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With the bankruptcy of Hostess Cakes (again! this isn't the first time, it's the 4th - will they ever learn?), it's time to bring out the copycat recipes for making your own snack cakes.

Not only are the home made versions of the snack cakes cheaper, they are healthier and tastier. Surprisingly enough, they also don't take long to make.  Some of them do rely on buying items already made up if you don't have the specialized equipment (like the wafer sheets for making Little Debbie-style Nutty Bars), and some use cake mixes, but any recipe using a cake mix can be made totally from scratch.

You do need a few pieces of specialized equipment to make your own copycat Twinkies, Zingers, Oatmeal Creme Pies, Nutty Bars, SnoBalls, Ho Hos, Ding Dongs, and more.

The equipment you will need include such standards as a stand mixer.  Kitchenaid is the top of the line model, but a nice Hamilton Beach works just as well.

If you want to make the mini donettes, you'll need a donut pan.

For Suzy Q's, you'll need a mini loaf pan set.

For making Twinkies, Zingers, and Devil Dogs, a canoe baking pan is very useful.

For making SnoBalls, the half sphere pan is useful.

For making Ho Hos, you'll need a baking sheet.

For making Ding Dongs (also known as Ring Dings and KooKoo Kakes), you'll need an over-sized muffin pan or a large round cookie cutter.

Polyethylene or vinyl gloves


2 teaspoon sized dough scoop

electric mixer (if you don't have a stand mixer) with a whisk attachment

For making Nutty Bars, these wafer sheets make them much easier. To size the sheets down - score and break them carefully. Or you could buy a pizzelle iron or an ice cream cone iron.  When you make the wafers fresh, you can cut them while warm into the right sizes. Matzo wafers also work well but don't have the pretty waffle pattern.

The usual baking gear:  spatulas, mixing bowls, mixing spoons, whisks, parchment paper, waxed paper, cooling racks, cupcake pans, cookie sheets, oven, stove or microwave for melting chocolate, double boiler or stacking pans for melting chocolate.

And the usual ingredients: marshmallow fluff (or creme, depending on the part of the country you live in), dark cocoa powder, semi sweet chocolate chips, butter, all-purpose flour, salt, kosher salt, eggs, baking powder, baking soda, corn syrup (if you're allergic to corn, substitute tapioca syrup), honey, Nutella, peanut butter, vanilla, molasses, large marshmallows, Rice Krispies, granulated sugar, powdered sugar, brown sugar, almond extract, milk, shredded coconut, food coloring, raspberry Jell-O mix, plain gelatin, shortening, white cake mix, yellow cake mix, devil's food cake mix, brewed coffee, buttermilk, sour cream, whipping cream, Hershey's syrup, cornstarch (and again, if allergic to corn, substitute tapioca starch), cinnamon, ginger, rolled oats, dried apples, mace, caramels, Pam or Baker's Joy spray (or the equivalent home made baking spray).

Now, the part you've been waiting for:  the Snack Cake Recipes!

We start with Twinkies and their variants:  Zingers and Chocodiles


4 egg whites
One 16-ounce box golden pound cake mix
2/3 cup water

2 teaspoons very hot water
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups marshmallow creme (one 7-ounce jar)
1/2 cup shortening
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

You will need a cream canoe baking pan (or foil and a round spice jar to shape the "canoes"), a cake decorator or pastry bag, and a chopstick.

Preheat oven to 325ºF.

If using the foil: fold each piece of aluminum foil in half twice. Wrap the folded foil around the spice bottle to create a mold. Leave the top of the mold open for pouring in the batter. Make 10 of these molds and arrange them on a cookie sheet or in a shallow pan. Grease the inside of each mold with a light coating of non-stick spray (Pam or Baker's Joy).

Ignore the directions on the box of cake mix. Instead, beat the egg whites until stiff. In a separate bowl combine cake mix with water and beat until thoroughly blended (about 2 minutes). Fold egg whites into the cake batter and slowly combine until completely mixed.

