I admit to being both passionate and biased on the topic. I'm fourth-generation in a union family. My great-grandfather, grandfather, father and brother were/are all union workers, and my grandfather was even named for Eugene Debs.
Anyway, I can't say I'm exactly sad about the end of Hostess. They are certainly an iconic American brand, but that's not necessarily something to be proud of -- not something to strive for, if you follow me.
Besides, how can the Nonconsumerist support a food with so many ridiculous ingredients that it takes an entire book to deconstruct the recipe?
Nevertheless, if you're really aching for a little taste of Americana, I've got your back. Here are some recipes for homemade Hostess products. These are made with real food (or at least approximations of real food) and are available any time you like, and I guarantee they're way better than the over-processed efforts of underpaid factory workers.
Homemade Hostess Recipes Listing
- Homemade Twinkies recipe from Instructables. Twinkies are essentially pound cake with a cream filling. This recipe uses hydrogenated vegetable oil for the filling, just like the Hostess brand; the result will be very authentic but not necessarily healthy. If you'd like a more real-foods approach, substitute it with sweetened whipped cream.
- Homemade Little Debbie Oatmeal Cream Cookies. These were my personal favorite Hostess product. These use marshmallow cream and shortening in the filling. I'm willing to bet you could sub out nearly anything in the filling; the real trick is making a soft, chewy oatmeal cookie.
- Homemade Hostess Cupcake. This is David's personal favorite Hostess product. As an extra bonus, this recipe looks positively delicious and does not use Crisco, which I count as two major benefits.
- Homemade Hostess Snowballs. These give me fond memories of eating out of the vending machine at work on days I forgot to pack a lunch. Chocolate cake filled with fluffy cream and rolled in coconut -- is there anything better? (or, y'know, more packed with calories)
- Homemade Moon Pies. These were never as popular as the others, but they're a popular Southern treat (and this recipe looks positively amazing).
Did I miss one of your favorites? Let me know and I'll track down the recipe. Better yet, when I get some free time, I'll hit the kitchen and experiment with some real-foods recipes evoking the heart and soul of these snack foods without partially hydrogenated anything. Until then, happy snacking.