But they really never left, if you knew where to look and knew how to bake

Last updated: July 16. 2013 9:48PM - 2451 Views
By Lucie Willsie

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“I haven’t had the new ones,” said Keith Shoulders, visiting Mount Airy from Massillon, Ohio. He liked them. So did his wife, Cheryl. “I had the last of the old ones a while ago … I didn’t keep any (in stock) because I’d have eaten too many.”

But she said she would also make Twinkies at home, even though the new ones are now again available.

“I’m a baker … I still would make my own Twinkies,” she said. “They’d be healthier. No preservatives. Twinkies were supposed to last forever. At least, that’s what they said.”

Other folks seem to agree that the new Twinkies are tasty.

“They taste just like I remember them,” said Dotti Connell. She is visiting Mount Airy from Georgia with a friend who hails from Mount Airy.

“Oh, yes,” said Sharon Phillips from Indianapolis, Ind., “I’d go and buy them.”

Connell also said she wasn’t much of a Twinkie person. She can’t remember having many before they went off the market.

“The filling is my favorite part,” she said. “It’s kind of marshmellowy … But I prefer chocolate.”

She actually prefers Ding Dongs to Twinkies, if she had her druthers, so she doesn’t believe she is going to run out and buy any of the new Twinkies anytime soon.

But Sharon Phillips visiting from Indianapolis, Ind., with her friend Phil Watts, would — run out and buy them, that is.

“Oh, yes,” Phillips said, “I’d go and buy them.”

And, as coincidence would have it, both Phillips and Watts live near the actual factory that made the original Twinkies and closed down a few months ago.

“As far as I am concerned,” Watts said after taking a first bite of the “new” Twinkies, “they taste like they always have.”

And both would go out and buy them now.

“Twinkies are history,” she said. “We grew up with them.”

But Phillips still has one major regret. Just when the factory closed, they had started making chocolate cream Twinkies. And Phillips would love it if they brought the chocolate Twinkies back as well.

So, it’s very probably, she added, that she might try to come up with her own “copycat” Twinkie recipe herself.

But whatever your opinion of the new Twinkies, they’re back.

Yes sirree bobbie. It happened officially this past Monday. Yes, the real, original Twinkies cake that created such an uproar not too long ago when they were taken off the shelves. People reacted immediately and definitively by buying all they could get their hands on, selling them for exorbitant prices on eBay, and hoarding them for future consumption.

But now folks don’t have to, because they are back.

But some folks may also want to hedge their bets. Some folks may not want to depend on others for their source of Twinkie supply in the future. Some folks may just want to make their own and not have to worry their favorite treat may disappear again. Other folks want to make some of their favorite cherished recipes at home because they say it is cheaper than buying them in a restaurant, and taste better as well. Another reason to make commercial dishes at home is because some other folks may not have a particular restaurant close by, but would still like to eat a certain dish. Making it at home may be their only option.

Well, if any of these reasons are the case, folks will be glad to know that many recipes exist that claim not only to duplicate the taste of the soft, spongy cake with the white, creamy frosting in the middle, but a large variety of most any other dish commercially available at a restaurant. Cooks out there can make their own favorite brand of cheeseburger or French fries or doughnut or cookie or chili or taco or candy bar or whatever. A copycat recipe can be found out there in various cookbooks and on miscellaneous Internet sites that will allow folks to make duplicates of many of their favorite foods. Some examples of copycat recipes include the Burger King Whopper, the Dairy Queen Blizzard, KFC Buttermilk Biscuits, Long John Silvers Batter-Dipped Fish, the Mars Snickers candy bar, the Orange Julius, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, pancakes from IHOP, and even the Yoo-Hoo Chocolate Drink, and so many more.

“Sure, I’d love to make some at home,” said Wanda Byrd. She especially would like to know how to make Wendy’s Chili and especially its new Pretzel Burger that she tried for the first time last week. “It would be convenient because we live in Dobson and there’s no Wendy’s in Dobson.”

It’s also more economical to feed a lot of people, added Byrd’s husband, Gary. In fact, Gary Byrd even tried to duplicate one of his favorite dishes — the grilled chicken at 13 Bones.

“Everybody thought it was pretty close,” he said, “… but not quite.”

As far as duplicating some other favorite dishes are concerned, the entire Rice family from Asheboro said they would love to be able to duplicate KFC’s barbecue sauce recipe and gravy recipe at home, but they especially would love to know the biscuit recipe.

Grandma Terri Rice really missed it when Twinkies went off the market, said granddaughter Kaley, 11. But, she was happy to hear that they again would be available in the stores. Granddad, however, never missed the Twinkie for a minute. Granddaughter Kaley never missed the lack of the Twinkie. Neither did grandpa Jerry. But he also said he would make sure he bought some for his wife when they come out next Monday.

Grandma probably wouldn’t ever make them at home, even if they weren’t coming back to the stores.

“Even if you make them at home,” grandma said, “they still wouldn’t taste the same.”