Pour the batter into the molds, filling each one about 3/4 of an inch. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until the cake is golden brown and a toothpick stuck in the center comes out clean.

For the filling, combine salt with the hot water in a small bowl and stir until salt is dissolved. Let this mixture cool. Combine the marshmallow creme, shortening, powdered sugar and vanilla in a medium bowl and mix well with an electric mixer on high speed until fluffy. Add the salt solution to the filling mixture and combine.
When the cakes are done and cooled, use a skewer or chopstick to make three holes in the bottom of each one. Move the stick around inside of each cake to create space for the filling.

Using a cake decorator or pastry bag, inject each cake with filling through all three holes.

Makes 8 - 10 These freeze well.

For Zingers:

Make the Twinkie, then

For Zingers:
1 (3oz.) pkg. raspberry Jell-O
2 c. boiling water
2 c. shredded sweetened flake coconut
2 - 3 tablespoons cornstarch or tapioca starch

Once that is completed, place the prepared Jell-O into a low baking dish or other container and roll the cake to cover completely. Move quickly to avoid completely soaking the cake -  you want it to soak in a little bit to make the Twinkie reddish. Placing the coconut in a similar dish, immediately roll each cake in the prepared coconut and place on the rack to set for approximately 2 hours. This lets the cake settle and “cure” for a bit.

Makes 10 These freeze well

Chocodiles (chocolate filled Twinkie in chocolate ganache)

2 teaspoons very hot water
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups marshmallow creme (one 7-ounce jar)
3/4 cup shortening
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1/3 cup dark cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

For the filling, combine salt with the hot water in a small bowl and stir until salt is dissolved. Let this mixture cool. Combine the marshmallow creme, shortening, powdered sugar and vanilla in a medium bowl and mix well with an electric mixer on high speed until fluffy. Add the salt solution to the filling mixture and combine.

12 ounces semi sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup whipping cream

Chop the chocolate chips into flakes - the thinner the better. You could pulse them in a food processor, but that tends to heat the chocolate and it melts - not good. Chop with a sharp serrated bladed knife for the best results.  Heat the whipping cream to just below boiling - it should form bubbles at the side and make steam - around 180ºF if you use a thermometer.  Stir the hot cream slowly into the chopped chocolate - you don't want to whip it, you want to melt all the chocolate into the cream evenly.  It will get glossy when it's ready.

Make Twinkies.  Fill the Twinkies with the chocolate filling.  Dip the cold twinkies into the ganache to coat and let them drip set on mesh set over a baking sheet lined (you can catch the drippings and gently reheat in a microwave on low to re-dip other things, like mini-marshmallows or pretzels). These freeze well.

Chocolate Zingers

Duncan Hines Devils' Food Cake Mix
1 1/2 c water
1/2 c oil
3 eggs

2 tsp hot water
1/4 tsp salt
2 c marshmallow fluff
1/2 c shortening or butter
1/3 c powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

1 c powdered sugar
dash salt
2 tbs shortening
1/4 c Hershey's syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla

Make like Twinkies, in a cream canoe pan or using the foil molds.  Make the cake mix, fill the canoes about an inch deep, and bake at 375ºF for 20 minutes.

Mix the filling in the same way as for Twinkies: For the filling, combine salt with the hot water in a small bowl and stir until salt is dissolved. Let this mixture cool. Combine the marshmallow creme, shortening, powdered sugar and vanilla in a medium bowl and mix well with an electric mixer on high speed until fluffy. Add the salt solution to the filling mixture and combine.
When the cakes are done and cooled, use a skewer or chopstick to make three holes in the bottom of each one. Move the stick around inside of each cake to create space for the filling.

Using a cake decorator or pastry bag, inject each cake with filling through all three holes.

Cream the shortening, salt, and powdered sugar together.  Stir in the syrup and vanilla to get a nice, thickish frosting.  Frost the flat side with the holes and use a fork to make the grooves in the frosting to resemble a chocolate Zinger. These freeze well.



