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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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    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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    Recently, Hostess released a new “limited-edition” mint chocolate version of the brand’s famous CupCakes, with mint creamy filling and mint frosting on top. I had already hacked the well-known chocolate CupCakes from Hostess for Step-by-Step, so the cake recipe and the white icing on top was already done. I reworked the filling and the frosting with delicious mint flavor and proper green hue, and put it all together in this new hack that’s a twist on an old favorite.

    As with the chocolate CupCakes clone, the frosting is designed to be runny so that you can dip the cupcakes in it. This will produce a smooth frosting that, when dry, looks just like the real thing. Most likely you’ll need a couple coats of frosting. The first coat is a crumb layer that locks in the chocolate cake crumbs so that the second layer finishes clean and smooth. If you find that you’re losing too many crumbs in the frosting bowl when dipping the cupcakes, you may want to spread on your first layer with a butter knife.   

    Before baking be sure to grease your muffin cups well so that cupcakes come out clean. And you'll need a piping bag or pastry gun with a medium tip to fill the cupcakes and a small tip to add the seven loops of white icing on top. No proper clone of this famous product would be right without that final step.

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    At the 2018 Salvation Army National Doughnut Day World Doughnut Eating Contest, held every June 1st, competitive eater Joey Chestnut consumed 257 Hostess powdered Donettes in six minutes to take home the top prize. There was a big smile on Joey's powdered-sugar-and-crumb-coated face that day as he raised a trophy to celebrate another glorious gastronomic feat.  

    If you had to guess who makes the top-selling doughnuts in America, you’d probably say Dunkin’ Donuts or Krispy Kreme, but you’d be wrong. According to Hostess, Donettes are the country’s most popular doughnuts—you rarely find a supermarket, corner market, or convenience store without at least a few packages on the shelf. Hostess Donettes come in several flavors, including chocolate, crumb and strawberry, but the one most people turn to, and the one I grew up on (they were called “Gems” back then), is coated with a thick layer of powdered sugar.    

    Cloning the Hostess powdered donuts recipe is not hard, once you know the secrets. You'll make a stiff cake dough, punch out 2-inch rounds with a biscuit cutter, pierce the dough with a straw or chopstick to make a hole, then fry the doughnuts for 2 minutes until golden brown. After you roll them in powdered sugar you'll have around 20 fresh home cloned miniature doughnuts that will make you feel like a kid again.

    And—just doing a little math here—it would take Joey Chestnut all of about 14 seconds to eat that entire plate of doughnuts you just made.

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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.