KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Marking 85 years since the Twinkie debuted, Hostess Brands LLC has introduced The Twinkies Cookbook, Twinkies 85th Anniversary Edition, a collection featuring more than 50 recipes created by Twinkie aficionados and notable chefs throughout the country.
Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, the cookbook’s concoctions include Twinkling Turkey, Deep-Fried, Bacon-Wrapped, Chocolate-Covered Twinkies and Chicken & Winkies.
The book debuts two years after Hostess Brands mounted what it called “The Sweetest Comeback in the History of Ever,” returning to store shelves following a groundswell of fan support after a bankruptcy temporarily took the snack cakes out of stores.
Apollo Global Management and C. Dean Metropoulos & Co. bought the snack maker out of bankruptcy for $410 million in March 2013
“Hostess is a brand rooted in innovation, and nowhere is that spirit more embodied than in the Twinkie, the crème filled, sponge cake sensation that has set the gold standard for snack cakes for 85 years,” said Ellen Copaken, senior director of marketing at Hostess Brands. “We thank the legions of fans who made their voices heard to pave the way for the return of the iconic Hostess brand and especially those who channeled their creativity and culinary wizardry to make this cookbook possible.”
The history of the Twinkie dates back to early 1930. Hoovervilles were sprouting from state to state, the Chrysler Building neared completion in New York and bakery manager James A. Dewar—10 years after starting his career driving a horse-drawn pound cake wagon for the Continental Baking Co. outside Chicago—came up with an idea. Continental was looking for a new, inexpensive product that would appeal to frugal consumers in the tight economy. Why not use the company’s stockpile of shortcake pans to create a treat that could be sold year-round?
He whipped up the celebrated recipe by injecting smooth and creamy banana filling into the oblong golden finger cakes. Unlike strawberries, which were only in season for six weeks during the summer, bananas were readily available year-round.
As for the name, a St. Louis billboard advertising “Twinkle Toe Shoes” provided the inspiration Dewar needed. He was quoted as saying he “shortened it to make it a little zippier for the kids.”
Dewar’s new two-for-a-nickel treat was an instant hit.
Kansas City, Mo.-based Hostess Brands now sells nearly half a billion Twinkies each year.