5 eggs
2 yolks
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup clarified butter, warm

3 cups confectioners' sugar
1 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 to 2 tablespoons heavy cream

12 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup vegetable oil

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

To make the Cake: Butter a jelly roll pan and line it with parchment paper; then butter the paper to assure release. The first buttering keeps the paper in place when you add the batter.

Bring a saucepan of water to a simmer.

In a metal mixing bowl, combine the eggs, yolks, sugar, vanilla in a bowl and whisk briefly. Set the bowl over the simmering water and stir until warm and the sugar looks dissolved. If using a stand mixer, attach the bowl to the standing mixer fitted with a whisk, and whip until light and fluffy, about 6 minutes, otherwise use a whisk attachment on a hand mixer or a whisk and hand whisk it light and fluffy - if you do this by hand a lot, you will develop really strong arms!

Sift together the flour, cocoa, and baking powder 3 times. This is important - the cake won't have the same texture of a HoHo if you don't.

Remove the bowl from the mixer (if using a stand mixer) and sift in the flour mixture, little by little, until incorporated. Drizzle in the clarified butter, while folding the batter.

Immediately pour the batter into the prepared pans dividing equally and smooth the tops with a spatula. Bake until lightly browned and it starts to pull away from the edges of the pan, about 14 to 16 minutes.

Remove the cakes from the oven and let sit in the pan for 1 minute. Run a knife along the edge to release the cake then flip it out onto parchment paper. Brush the paper (the one you lined the pan with) with water and let soak for 2 minutes. Peel it off the cake. Trim dry edges from the cake. Let cool covered with plastic wrap.

To make the Filling: In the bowl of a standing mixer, combine the sugar and butter and mix on low speed until well blended; then increase speed to medium and beat for another 3 minutes. Add vanilla and cream and continue to beat on medium speed for 1 minute more, adding more cream for spreading consistency, if needed.

Spread the sponge cakes with a thin layer of the filling, leaving a 1/4-inch space at the far edge. Roll the cake tightly on the long side until you have rolled a 1 1/2-inch thick log. Cut the log off from the remaining sheet of cake and place seam side-down. Repeat with the remaining cake. Chill the logs for 30 minutes; then cut into 2 1/2-inch sections.

To make the Glaze: Melt the 2 ingredients together in the top of a double boiler or a bowl set over barely simmering water, stirring occasionally. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. One at a time, gently drop the cake rolls into the hot chocolate. Lift out with a fork and let excess chocolate drip back into the bowl. Place on the cookie sheet and let set at room temperature until the coating is firm, about 1 to 2 hours. These freeze well.

Hostess Cupcakes

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1-1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1-1/2 cups sugar
3 large eggs

4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla exrtact
3 Tablespoons heavy cream
1 cup marshmallow creme

6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Decorator Icing:
1 stick unsalted butter
1 1/2 – 2 tablespoons milk
2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350ºF grease and flour 24 cupcake cups (2 pans).

Combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk to blend. Combine the buttermilk and the vanilla in a measuring cup.

Beat the butter and the sugar in a medium mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium high speed until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the flour mixture alternating with the buttermilk mixture, starting and ending with the flour mixture.

Divide the batter between the prepared muffin pans. Bake 18-20 minutes or until a tester comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

While cupcakes are cooling, make the filling. Using a mixer, cream the butter until light and fluffy. Beat in 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar. Add the vanilla and 1 tablespoon heavy cream and beat until smooth. Alternating between batches, beat in the remaining 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar and 2 tablespoons heavy cream. Beat in the marshmallow creme. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Place the chocolate in a stainless-steel bowl. Heat the cream and 1 tablespoon butter in a saucepan until just boiling, then pour over the chocolate. Let stand for 5 minutes. Whisk until smooth. Add 2 teaspoons vanilla; let stand until cool but still glossy and liquid.

