Twinkie sushi? Try these little cake concoctions

Over half a billion Twinkies are baked every year — that's one thousand golden cakes a minute! And it all started back in 1930, when an enterprising Hostess baking manager in Chicago created a tasty golden rollup and filled it with creme. Now, three quarters of a century later, we're still enjoying the sweet 150 calorie treat.

In honor of the milestone, Hostess has created “The Twinkies Cookbook.” Theresa Cogswell, vice president of research and development for Interstate Bakeries Corporation, and Peter Sheridan, Twinkie enthusiast, visited TODAY share some of these inventive recipes.

Twinkie Sushi©
Servings:

Serves 6

Ingredients

    • 4 pieces green fruit leather, sliced into 1-inch strips
    • 6 Twinkies, cut into 1-inch pieces
    • Assorted dried fruits, cut into small pieces
    • Assorted chewy fruity candies
    • 4 to 6 pieces of dried mango, cut into strips

Preparation

Baking Directions:

One at a time, wrap the fruit leather pieces around the Twinkie pieces. Place the wrapped Twinkies upright on a serving tray or in a bento box.Place the dried fruits and candies into the crème filling. Garnish the tray with strips of dried mango to resemble pickled ginger.

Serving Directions:

Serve with chopsticks if you wish.

Patriotic Twinkie Pie
Servings:

Serves 16

Ingredients

    • 1 (6-ounce) package blueberry Jell-O®
    • 3 cups boiling water
    • 1 (16-ounce) bag frozen blueberries
    • 1 (6-ounce) package strawberry Jell-O®
    • 1 (16-ounce) bag frozen sliced strawberries in syrup
    • 6 to 7 Twinkies, broken or torn into 1-inch pieces (about 4 cups)
    • 2 (5.1-ounce) packages instant vanilla pudding mix
    • 6 cups milk
    • 1 (12-ounce) container frozen nondairy whipped topping, thawed

Preparation

Baking Directions:

In a bowl, combine the blueberry Jell-O® and 1 1/2 cups of the boiling water and stir until dissolved. Add the blueberries and stir until blended and slightly thickened. Allow to cool completely. In another bowl, combine the strawberry Jell-O® and remaining 1 1/2 cups boiling water and stir until dissolved. Add the strawberries and stir until blended and slightly thickened. Allow to cool completely.Place 2 cups of the Twinkie pieces in a 6-quart glass bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the pudding mix and milk and stir according to the package instructions. Spoon half of the pudding over the Twinkies.Spoon the blueberry mixture over the pudding, spreading evenly. Top with the remaining Twinkie pieces. Spoon the strawberry mixture over the Twinkies, spreading evenly.Cover and refrigerate for several hours or overnight, until completely chilled and set. Top with the whipped topping just before serving.

Pigs in a Twinkie
Servings:

Serves 6

Ingredients

    • 6 pork sausage links
    • 6 Twinkies
    • Maple syrup, for serving

Preparation

Baking Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350°F.Place the sausage in a skillet over medium heat and cook, turning to brown evenly,until the meat is no longer pink inside, following any package directions. Remove from the skillet and drain well on paper towels.Thinly slice one end off each Twinkie. Stuff a cooked sausage into each Twinkie. Place the Twinkies in a shallow baking dish and bake for 10 minutes, or until the Twinkies are warm.

Serving Directions:

Serve warm, with syrup.

Twinkie Burrito
Servings:

Serves 4

Ingredients

    • 4 (10- to 12-inch) flour tortillas, warmed
    • 1/2 to 3/4 cup chocolate sauce
    • 4 Twinkies
    • 2 cups sliced strawberries, or 1/2 cup strawberry preserves

Preparation

Baking Directions:

Drizzle one side of each tortilla with the chocolate sauce. Place a Twinkie on top of the chocolate sauce in the center of each tortilla. Top each Twinkie with 1/4 cup of the strawberries. Fold the tortillas over the Twinkies and roll up like a burrito.

