iReport: Want to make Hostess cakes at home? Don't sweat faking the fakeness
November 19th, 2012
03:30 PM ET
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Casey Barber, a food writer in Clifton, New Jersey, says many Hostess products and their associated feelings of nostalgia are easy to conjure up in a home kitchen, but there's one thing she's never been able to replicate: "There's just a fakeness about them, a teeth rattling extra super-sugaryness that comes with the high fructose corn syrup that you're not going to get if you make a Twinkie or Devil Dog at home."

She made these raspberry "Zingers" - a snack cake sold under both the Dolly Madison and Hostess brand names - in October. The recipe is in her forthcoming book,"Classic Snacks Made from Scratch."

Barber advises:

As the author of the upcoming cookbook "Classic Snacks Made from Scratch," featuring homemade versions of everything from Twinkies to Zingers to Drake's fruit pies, I've suddenly become the unofficial grief counselor for friends mourning Hostess and wanting to make their own snacks to assuage the loss.

My advice, after making 70 different types of nostalgic treats, is this: if you're attempting homemade Hostess treats for the first time, don't sweat the specialty pans. Sure, Twinkies and Devil Dogs look great when made in a custom canoe pan, but they can be cut to fit from the loaf pans you've got rattling around your cupboard or even baked in a plain old muffin tin if you're desperate. (Sno-Balls, in fact, are nothing but regular Hostess Cupcakes turned upside-down and covered in marshmallow.)

And it's the taste that counts the most, right? Save your money for a candy thermometer: it's crucial for making the pillowy boiled-sugar whipped frosting that fills these classic snacks.

Whether or not the company actually shuts down, iReport would like you to bake your own Hostess treat. Please send us a photo of your homemade creation along with the recipe. And of course, tell us how it tastes! (If you're not the baking type, tell us about your fondest memories of the iconic snacks.)

The best photos could be used in a CNN Eatocracy challenge. Submit your pictures and stories via iReport

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Filed under: Baked Goods • Challenges • Cooking • How To • iReport • Junk • Make • Techniques & Tips • Twinkies

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