To Assemble:
Spoon the filling into a pastry bag with a medium star tip. Insert the tip into the center of each cupcake top; fill until the cupcake is heavier (do not overfill). It’s OK if some of the filling peeks out, it will be covered by the ganache. (I thought this part would be complicated and I was worried, but it was fine. I had Mike test one of the cupcakes to make sure I had the right amount of filling in it.) Spoon a little ganache on each cupcake and lightly spread with an offset spatula or a knife. Chill for at least 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the icing:
Using a mixer, beat the remaining 1 stick butter, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla, milk and confectioners’ sugar until smooth, adding more milk if needed. Spoon into a pastry bag with a small tip. Pipe onto the cupcakes to decorate in the classic Hostess cupcake loops.

*Makes 20-24 cupcakes. Store in the refrigerator. Can be frozen

Ding Dongs (aka Ring Dings, KooKoo Kakes) (Zebra Cakes are made with a white cake mix and white ganache)

For the Cake
3 ounces fine-quality semisweet chocolate
1 1/2 cups hot brewed coffee
3 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
1 1/4 tsp salt
3 eggs
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups well-shaken buttermilk
3/4 tsp vanilla

For the Filling
2 egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
2 Tbsp water
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

For the Ganache
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
12 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped into 1/2-ounce pieces (for a white ganache, use white chocolate chips)

For the Cake
Preheat oven to 300°F. and grease pans. Line bottoms of 2 10-inch round cake pans with wax paper and grease paper. If you don't have 10-inch cake pans, you can make 2 9-inch cake pans and a dozen cupcakes.

Finely chop chocolate and in a bowl combine with hot coffee. Let mixture stand, stirring occasionally, until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.

Into a large bowl sift together sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In another large bowl with an electric mixer beat eggs until thickened slightly and lemon colored. Slowly add oil, buttermilk, vanilla, and melted chocolate mixture to eggs, beating until combined well. Add sugar mixture and beat on medium speed until just combined well.

Divide batter between pans and bake in middle of oven until a tester inserted in center comes out clean, 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes.

Cool layers completely in pans on racks. Run a thin knife around edges of pans and invert layers onto racks. Carefully remove wax paper and cool layers completely. Cake layers may be made 1 day ahead and kept, wrapped well in plastic wrap, at room temperature.

For the filling
Combine filling ingredients with a pinch of salt in a metal bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water and beat with a handheld electric mixer at high speed until filling is thick and fluffy, 6 to 7 minutes. Remove bowl from heat and continue to beat until slightly cooled. Use filling the day it is made.

For the Ganache
Heat the heavy cream and the butter in a 3-quart saucepan over medium high heat. Bring almost to a boil.

Place the semisweet chocolate in a 3-quart stainless steel bowl. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and allow to stand for 5 minutes. Stir until smooth.

To assemble the Ding Dongs
Once the cake layers have cooled completely, use a small round cookie cutter to cut small circles of cake out of the layers. Enjoy the scraps or save them for cake balls.
Using the cone method, scoop out a small portion of cake from each circle. Fill with the filling and replace top of cake.

Using a pastry brush or spoon, cover individual cakes with ganache. Allow ganache to completely set up before serving. These freeze well.

Suzy Q's

Devil’s Food Cakes
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup cocoa powder
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon table salt
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
4 eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup strong coffee
3/4 cup water
1 cup milk, room temperature

Suzy Q Filling
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 tablespoons salted butter, cold
4 tablespoons shortening, cold
1/2 cup granulated sugar

Preparing the Suzy Q cakes. Preheat oven to 350° F. Spray several mini-loaf pans or two cupcake pans with nonstick cooking spray. Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt until combined and fluffy. I typically triple sift dry ingredients just to make sure everything is happy.

In a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, use an electric mixer to cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy; about 4 minutes.

With mixer running on low speed, add the eggs, one at a time. Scrape down sides of the bowl and mix well after each addition. Add the vanilla extract to the butter mixture and mix well. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

In a medium bowl, combine the coffee, water, and milk. Set aside. Add about one-third of the flour mixture to the batter. Beat on low speed just until combined.
Scrape sides of the bowl. Add about one-third of the liquid mixture and beat until combined. Continue adding the remaining flour and liquid alternately, beating just until combined after each addition. Scrape down sides of the bowl.