Twinkie-Misu
Servings:

Serves 6 to 8

Ingredients

    • 1 (3.4-ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
    • 1 3/4 cups milk
    • 1/4 cup amaretto
    • 1 cup strong coffee, warmed
    • 1 tablespoon sugar
    • 1/4 cup Kahlúa
    • 2 cups frozen nondairy whipped topping, thawed
    • 10 Twinkies
    • Unsweetened cocoa, for dusting

Preparation

Baking Directions:

In a bowl, combine the pudding mix, milk, and Amaretto and whisk until thickened. Set aside until quite thick.In a separate, small bowl, combine the coffee, sugar, and Kahlúa and mix until the sugar dissolves. Refrigerate until cool.Fold the whipped topping into the pudding mixture. Spoon one-third of the pudding mixture into an 8 x 8-inch baking dish.Line a baking sheet with waxed paper and set the Twinkies on the paper. Slowly drizzle the coffee mixture over each Twinkie, allowing the liquid to soak in. Using a spatula, transfer the Twinkies to the baking dish, arranging evenly over the pudding. Spoon the remaining pudding over the Twinkies.Refrigerate for 1 hour, or until set. Dust with cocoa just before serving.

Ribbons and Bows Twinkie Wedding Cake
Servings:

Serves 27

Ingredients

    • 7 3/4 pounds prepared fondant in 2 colors
    • 27 Twinkies
    • 1 (4-inch-diameter, 4-inch-thick) piece Styrofoam
    • 1 (7-inch-diameter) card-board cake round, covered with decorative, food-safe aluminum foil
    • 1 1/2 (16-ounce) butter-cream frosting
    • 1 (8-inch-diameter, 4-inch-thick) piece Styrofoam
    • 1 (11-inch-diameter) card-board cake round, covered with decorative, food-safe aluminum foil

Preparation

Baking Directions:

Reserve 1 pound of the fondant and roll the rest out to 1/8 inch thick. Wrap 13 of the Twinkies in strips of one of the colors of fondant (3 1/2 to 4 ounces fondant per Twinkie). Lightly brush the edges of the fondant with water to seal tightly. Wrap the remaining 14 Twinkies in the other color of fondant.For the top layer, place the 4-inch round of Styrofoam in the center of the 7-inch cardboard round. Frost the top and sides with one-third of one can offrosting. Alternating the colors, arrange 10 of the fondant-wrapped Twinkies upright around the Styrofoam, attaching them with the frosting, with the seams facing in. The top edge of the Twinkies should be even with the top of the frosted Styrofoam.For the bottom layer, place the 8-inch round of Styrofoam in the center of the 11-inch cardboard round. Frost the top and sides with the remaining two-thirds of the first can of frosting. Alternating the colors, arrange the remaining 17 of the fondant-wrapped Twinkies upright around the Styrofoam, attaching them with the frosting, with the seams facing in. The top edge of the Twinkies should be even with the top of the frosted Styrofoam.Fill a pastry bag fitted with a#12 tip for larger decorations (or a #4 or #5 tip for more delicate decorations)with frosting.  Pipe a decorative filigree of frosting on the top edges of the Twinkies on the bottom layer, or mold fondant into decorative shapes and position on top of the Twinkies.Stack the top layer on the bottom layer. Fit the pastry bag with a #6 tip. Pipe dots of frosting around the edges of the cardboard circles.Cut flowers from the fondant with a small cookie cutter and decorate the tops of the Twinkies on the top layer. Fit the pastry bag with a #3 tip and pipe a small dot of frosting in the center of each flower.To make a bow on top of the cake, roll the reserved 1 pound fondant out to a 1/8-inch thickness and cut into strips about 1 inch wide. Place a generous dollop of frosting on top of the cake, then use a strip of fondant to make a loop, sticking the ends into the frosting to secure. Continue to add loops of fondant ribbon, securing each in the frosting, to make a large bow.

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