November 02, 2005


About six months ago, I contemplated doing a story on the 75th anniversary of Twinkies. Every other food section in America was doing it, I figured. Why not mine?

While trying to figure out how to do it, I cruised on over to the Hostess Web site in search of material. Once there, I clicked on the link to the Twinkie Shop. Lo and behold I witnessed an object I had to have:


A Hostess Snack Oven in the shape of a cupcake.

Roughly three weeks and $19.95 (plus shipping) later, it arrived at my desk at work.


I didn't really show too many people I had it. At the time, I wasn't in the frame of mind to bake snack cakes at my desk. It was a fun idea and it made me happy to buy it, but once it arrived, the allure had worn off. I tucked it under my desk and figured I'd stash it away until my appetite for frivolity returned.


Then a couple weeks ago, I told Rommie it was under my desk.

It was all she wrote.

Before I knew it, we had that bad boyout of the box and we were warming up the lightbulb inside, getting ready to make us some snack cakes.


We didn't really have any baking utensils or bowls, so we did the best we could with some Styrofoam cups and plastic knives. Hostess provided the baking pans and the mixes for the cake and icing, but they boned me on the Twinkie part of the promise; only mix for cupcakes was included in the box.


Regardless, we poured the mixture into small cupcake and Twinkie-shaped forms. The smell as they baked filled the newsroom.


The directions called for putting icing on top of one of the cupcakes and then placing another on top to double its size. But since there were two of us, Rommie and I decided to just adorn each one with filling and icing on top.


As I said, we lacked the proper utencils, so a Ziplog baggie with a hole in the bottom had to be improvised for a pastry icing bag.

Actually, it worked quite well.


I'm not sure if someone on the Hostess staff was smoking some incredibly potent Sao Paolo North Slope tripweed the day they designed the kit, but they grossly overestimated the size of the looping icing form for the cupcakes.


The improvised pastry bag worked quite well on the Twinkie-shaped cupcakes, giving us plenty of room to adorn them with icing.


After a nibble of cupcake, Rommie posited on the treat's flavor qualities and found them not to be lacking.

Co-workers belittled their size and mocked the results of our baking. One rude colleague even poked her finger into one of them as an insult, not unlike the way you'd poke a dead bird by the side of the road with a stick.

They derided us as "defensive" when we attempted to defend the desserts' honor. We chalked it up to their lack of access to such delicacies and a deficit of forethought to provide their own baked goods.

Jealousy never shows a pretty face.


This photo captures the only moment in my existence on this planet that I failed to immediately engulf something this sweet and delicious. I think it would even be fair to say that I savored the experience.

And the world suddenly tilted off its axis.


Emboldened by our experiment, we went to the grocery store in search of other items we could cook in the oven. There has to be, we guessed, more out there in the culinary spectrum just waiting to be cooked.

Next episode (pictured above): Nachos and quesadillas.

Editor's note: I am taking requests for what you would like to see cooked in the Cupcake Oven.

Posted by Jeff at November 2, 2005 07:24 AM

I am delurking to say "holy all that is moly" this is awesome. I want one.

Posted by: Poetical at November 2, 2005 10:46 AM

Jeezus. I have envied your job on MANY occasions, but never more than now.

As for a suggestion of what to bake, I'll be scouring my cookbooks and will get back to you.


Posted by: Margi at November 2, 2005 12:52 PM

clearly the next dish should be a 'sloppy jose' (a sloppy joe made while wearing a sombrero)

Posted by: jolie at November 2, 2005 09:34 PM

Ooh, Jolie is on the right track.

To that end, Velveeta and Wonder bread grilled cheese sandwiches while wearing the mullet wig!?

Posted by: Margi at November 3, 2005 03:38 PM

you have the best job in the world. god bless journalism.

Posted by: cessna at November 3, 2005 11:34 PM
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