Fill the prepared pans by gently pouring the batter into each pan; fill until there is about 1/2 to 3/4-inch batter in the bottom of each pan. Bake Suzy Q cakes for 35-40 minutes; or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove pans from oven and transfer cakes to a wire rack to completely cool before filling with frosting.

Preparing the Suzy Q Filling. In a small saucepan, cook flour and milk over medium heat until they form a paste. Stir constantly and don’t let the mixture turn brown. Remove from heat and allow flour mixture to cool for 1 minute. Add vanilla extract and stir until smooth. Gently press a piece of plastic wrap over the surface of the frosting paste to prevent it from forming a skin.

In a large mixing bowl (or bowl of a stand mixer), beat butter, shortening and sugar until fluffy. Scrape sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula and add the cooled flour mixture. Continue to mix on medium-high for 5 minutes, or until smooth and creamy.

Filling the Suzy Qs. Transfer each cake to a cutting board and use a serrated knife to cut each cake in half lengthwise. Use a knife or small offset spatula to spread the filling across the bottom half of each cake. Place the top half of each cake back on the frosting coated bottom cake. Store Suzy Q’s tightly covered at room temperature for up to 4 days. They can also be frozen.

Cinnamon Crumble Coffee Cakes

2 cups flour
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons Cinnamon, Ground
1 cup (2 sticks) cold butter, cut into chunks
1 package (18 1/4 ounces) white cake mix
1 egg
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted
1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract

Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix flour, sugars and cinnamon in large bowl. Cut in cold butter with pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside.

Beat cake mix, egg, sour cream, melted butter and vanilla in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed about 1 minute or just until mixed.

Spread evenly in greased and floured 13x9-inch baking pan. Sprinkle evenly with topping mixture.

Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until cake pulls away from sides of pan. Cool on wire rack. Cut into squares to serve. Can be frozen.


4 egg whites
1/2 cup butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Rind of 1 lemon, finely grated
2 cups sifted cake flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
2/3 cup milk
2 to 3 cups sweetened shredded coconut

1 (16 ounce) package powdered sugar
1 (7 ounce) jar JET-PUFFED Marshmallow Creme
1/4 cup margarine or butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 to 2 tablespoons milk

Heat the oven to 350ºF. Butter and flour muffin tins or dome shaped baking molds and set aside.

Whip the egg whites in a clean bowl until stiff but not dry and place in the refrigerator while you make the rest of the batter. Cream the butter and add the sugar. Continue mixing to blend well. Add the vanilla extract, almond extract and lemon rind and mix well.

Sift the flour 3 times with the baking powder then add it to the butter mixture alternately with the milk in 3 additions. Fold in the whites and pour the batter into the molds, filling about 3/4 of the way up. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until batter is firm to the touch in the center.

Frosting: Beat sugar, Marshmallow Creme, margarine or butter and vanilla extract with electric mixer at medium speed, beating in milk as needed to desired frosting consistency.

Place the coconut in a bowl and add 1 drop of red or green food coloring for a pale color. Toss until food coloring is well mixed in and the coconut is the desired color. Frost the top and sides of the cakes and dip/roll in coconut to make them look like snowballs.

Makes 8 Sno Balls. These kinda freeze, but I don't like what it does to the marshmallow frosting.  I won't freeze them which is why I make such small batches.  They'll keep a week in the refrigerator.

I know Little Debbie is still around and all, but their treats have gotten too expensive for me to buy, and I really liked the Nutty Bars and the Star Crunches and the Oatmeal Creme Pies and the Fudge Rounds, so here are my versions of them:
Homemade Nutty Bars

6 plain, thin matzo sheets, German wafers, or homemade ice cream cone wafers
1 cup creamy peanut butter

4 ounces good quality semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
1 ounce whipping cream

Gently score and then break the matzo sheets into 4 long pieces, then score and break each of those pieces in half cross-wise. In a perfect world you'd get 8 even sections from 1 matzo sheet. I am not so lucky and shattered many pieces of matzo to get all my rectangles.