Mary Beth Fowler, however, said she certainly would try making Twinkies at home.

“Because they’d be homemade and fresh out of the oven,” she said.

However, Fowler never knew that there are recipes out there — many recipes out there — that copycated many of the brandname recipes. And even now that she knows, she still probably wouldn’t make most of them at home. And why is that?

“Because it’s a treat to be able to go out, especially with friends,” she explained.

Eating out last week, Fowler, her friend Leigh Gilliam, and their children, Gilliam mentioned a couple of dishes she would like to know how to make at home. These are Wendy’s Frosty drink, as well as KFC’s biscuits.

When asked in an informal survey which recipes, normally only available at a restaurant, folks would like to know how to make at home, the following were the top four winners. The First Place winner of the “Make it at Home” recipe contest was the Chick-fil-A Chicken Sandwich. The second place winner was Wendy’s Frosty. The third place winner was Wendy’s Chili. And the honor mention went to KFC’s Fried Chicken. (“Copycat” recipes for these winners follow.)

Another informal survey asked what recipes would you love to be able to make at home. This list included: the asparagus dip at The Log House 1776 restaurant in Wytheville, Va.; the house dressing at The Colonial Williamsburg Cheese Shop; the spinach artichoke dip at Applebee’s; mac and cheese at 13 Bones right here in Mount Airy; Imo’s Pizza from St. Louis; Ted Drewes frozen custard, also from St. Louis; the house dressing and mustard side sauce from Arigato Japanese restaurant; the fried rice recipe from just about any Japanese or Chinese restaurant; Outback’s Blooming Onion; the Olive Garden’s Zuppa Toscana (or sausage potato soup); and Walker Brothers restaurant’s German Apple Pancakes from Chicago, to name just a few.





3 cups of peanut oil

1 egg

1 cup of milk

1 cup of flour

2 1/2 Tablespoons of powdered sugar

1/2 teaspoon of pepper

2 Tablespoons of salt

2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, halved

4 plain hamburger buns

2 Tablespoons of melted butter

8 dill pickle slices


Heat the peanut oil in a pressure cooker over medium heat to about 400-degrees Fahrenheit. In a small bowl, beat the egg and stir in the milk. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, sugar, pepper and salt. Dip each piece of chicken in the milk until it is completely moistened. Roll this chicken in the flour mixture until thoroughly coated. Drop all four pieces of chicken into the hot oil and close the pressure cooker. When steam starts shooting through the pressure release, set the timer for 3 1/2 minutes. While the chicken is cooking, spread a coating of melted butter on the face of each bun. When the chicken is done, remove it from the oil and drain and/or blot on paper towels. Put two pickles on the bottom bun and add the chicken breast and other half of the bun. (Tasty additions to this sandwich would be tomato slices, lettuce and mayo, if desired.) Makes 4 sandwiches.



3/4 cup of milk

1/4 cup of chocolate-drink powder

4 cups of vanilla ice cream


Mix all the ingredients in a blender and blend on medium speed until creamy. Stir when necessary. (If the mixture is a little thin, freeze it in the blender or in cups until it gets thicker.) Makes 2 drinks.



2 pounds of ground beef

1 12-ounce can of tomato paste

2 29-ounce cans of tomato sauce

1 29-ounce can of kidney beans (with the liquid)

1 29-ounce can of pinto beans (with the liquid)

1 cup of diced onions (about 1 medium onion)

1/2 cup of diced green chili (about 2 chilies)

1/4 dup of diced celery (about 1 stalk)

3 medium tomatoes, chopped

2 teaspoons of cumin powder

3 Tablespoons of chili powder

1 1/2 teaspoons of black pepper

2 teaspoons of salt

2 cups of water


Brown the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat. Drain off the fat. Using a fork, crumble the cooked beef into pea-size pieces. In a large pot, combine the beef and the remaining ingredients. Bring to a simmer over low heat. Cook, stirring every 15 minutes for 2 to 3 hours.Makes about 12 servings.



1 whole chicken, cut into pieces

3 beaten eggs

4 Tablespoons of oil, (for the coating)

2 cups of flour

4 teaspoons of paprika

2 1/2 teaspoons of salt

1 teaspoon of pepper

1 teaspoon of poultry seasoning

1 teaspoon of thyme

1 teaspoon of oregano

1 teaspoon of tarragon

1/2 teaspoon of garlic salt

1/2 teaspoon of onion salt

1/2 teaspoon of celery salt


Sift together all the coating ingredients and place in a clean plastic bag. Coat each chicken piece first with the beaten egg, then with the flour mixture in the bag. Make sure you coat each piece completely with the flour. Heat the oil in a skillet. Brown the chicken in oil slowly, uncovered. Once browned, cover the skillet and keeping frying on a very gentle heat until the chicken is fully cooked. Place on paper towels to drain out the excess oil. Serves 4.




