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Video: Junk food gets gourmet makeover

  1. Transcript of: Junk food gets gourmet makeover

    HODA KOTB, co-host: All right. It's time for TODAY'S HOLIDAY KITCHEN . We're turning ordinary snacks into gourmet goodies for your New Year 's celebration.

    KATHIE LEE GIFFORD, co-host: What are you laughing about?

    KOTB: I don't know, it's kind of funny.

    GIFFORD: Emilie Baltz is the author of "Junk Foodie" and she's here to show us how to please even the pickiest of palates. Really, Emilie ?

    Ms. EMILIE BALTZ: Really.

    KOTB: Well, I like -- I like the ingredients you're starting out with, things I love, Twinkies and Ho Hos and you're going to turn these into gourmet foods?

    Ms. BALTZ: Yeah. Very, very easily.

    KOTB: OK.

    Ms. BALTZ: So a great way to be able to use kind of anything from the convenience store...

    KOTB: Right.

    Ms. BALTZ: ...to start thinking of innovative ways to transform them. So the first recipe that we're starting with is a Twinkie Napoleon . And a Napoleon is...

    KOTB: A Twinkie Napoleon.

    Ms. BALTZ: Yeah.

    KOTB: OK.

    Ms. BALTZ: Doesn't look like it is going to become it very quickly.

    KOTB: No. OK, so what do you do?

    Ms. BALTZ: So the Napoleon is a traditional French pastry...

    KOTB: Mm-hmm.

    Ms. BALTZ: ...that's made of puff pastry and cream.

    GIFFORD: And cream, yeah.

    Ms. BALTZ: And so we're going to do it using only Twinkies and potato chips .

    KOTB: Potato chips .

    Ms. BALTZ: So we open the Twinkie , cut it vertically, and then reserve...

    GIFFORD: Scoop out its stuff.

    Ms. BALTZ: Exactly. We can use a fancy term like "reserve" for this. We'll scoop out all of its stuff. And then -- here, you can take this if you like, do you want to smash one up?

    KOTB: What do you want -- squeeze it by hand?

    Ms. BALTZ: Yeah, you're going to squeeze it by hand and you'll be amazed that the Twinkie reconstitutes into dough very, very easily. So you just want to squeeze it up.

    KOTB: What ingredients are in this, I wonder?

    Ms. BALTZ: Lots of magical things.

    KOTB: OK.

    GIFFORD: Yes.

    KOTB: Exactly.

    Ms. BALTZ: So once we have them formed into these nice balls...

    KOTB: Mm-hmm.

    Ms. BALTZ: ...we're going to start to roll it out really thinly. And you can practice rolling.

    GIFFORD: I'll do that for you.

    Ms. BALTZ: And you want to roll it to about this thickness, about two or three millimeters.

    GIFFORD: Oh, that's like -- OK.

    Ms. BALTZ: Simultaneously -- now this is going to be the layer of dough. We want to add a little crunch and crackle to it, so a great way to do that is a technique that I've developed called the smash.

    KOTB: OK.

    Ms. BALTZ: So we open a little hole in the top of it and then you're going to take the...

    KOTB: Right.

    Ms. BALTZ: ... potato chip bag and start to smash it.

    KOTB: Smush it.

    Ms. BALTZ: There you go.

    KOTB: OK.

    Ms. BALTZ: You can smash it until we get to...

    GIFFORD: How did you come up with these things? Have you always been fascinated by junk food ?

    Ms. BALTZ: I've always been fascinated with junk food . I was never allowed to eat it when I was little .

    KOTB: Oh, that's it.

    GIFFORD: Oh, you're one of those.

    KOTB: Now -- your mother's fault.

    Ms. BALTZ: ...were made of.

    GIFFORD: Mm-hmm.

    KOTB: OK.

    Ms. BALTZ: I know. Thanks, Mom.

    KOTB: OK.

    Ms. BALTZ: So once it's all smashed...

    KOTB: This is potato chips ?

    Ms. BALTZ: This is a crumbled potato chip .

    KOTB: Of course it is.

    Ms. BALTZ: We're going to layer the Twinkie dough with it.

    KOTB: Does not look good.

    Ms. BALTZ: And then very -- oh, no, it's delicious, I swear.

    KOTB: It is?

    Ms. BALTZ: Yeah.

    KOTB: OK. I can't wait to try it.

    Ms. BALTZ: And then we'll cut them into all of these uniform pieces. And then carefully you want to layer them on top of each other. So what that creates is kind of the same layering effect that a pate de fruit would have.

    GIFFORD:

    Ms. BALTZ: Oui, oui, madam. And then cover it with a little bit of Twinkie cream.

    GIFFORD: Oh.

    KOTB: Is this it? Is this the final thing?

    Ms. BALTZ: And then garnish it with a potato chip and that's the final piece.

    GIFFORD: Hoda gets to try it. Oh, you're going to love that.

    Ms. BALTZ: Absolutely delicious.

    KOTB: You think?

    Ms. BALTZ: Yeah.

    GIFFORD: Yeah, because it's sweet and...

    Ms. BALTZ: It's like sweet and savory, a little crunchy.

    KOTB: Mm.

    Ms. BALTZ: Not bad, huh?

    KOTB: Good.

