Thursday, December 29, 2011

Homemade Hostess Treats

Cousins fan Cheryl Dillon was kind enough to share the recipes (and where she found them) for the homemade Hostess Cupcakes, Snowballs and Twinkies she made during the holidays. Ahhh...such memories! Just looking at these recipes and photos makes me want to go outside and pogo stick. (OK, maybe not. Besides, I turned in my pogo stick a long time ago.) But if any of you out there are as daring as Cheryl and give these tasty childhood treats a try, let us know how it went and send us some of your own photos! (Or if any of you still hop on your pogo stick, send those photos in, too!) —Diana 

1 cup plus 4 tablespoons flour
5 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup water
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 teaspoons distilled white vinegar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 cup sugar, divided
1/4 cup cornstarch
4 egg yolks
2 cups milk, divided
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

6 ounces finely chopped bittersweet chocolate
6 tablespoons boiling water

2 tablespoons egg white, at room temperature
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 cup plus 4 to 6 tablespoons confectioners' sugar

Cupcakes: Position a rack in the center and preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly butter 18 muffin cups

Into a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Mix in the sugar. Make a well in the center. Whisk in the water, oil, vinegar and vanilla extract. Blend until smooth. (The batter will be very thin.) Spoon the batter into the prepared cups. Bake until a wooden pick inserted into the center of one of the cupcakes comes out clean, about 15 to 18 minutes. Cool the cupcakes in the pans on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Remove the cupcakes from the pans and finish cooling on the rack.

Filling: Mix ¼ cup sugar and cornstarch in a bowl until smooth.  Add egg yolks and mix until a paste is formed.  Stir in ½ cup milk.  Add to saucepan.  Combine remaining 1 ½ cups milk and ¼ cup sugar in the same saucepan and bring to a boil.  Pour hot mixture into a bowl, whisking constantly.  Pour back into saucepan.

Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until smooth and thick.  Remove from heat and stir an additional minute.  Stir in vanilla and transfer to a bowl.  Cover with buttered parchment paper touching top and chill a minimum of 2 hours or as long as 2 days.

Transfer the filling to a pastry bag fitted with a 3/8-inch plain tip. Insert the pastry tip 1/4-inch into the bottom of each cupcake and squeeze a little filling into each one.

Glaze: Place the chocolate in a small bowl. Whisk in the boiling water and blend until smooth. One at a time, dip the top of each cupcake into the warm glaze. Turn the glazed cupcakes right side up and set them on a wire rack on top of a baking sheet. Refrigerate the cupcakes for 5 minutes to set the glaze.

Icing: In a medium bowl, whisk the egg white until frothy. Stir in the cream of tartar. Gradually mix in enough of the confectioners' sugar to make a fairly stiff and smooth icing. Fill a small paper cone with the icing and cut a 1/16-inch opening at the tip. Remove the cupcakes from the refrigerator. Pipe a design (a squiggle, spiral, etc.) on the top of each cupcake. Let the design harden and then cover and refrigerate the cupcakes. Serve at room temperature.

The cupcakes can be made and refrigerated up to 2 days in advance, or frozen up to 2 weeks.

Makes 18 cupcakes.
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Posted by Cookin'Mom at 

4 egg whites
1/2 cup butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Rind of 1 lemon, finely grated
2 cups sifted cake flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
2/3 cup milk
2 to 3 cups sweetened shredded coconut

1 (16 ounce) package powdered sugar
1 (7 ounce) jar JET-PUFFED Marshmallow Creme
1/4 cup margarine or butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 to 2 tablespoons milk

Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour muffin tins or dome shaped baking molds and set aside.

Whip the egg whites in a clean bowl until stiff but not dry and place in the refrigerator while you make the rest of the batter. Cream the butter and add the sugar. Continue mixing to blend well. Add the vanilla extract, almond extract and lemon rind and mix well.

Sift the flour 3 times with the baking powder then add it to the butter mixture alternately with the milk in 3 additions. Fold in the whites and pour the batter into the molds, filling about 3/4 of the way up. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until batter is firm to the touch in the center. Let cool in the pans then turn out so the top becomes the bottom (you may need to trim them a bit so they sit flat).

Frosting: Beat sugar, Marshmallow Creme, margarine or butter and vanilla extract with electric mixer at medium speed, beating in milk as needed to desired frosting consistency.

Place the coconut in a bowl and add 1 drop of red or green food coloring for a pale color. Toss until food coloring is well mixed in and the coconut is the desired color. Fros
t the top and sides of the cakes and dip/roll in coconut to make them look like snowballs.

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For the Twinkies, Cheryl went to a site called Top Secret Recipes. There she found both the recipe (a low-fat version also is available) and instructions how to make the mold. Check it out!

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