Arrange similar sizes of rectangles into stacks of three. (I made 8 stacks.)

Heat the peanut butter for a few seconds so that it is spreadable but not runny (if you overheat it, allow to cool a bit before moving forward). Have a 3-stack of matzo rectangles ready. Using a knife or off-set spatula, smooth a layer of peanut butter on one cracker, add another cracker, another layer of peanut butter, and top with the third cracker. Place the stack on a parchment-lined sheet pan and continue with the remaining crackers.

Chop the chocolate into fine pieces. Heat the cream until nearly boiling, then stir into the chocolate until evenly melted.

Use a pastry brush or off-set spatula to smooth a thin layer of chocolate over the top and around the sides of the stacks. Chill the bars until the chocolate has hardened, at least 30 minutes. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

Or - using wafer sheets from Germany:

4 wafer sheets
peanut butter (enough to spread thin on 3 wafers sheets - or use Nutella!)

12 ounces chocolate chips
3 ounces whipping cream

Spread a thin layer of peanut butter on one wafer sheet. Place another wafer sheet over peanut butter and repeat, until you end in a wafer on top (3 or 4 layers - your choice.  I usually do 3 of wafers with 2 layers of peanut butter or Nutella between them).

Chop the chocolate very fine. Heat the cream until nearly boiling. Stir the cream into the chocolate gently until it's evenly melted.

Cut wafer sheets into pie shapes. Dip each nutty bar into the chocolate, spread thin.
Allow to set. These do not freeze well at all.

Oatmeal Creme Pies

Don't be intimidated by all the ingredients

Oatmeal Cookie part:
8 ounces all purpose flour
4 ounces rolled oats
1/2 ounce cocoa powder
2 ounces dried apple rings or chunks
3 ounces unsalted butter
2 1/4 ounces safflower oil
7 ounces sugar
1 1/2 ounce molasses
3 ounces corn or tapioca syrup
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon mace
1 egg
2 ounces milk

Marshmallow creme filling
1 1/2 teaspoons gelatin powder
2 1/2 ounces water, divided
1 1/2 ounces corn syrup or honey or tapioca syrup
1/4 ounce molasses
4 1/2 ounces sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 ounce unsalted butter

Preheat the oven to 350°F and line two cookie sheets with parchment; set aside.

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, oats, cocoa and apple rings. Process them continuously for 2-4 minutes, or until no distinguishable oat flakes or apple bits remain. Don't pulse, they'll clump and won't break down properly. The mixture should look mealy, but uniformly textured. Set aside.

Cream together the butter together with the oil, sugar, molasses, corn syrup, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices on medium speed until thoroughly combined and lightened, almost fluffy; about two minutes. Add the egg and beat for another minute. Reduce the speed to low, add the dry ingredients all at once, then drizzle in the milk. Turn off the mixer, scrape the bowl thoroughly with a rubber spatula and then mix another 30 seconds to combine.

Use a 2 teaspoon dough scoop to portion the dough, leveling each scoop by scraping it against the edge of the bowl. Portion the dough 15 to a cookie sheet, giving the cookies ample room as they will spread a lot during baking.

Bake for about 8 minutes, or until the cookies have puffed and set around the edges, but are still steaming. They will firm significantly as they cool; so if you bake them until they look perfectly done, they will wind up crispy, which is fine if that's what you want, but for Oatmeal Creme Pies, you want the cookies to be so soft they can be folded in half without breaking. When in doubt, err on the side of under-baking these cookies.

While the cookies cool, make up the “creme” filling.

The filling can be made with all corn syrup, but as I’ve experimented with the recipe, I’ve found using just a touch of molasses gives it an extraordinary flavor, and the corn syrup can even be replaced with honey for a much more complex flavor. Yes, it's a little different from the original, but I like it much better.

