There’s something to be said for the overly sweet, sometimes plasticky and usually pretty dry taste and texture of your favorite pre-packaged pastry.
Twinkies a culinary delight? No, but you were pretty devastated when you heard they wouldn’t be in grocery stores anymore, weren’t you?
My favorite was always the Little Debbie’s oatmeal cream pies — why does the cream always leave a weird film in your mouth? — and Mrs. Baird’s apple and cherry hand pies, which are no where near as good as homemade pies.
They taste like crap compared to most things you can concoct in your own kitchen, but eating them brings back warm memories of being a child when sweet was sweet and you were just happy to have a treat from the corner store.
I often prefer to make my own homemade version of classic pre-packaged foods one gets from the grocery store — my pimento cheese spread just wasn’t quite right, my puddings never set and I’m still in search of the perfect recipe for ranch dressing.
My interest was piqued when I came across the cookbook, “Classic Snacks Made From Scratch,” by Casey Barber.
It has all of your favorite store-bought treats — sweet and salty — but without all the plastic wrap and ingredients you can’t pronounce. The book features recipes for goldfish crackers, jalapeno poppers, nacho cheese Doritos and even frozen treats like Klondike Bars and Pudding Pops.
I was in the mood to make something sweet and something definitely iconic. Yes, I could have made the classic Hostess chocolate cupcakes with the identifying swirl of white icing on the top. (Heck, a gorgeous picture of Barber’s version of these cupcakes is the primary photograph on the cover of her book).
But I decided to go orange instead and made the orange-flavored Hostess cupcakes — complete with icing swirl. Well, sort of.