marshmallow creme as the new secret component. 

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    Howdy Doody peddled them on his 1950s TV show. Archie Bunker got one in his lunchbox every day. Even President Jimmy Carter was a fan, supposedly ordering a Twinkie vending machine installed in the White House. Yes, Twinkies are an American favorite. And if the oblong little snack isn’t being eaten, it’s being talked about: usually by talk show hosts joking about the snack food's supposedly long shelf life.

    The crème-filled cakes we know today are not exactly the same as the early Twinkies. When the snack cake was first conceived by Hostess plant manager James Dewar in 1930, it was as a way to use the cake pans for the strawberry “Little Short Cake Fingers,” which sat idle for all but the six-week strawberry season. The filling in those original cakes was flavored with bananas, and they were called “Twinkle Fingers.” When bananas got scarce during World War II the filling was changed to the vanilla flavor we know today, and the name was shortened to “Twinkies.” 

    The latest reformulation of the Twinkie came in 1990, when a low-fat version was first introduced. Now Twinkie lovers could have their cakes and eat ‘em too, with only half the fat of the original.

    You should know that these clones are twice the size of the Hostess version, with the fat and calories double as well. By weight, though, this clone’s nutrition stats are right on track with the original. 

    Nutrition Facts
    Serving size–1 snack cake
    Total servings–12 
    Calories per serving–280 
    Fat per serving–3g

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Lite by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 4.30. Votes: 27

    The Twinkie was invented in 1930 by the late James A. Dewar, then the Chicago-area regional manager of Continental Baking Company, the parent corporation behind the Hostess trademark. At the time, Continental made "Little Short Cake Fingers" only during the six-week strawberry season, and Dewar realized that the aluminum pans in which the cakes were baked sat idle the rest of the year. He came up with the idea of injecting the little cakes with a creamy filling to make them a year-round product and decided to charge a nickel for a package of two.

    But Dewar couldn't come up with a catchy name for the snack cake—that is, until he set out on a business trip to St. Louis. Along the road he saw a sign for Twinkle Toe Shoes, and the name Twinkies evolved. Sales took off, and Dewar reportedly ate two Twinkies every day for much of his life. He died in 1985.

    The spongy treat has evolved into an American phenomenon. Today the Twinkie is Continental's top Hostess-line seller, with the injection machines filling as many as 52,000 every hour.

    You will need a spice bottle, approximately the size of a Twinkie, ten 12x14 -inch pieces of aluminum foil, a cake decorator or pastry bag, and a chopstick.

    Source: Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

    Watch Todd's video demonstration of this classic hack.