Happy Holidays go out to the Twinkie employees. All 18,000 of you. A special shout out to the Bakers union.Your union really showed them this time. Of course, “Bain type” vulture capitalists are to blame. One wonders why they did not receive a bailout. Obama was slow on his feet on this one. One piece of info that I heard, but can’t find in print, is that the employees were not given an opportunity to vote, but rather the union refused to negotiate. The WSJ link at the end of the post gives the back story. For nostalgia, I included an ad by “Howdy Doody”. Anyone out there remember Buffalo Bob? Recipe included as well for those who face withdrawal.
The bakers’ union went on strike. “Our members decided they were not going to take any more abuse from a company they have given so much to for so many years,” said Frank Hurt, the bakers’ union president, in a statement Friday evening.
Hostess management said work rules from existing labor agreements made it hard to improve productivity and spend money efficiently. For example, some rules required different workers to deliver bread and cakes, the company said.
Hostess traces its beginnings to the 1927 founding of Schulze Baking Co., according to court papers. The company gobbled competitors over the years and ended up with 372 separate bargaining contracts for workers, 5,500 delivery routes and a vast production system.
It also showed organized labor’s willingness to test the boundaries of wage and benefit givebacks. During and after the 2008 financial crisis, auto workers and others readily agreed to concessions deemed crucial for survival. But this year, workers at Caterpillar Inc.and Hostess walked off the job instead. Caterpillar’s union later relented.
Months of back-and-forth threats and court proceedings ultimately led to delivery-truck drivers and some plant workers represented by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters to agree to deep concessions, but the bakers’ union, known as the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union, resisted. Full story over at WSJ
Equipment: spice jars, chopstick, piping bag or gun
Hands-on time:50 minutes | Total time:1 hour, 15 minutes
Homemade Twinkies Recipe
- Nonstick cooking spray or vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup cake flour
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoonbaking powder
- 1/4 teaspoonsalt
- 2 tablespoonsmilk, preferably whole
- 4 tablespoonsunsalted butter
- 1/2 teaspoonvanilla extract
- 5 large eggs, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspooncream of tarter
- Seven-Minute Filling, er, Frosting
- 1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C) and adjust the oven rack to the lower-middle position.
- 2. To make your shiny, single-use Twinkie molds, start with a piece of aluminum foil, preferably heavy-duty, that’s approximately 14 inches long. It should be just a little longer than it is wide. Fold the foil in half lengthwise, then fold it in half again to create a rectangle that’s about 6 inches long and 7 inches wide. Repeat to make a dozen rectangles.
- 3. Place 1 sheet of folded foil on your work surface, with the long side facing you. Place a standard-size plastic or glass spice jar on its side in the center of the foil, the jar’s long side also facing you. Bring the long sides of the foil up around the jar. The foil won’t reach all the way around, and that’s okay. Fold the foil in around both top and bottom ends of the spice jar, nice and tight. You’ll end up with a sort of trough situation. (Cookbook author Todd Wilbur has a video of the process here; if you’re impatient, fast forward to 1:10, where the action starts.) Repeat until you have 12 foil Twinkie molds. Spritz the molds with an obscenely generous amount of nonstick spray or use your fingertips to coat the molds with vegetable oil. Place the Twinkie molds on a baking sheet or in a roasting pan.
- 4. Whisk the flours, baking powder, and salt together in a bowl.
- 5. Heat the milk and butter in a small saucepan over low heat until the butter melts. Remove from the heat add the vanilla. Cover to keep warm.
- 6. Separate the eggs, placing the whites in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or, if using a hand mixer or whisk, a large mixing bowl) and reserving the yolks in another bowl. Beat the whites on high speed until foamy. Gradually add 6 tablespoons of the sugar and the cream of tartar and continue to beat until the whites reach soft, moist peaks.
- 7. Transfer the beaten egg whites to a large bowl and add the egg yolks to the standing mixer bowl—there’s no need to clean the bowl (or, if using a hand mixer or whisk, simply place the egg yolks in a separate large bowl). Beat the egg yolks with the remaining 6 tablespoons sugar on medium-high speed until the mixture is very thick and a pale lemon color, about 5 minutes. Add the beaten egg whites to the yolks, but do not mix.
- 8. Sprinkle the flour mixture over the egg whites and then mix everything on low speed for just 10 seconds (or, if using a hand mixer or whisk, until blended but not thoroughly combined). Remove the bowl from the mixer, make a well in one side of the batter, and pour the melted butter mixture into the bowl. Fold gently with a large rubber spatula until the batter shows no trace of flour and the whites and yolks are evenly mixed, about 8 strokes.
- 9. Immediately scrape the batter into the prepared molds, filling each with about 3/4 inch of batter. Bake until the cake tops are light brown and feel firm and spring back when touched, 13 to 15 minutes. Transfer the pan containing the molds to a wire rack and allow the cakes to cool in the molds.
- 10. Just before filling, remove each cake from the foil. Using the end of a chopstick, poke three holes in the bottom of each cake, just like in the bottom of real Twinkies. Wiggle the tip of the chopstick around quite a lot to make room for the filling. (Again, you can see this in action here, beginning at minute 3.)
- 11. Transfer the frosting to a pastry bag fit with a small tip (about 1/4 inch across). Pipe the frosting into the holes you created in the bottom of the cakes. As you fill each cake, hold it in your hand and press your palm gently around it so you can feel the cake expand, taking care not to overfill and crack the cake.
- 12. Unlike real Twinkies, these won’t last indefinitely. They’re best served still slightly warm.
Get more deliciousness at Homemade Twinkies Recipe | Leite’s Culinaria