So many cookies to bake, so little time! Today at OrlandoSentinel.com/thedish check out new twists on holiday treats. But before I retreat to the test kitchen to spend my morning dashing through the dough, grab a cup of coffee and let's dish:
Twinkies two ways. It's been a bake sale like no other. This week, at select Bakery Outlet stores in Florida, Hostess Brands began liquidating fresh, single-serve packs of snack cakes, including Hostess Twinkies and Cupcakes and a variety of Dolly Madison treats. The treats sold for 50 cents each.
Last week mediation efforts failed between Hostess Brands and the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco and Grain Millers Union. Industry watchers are expecting the brands to draw interest from other companies including Flowers Foods (Tastykake and Nature's Own) and Campbell Soup (Pepperidge Farm). So there is no reason for a sponge-cake meltdown — yet.
But even if the supermarket shelves lack the Hostess loot you long for, Gloria Pitzer and Todd Wilbur have made sure you can re-create every moist bite at home.
Pitzer is the founder of The Recipe Detective newsletter (therecipedetective.com) and Wilbur is the kitchen sleuth behind a successful series of "Top Secret Recipes" cookbooks (topsecretrecipes.com).
Today I am sharing both recipes. Wilbur's achieves a more authentic look, while Pitzer nails the sponge cake and cream in a sandwich variation.
Cooking for dollars. The Manischewitz Cook-Off is accepting entries from creative cooks who use the company's kosher products. The $25,000 grand-prize package includes Maytag appliances, cash and a crystal trophy. Recipes must adhere to kosher guidelines, be prepared in less than an hour and have no more than nine ingredients, which must include one of the Manischewitz All-Natural broth flavors plus one other Manischewitz product.
Judges will chose four finalists. Recipes from five semi-finalists will be posted on manischewitz.com from Feb. 21-28, allowing consumers to vote online to select the fifth finalist.
The five will compete March 21 at the Manischewitz headquarters in Newark, N.J.
To enter log onto manischewitz.com and click on the "Cook-Off Banner." Deadline is Feb. 4.
The Foodies are coming! It's time to vote for your favorite restaurants in the Orlando Sentinel's 15th annual Foodie Awards. The online ballot has more than 45 categories, including fine-dining, wine list, breakfast, brunch, power lunch, food trucks, coffeehouses and bars that serve exceptional food. The final results — along with my picks — will appear in the Calendar section on Friday, Jan. 25. All votes must be cast by midnight Dec. 31. So put down that fork and vote today at OrlandoSentinel.com/foodies.
Heather McPherson can be reached at 407-420-5498, Twitter@OS_thedish and firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow daily food news at OrlandoSentinel.com/thedish.
Get the dish
Check out the Morning Mix with Scott McKenzie recipe of the week, Sesame Noodles With Spicy Peanut Sauce, at OrlandoSentinel.com/thedish and Mix1051.com