As a as rule, I blame my kids for (frequent) lapses in my ever-declining mental acuity - trust me - those
But how? Turning to Google, I shouted out loud when I discovered that there is indeed such a thing as a canoe pan that turns out perfectly shaped Twinkies. Will wonders never cease?! It took me about 5 seconds to get my credit card out, and for $20 I got the canoe pan AND the filling injector, plus free shipping. Shazzam!
Needless to say, I was more excited about this find than just about anything in recent memory, and quickly gave up trying to hide my giddy anticipation, despite a lot of eye rolling and "there she goes again" comments from the Riff-Raff who live in my house. Even my sweet shepherd, who supports my every endeavor with unfailing loyalty, looked at me sideways and shook his handsome head.
Click on the link for ha how-to video, courtesy of my friends at How2Heroes:
Finally, this afternoon I brought a few of these over to my talented friend and artist Kate, who runs the beautiful Kamala boutique. Taking one bite, Kate promptly declared that these must be eaten while naked, preferably fed to you. So there you have it...plans for the weekend.
Twinkilicious Twinkies - (Adapted from Simple Math Bakery)
Makes 24 Cakes
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons corn starch
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup canola oil
3/4 cup cold water
1 tsp. vanilla
7 eggs, separated
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray a canoe pan (you can use muffin tins as well) - be sure to spray well because the batter is very sticky.
Using a hand mixer, beat the egg whites until they are very stiff. They should hold their peak when removed from the bowl. Set aside.
Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, combine the flour, corn starch, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk together or beat on low speed for a minute, until combined. Add oil, water, vanilla extract, and egg yolks. Beat on medium speed until smooth.
Using a rubber spatula, gently scoop 1/3 of the egg whites into the batter. Fold the egg whites in by slicing the the spatula through the center of the bowl, gently scooping batter from the bottom and wrapping it over the top. Turn the bowl 1/4 turn and repeat until the egg whites are barely visible. Repeat this process with each remaining 1/3 of the egg whites.
Spoon the batter into the pan, filling the wells 2/3 full. Bake for 8-12 minutes, or until cakes are gold brown and just starting to pull away from the sides of the pan. Cakes will puff up when cooking, but will settle when they cool. Cool cakes in the pan for 5 minutes, then gently remove from the pan using a rubber spatula. All them to cool on a rack, flat side down.
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
In a small saucepan, heat the flour and milk over medium heat, stirring constantly. When the mixture becomes a paste (about 5 minutes), remove from heat and allow to cool for 1 minute. Stir in the vanilla extract. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface to prevent a skin from forming, and set aside to cool completely.
Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the cooled milk mixture and beat for 5 minutes, until smooth and creamy.
Use the pastry filler that comes with the pan (or a pastry bag fitted with a round tip) to fill the cakes. Place the tip 1/2 way into the cake and squeeze gently. Holding the cake in your palm while filling it will allow you to feel when it is full. Fill each cake 3 times to ensure that each bite contains filling.
Final Assessment: There are dozens of Twinkie recipes available, but my favorite comes from Simple Math Bakery. In particular, I liked that the filling used butter rather than vegetable shortening, which certainly has it's place in cooking, but tends to make frosting slimy. And, of course, there are no chemicals or additives in this homemade version. Just real, honest to goodness Twinkiliciousness.