To make the filling, combine gelatin with 1 1/4 ounces water in the bowl of a stand mixer; mix with a fork. Set aside.

In a very small pot, combine the remaining water, corn syrup, molasses, sugar and salt over medium heat. Stir gently until the sugar dissolves. Cook until the syrup registers 240°F on a candy thermometer.

When it reaches 240°F remove the pot from the heat and cool it to 210°F. Once cooled, add the sugar syrup to the gelatin mixture and, using the whisk attachment on your mixer, mix on low speed until the gelatin dissolves. Increase the speed to medium high and whip until light and fluffy and the bowl feels cool to the touch.

Add in the vanilla and the butter and whip well, until it all comes together. Transfer the mixture to a pastry bag fitted with a small, plain tip. Pipe a quarter sized dollop of filling onto half the cookies, then sandwich together with the remaining cookies. I don't think these freeze well, but others do, so it's up to you.  I prefer them fresh and will share them around when I make them. They really aren't as difficult to make as it sounds.

Fudge Rounds

Cookie Part
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1  1/4 cups all purpose flour
6 tablespoons dark cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

Make the filling:
1/4 cup shortening
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons dark cocoa powder
2 pinches of salt
1  1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons warm water

For the chocolate stripes:
1/4 cup milk chocolate chips (1  1/2 ounces)
1/2 teaspoon canola or safflower oil

Preheat oven to 350ºF.  Cream together the butter and sugar in the bowl of a mixer.  Once it is light and fluffy (about 2 minutes), add the egg and vanilla and mix well until creamy.  In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt and whisk together.  Add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture and beat just until combined.  

Scoop 20 rounded balls of dough onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper.  Bake for 9 minutes.  Let cool on baking sheets for a couple minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.  Makes 20 cookies/10 sandwich cookies.

Beat together the shortening and butter until smooth.  Add the vanilla and mix well.  Add the cocoa powder and powdered sugar and beat just until combined.  Add water and beat on medium high for at least 2 minutes until light and fluffy.  When cookies are cooled, put the filling in a piping bag (or plastic zip top bag with the corner snipped off) and top half the cookies with a dollop of filling.  Press cookies on top of each to make sandwich cookies.  

Melt together in a microwave safe bowl in 15 second intervals until smooth.  
If you don't have an icing bag with a fine piping nozzle, put the melted chocolate in a plastic zip top bag and snip a little corner off and drizzle on top of each sandwich cookie.  Refrigerate until chocolate is set.  These freeze OK, but are better fresh.

Star Crunch

for the crunchy centers:
20 caramels, unwrapped
12 large marshmallows
2 tablespoons butter, divided
1 teaspoon vanilla
Pinch of salt
3-4 cups of Rice Krispie cereal

For the chocolate coating
12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
3 ounces whipping cream

Melt caramels and 1 tablespoon butter in a double boiler until you can stir them with a spatula.  Add vanilla and salt.  Add marshmallows to caramel mixture, and allow to melt.  Fold gently with spatula to maintain fluffiness.  Fold in as many Rice Krispies as the caramel-marshmallow mixture can adequately coat.  Remove from heat.

Put on a pair of gloves, then put a pair of vinyl food service gloves over that and spray them with Pam or Baker's Joy. You do this because the Rice Krispie/caramel mix is hot and this will protect your hands when you shape the mix into small "pucks".  Work quick, before they cool and harden, and place them on parchment paper or waxed paper to cool.

Chop the chocolate very fine. Heat the cream and remaining butter in the double boiler until the butter is melted and it's nearly boiling.  Stir gently together until evenly melted.

Using chopsticks, dip the caramel-krispie centers into the chocolate one-at-a-time.  Set on the parchment paper or waxed paper elevated on a cooling rack to cool and firm up. These do not freeze well.