    Ms. BALTZ: Great.

    KOTB: It is good.

    GIFFORD: All righty!

    Ms. BALTZ: So moving right along, 'tis the holiday season and here's a very simple way to start making single-serving deliciousness, and this is a re-creation of a treat called the buche de Noel , which is a traditional French...

    GIFFORD:

    Ms. BALTZ: Yes, exactly. Well done. It's a French dessert that's made to resemble a log. So the Ho Ho works really well for this. Sometimes you want to chill them so the hard candy shell stays crispy.

    GIFFORD: Uh-huh .

    Ms. BALTZ: And then we just take the top of the chocolate off, we peel it off very carefully, so we're left with this sort of half...

    KOTB: Mm-hmm.

    Ms. BALTZ: ...naked Ho Ho . Crumble the rest of it...

    GIFFORD: That was Hoda the other night. Duh-duh-dun.

    KOTB: Hey!

    Ms. BALTZ: Maybe you should...

    KOTB: I thought you were with me, I mean...

    Ms. BALTZ: OK. The natural decor of this log...

    KOTB: I can see you laughing still, OK?

    Ms. BALTZ: Give him a Puckeroom .

    KOTB: OK.

    Ms. BALTZ: We decorate it with...

    GIFFORD: All right, we're running out of time .

    Ms. BALTZ: ...all of our natural ingredients .

    KOTB: All right. Yeah, OK.

    Ms. BALTZ: Here there are Puckerooms , chocolate bar ...

    KOTB: So it's just a Ho Ho with gumdrops.

    Ms. BALTZ: ...with a little bit of......to it.

    GIFFORD: Of course. Now what -- this stuff I ate a little earlier. It was good. I didn't know what I was eating, I hope it's popcorn.

    Ms. BALTZ: So this is a quick and simple way to make gourmet popcorn. It is a mixture of smashed up Cheetos and popcorn.

    KOTB: All right.

    Ms. BALTZ: You toss them together in a bowl.

    KOTB: We have 15 seconds.

    Ms. BALTZ: It's......bowl.

    GIFFORD: It's actually delicious.

    KOTB: So thank you, honey.

    Ms. BALTZ: Wash it down with Coke and Yoo-hoo .

    GIFFORD: All right. You're adorable, Emilie .

    KOTB: Nice talking to you.

    GIFFORD: Thank you. Coming up tomorrow, we're going to take you down Memory Lane for a few good laughs. Have an awesome day, everybody.

    KOTB: Have a great Winesday . Bye , everybody.

    GIFFORD: Bye-bye. Thank you.

TODAY recipes
updated 12/29/2010 1:21:07 PM ET 2010-12-29T18:21:07

Can a Twinkie, a Ho Ho and a bag of Cheez Doodles be transformed into “gourmet” treats? They most certainly can, according to Emilie Baltz, author of “Junk Foodie: 51 Delicious Recipes for the Lowbrow Gourmand.” Here, Baltz shares her secrets for creating intriguing and oddly irresistible treats.

Recipe: Black Russian Twist (on this page) Recipe: Twinkie Napoleon (on this page) Recipe: Ho Ho Buche de Noël (on this page) Recipe: Cheddar-dusted popcorn (on this page)

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Recipe: Black Russian Twist

Ingredients
  • 1 small bottle Yoo-hoo
  • 1 small bottle Coca-Cola
  • 1 Twizzler
Preparation

Mix Yoo-hoo with Coke. Stir in ice.

Serve with Twizzler straw.

Recipe: Twinkie Napoleon

Ingredients
  • 1 pack potato chips
  • 1 Twinkie
Preparation

Cut open Twinkie and remove inside cream filling. Reserve.

Knead each Twinkie cake slice until it forms a doughy ball. Divide into 2. Roll out one dough ball into a thin layer. Crush all but a few potato chips into fine powder. Cover first Twinkie dough layer with a fine layer of crushed potato chips. Repeat and layer on top of each other to form a layer cake until Twinkie dough runs out.

Cut layers into 2 even rectangular pieces. Take reserved Twinkie cream and cover one side with a thin layer of cream. Top with other cut side so a layered cake is formed. Cover with remaining cream. Top with whole potato chip. Serve immediately.

Recipe: Ho Ho Buche de Noël

Ingredients
  • 1 Ho Ho
  • 2 Sour Puckerooms Gummies
  • 1 Nescafe packet
Preparation

Remove hard chocolate shell from Ho Ho, taking care to preserve the bottom half. Break the remainder of the shell into bark-shaped shards.

Place Puckerooms on top of the now deshelled Ho Ho. Decorate with bark-shaped shards. Place entire dessert into the reserved half of chocolate shell. Dust with Nescafe powder. Best served at room temperature.

Recipe: Cheddar-dusted popcorn

Ingredients
  • 1 bag Cheez Doodles
  • 1 bag Wise Popcorn (butter flavor)
  • 2 teaspoons water
Preparation

Open bag of Cheez Doodles slightly along top to let air escape. Crumple bag with Cheez Doodles inside, until contents are reduced to a fine powder. Open popcorn bag. Add Cheez Doodles powder and two small spoonfuls of water. Close popcorn bag and shake vigorously to coat. Open. Enjoy.

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