And then just because I also like these but they aren't sold in my part of the country:
Peanut Butter Kandy Kakes by TastyKakes

4 eggs, beaten to a lemon color
1 cup milk
2 tbsp. oil
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 tsp. baking powder

For the topping:
1 1/2 cups peanut butter

For the coating:
8 ounces chocolate
2 ounces whipping cream

Combine eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla. Set aside. Combine flour, sugar, and baking powder. Mix the 2 mixtures until blended. Bake in greased jelly roll pan (10×15) at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. When cake is still hot, drop peanut butter in blobs, spread over cake evenly. Freeze for 45 minutes or more. Once frozen using a circle cookie cutter or any desired shape, cut out the cakes.

Chop the chocolate very fine and stir into the cream.  Melt in the top portion of a double boiler. chocolate over a double boiler. Dip the peanut butter coated cakes into melted chocolate and let cakes cool on some wax paper. These freeze well.

TastyKakes Butterscotch Krimpets

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
5 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
2 1/2 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk

1/3 cup butterscotch chips
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon milk (if necessary)

Preheat the oven to 350°F, grease and flour a 9 x 13-inch pan.

For the cake: Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl at least once. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well between additions. Add the extracts and mix to combine.

Whisk the cake flour, baking powder and salt together, and add to the butter mixture alternating with the milk .Pour the batter into the pan, spread it out, and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the top is springy to the touch and a pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, loosen the sides of the cake from the pan. Place a piece of parchment and a cooling rack on top of the pan, and turn everything upside to finish cooling completely.

For the frosting:

Put the butterscotch chips and half of the butter in a heatproof bowl, and melt together over low heat or at low power in the microwave. Stir until smooth.

Put the other half of the butter in a mixing bowl with half of the confectioner's sugar. cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy (or fluffy-ish, anyway), then add the melted chip mixture. Add the rest of the sugar and beat again until you have a smooth frosting. Add the milk if necessary to make the frosting a spreadable consistency.

Spread the frosting evenly over the inverted cake. To invoke the traditional Krimpet waviness, use a cake comb or fork to put waves in the frosting. Cut the cake in thirds lengthwise, then in nine rows of one and half-inch strips to make 27 pieces.

I like to use the Twinkie Filling and inject it into these cakes because they are a bit dry - unless I plan on eating them with hot tea or cocoa. These freeze well.

And then, because I love Fritos and also can't afford them any more:
Home Made Fritos/Corn Chips

1/2 cup stone-ground or other fine cornmeal (do not use whole grain)
3/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more as needed
1 teaspoon olive oil or vegetable oil
Vegetable oil for frying, optional.

Heat the oven to 375ºF. Cut 2 pieces of parchment the same size as a baking sheet and set aside. Bring about the water to a boil.

In a small bowl, whisk together the cornmeal and salt. Add 1/3 cup of the boiling water and mix with a fork until smooth. Add 1 teaspoon oil and mix again. The batter should be thick and yet slightly runny; if necessary, add more boiling water 1 teaspoon at a time for the desired consistency.

Place one sheet of parchment on a work surface, and scrape the batter into the center. Top with the second sheet of parchment and gently roll out the batter to about 1/3-inch thick.

Transfer the parchment and rolled batter to the baking sheet. Remove the top sheet of parchment and score the batter into small rectangles. Bake until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Allow to cool and break apart. Sprinkle with additional salt, if desired, and serve. Or, fry the chips as described below.

Set aside a plate lined with a paper towel. Fill a small skillet with about 1 1/2 inches vegetable oil. Place over medium heat and allow to heat for 1 to 2 minutes. Test with a small piece of a chip; it should sink to the bottom of the pan, sizzle, float to the top and turn pale golden brown in about 30 seconds. Fry half the chips, using a metal strainer to transfer to the paper towel to drain. Repeat with remaining chips. Sprinkle with salt, if desired, and serve.

You can make the "fritos" any size you want, and to shape them into "scoops", after you cut them, give them a bit of a tug to stretch the dough a bit.  "Scoop" type chips are best fried in a bit more oil because they are bigger and will curve because of the stretching.

And there you have it - home made snacks.  
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