4 eggs

1/2 cup of butter, melted and cooled to lukewarm

1 cup of water

1 (5.1 ounce) package of instant vanilla pudding mix

1 (18.25 ounce) package of yellow cake mix


1/2 cup of butter, at room temperature

1 (8 ounce) package of cream cheese, at room temperature

5 cups of confectioners’ sugar, sifted

1 (8 ounce) container of frozen whipped topping, thawed

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract



Preheat the oven to 350-degrees Fahrenheit. Grease and flour two 10-by-15-inch jelly roll pans. Beat the eggs until combined. Stir in the melted butter. Add the water. Beat the eggs until combined. Stir in the melted butter. Add the water, pudding mix, and yellow cake mix, stirring well to combine. The batter will be very thick. Divide the batter between the prepared pans, spreading it evenly. Bake until the cakes spring back when pressed lightly with a finger or a tester comes out clean, about 15 to 20 minutes. Cool completely on wire racks. Makes roughly a dozen cakes, 2-inches-by-3-inches.


To make the filling, combine the room temperature butter, cream cheese, and confectioners’ sugar. Beat until smooth. Stir in the whipped topping and vanilla extract. When the cakes are cool, spread the filling mixture on top of one cake layer. Place the second cake layer on top of the first, and cut into bars. Wrap each bar in plastic wrap and store in the freezer.





2 (1/4 ounce) packages of yeast

1/4 cup of water, (105- to 115 -degrees Fahrenheit)

1 1/2 cups of lukewarm milk, (scalded, then cooled)

1/2 cup of sugar

1 teaspoon of salt

2 eggs

1/3 cup of shortening

5 cups of all-purpose flour

Canola oil

Creamy Glaze

1/3 cup butter

2 cups of powdered sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla

4 to 6 Tablespoons of hot water

Chocolate Frosting

1/3 cup of butter

2 cups of powdered sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla

4 to 6 tablespoons of hot water

4 ounces of milk chocolate chips or 4 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate chips



Dissolve the yeast in warm water in a 2 1/2-quart bowl. Add the milk, sugar, salt, eggs, shortening and 2 cups flour. Beat on low for 30 seconds, scraping the bowl constantly. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes, scraping the bowl occasionally. Stir in the remaining flour until smooth. Cover and let rise until double, about 50 to 60 minutes. The dough is ready when an indentation made remains when touched. Put dough onto floured surface. Roll gingerly to coat with flour. Gently roll the dough to 1/2-inch thickness with a floured rolling pin. Cut with floured doughnut cutter. Cover and let rise until double, about 30 to 40 minutes. Heat the vegetable oil in deep fryer to 350-degrees Fahrenheit. Slide the doughnuts into the hot oil with a wide spatula. Turn the doughnuts as they rise to the surface. Fry until golden brown, about 1 minute on each side. Remove carefully from the oil being careful not to prick the surface. Drain. Dip the doughnuts into the creamy glaze and set them on a rack. When slightly cooled, spread the chocolate frosting on top. Dip doughnuts into sprinkles or other toppings after dipping them into the chocolate, if desired. (Optional.) Makes two dozen doughnuts.

Creamy Glaze

Heat the butter until melted. Remove from the heat. Stir in the powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth. Stir in the water, 1 Tablespoon at a time, until the glaze reaches the desired consistency.

Chocolate Frosting

Heat the butter and chocolate over low heat until the chocolate is melted. Remove from the heat. Stir in the powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth. Stir in the water, 1 Tablespoon at a time, until the desired consistency is achieve.



1/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil

3 garlic cloves, or more to taste

1 pound of shrimp, peeled, deveined and with the tails removed

2/3 cup of clam juice (or chicken broth)

1/3 cup of white wine

1 cup of heavy cream

1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese, freshly grated

1/4 teaspoon of dried basil, crushed

1/4 teaspoon of dried oregano, crushed

8 ounces of pasta, cooked and drained (Linguine works well, but it’s your preference)


Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic. Reduce heat to low. Simmer until the garlic is tender. Add the shrimp and cook over medium-low heat until opaque. Remove. Put the reserve liquid in a pan. Add the clam juice (or chicken broth) and bring to a boil. Add the wine. Cook over medium high heat for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat to low. Add the cream, stirring constantly. Add the cheese, stirring until smooth. Cook until thickened. Add the shrimp back into the sauce. Heat thoroughly. Add the remaining ingredients, except the pasta. Put the pasta in a large bowl and pour the sauce over the pasta. Toss gently to coat. Serve with additional grated Parmesan cheese. Makes 6 servings.


4 1/2 teaspoons of tarragon vinegar

6 1/2 tablespoons of vegetable oil

3/4 cup of chopped onion

2 1/2 cups of Miracle Whip

1 cup of sugar

2 carrots, grated

2 heads of cabbage, grated


Mix together the oil, onions and sugar. Add the tarragon vinegar. Fold in the Miracle Whip. Pour over the grated carrots and cabbage. Fold together well. Refrigerate in an airtight covered dish. (It’s best if made the night before serving.) Note: The tarragon is the secret seasoning. Makes around 24 servings.

1/2 pound of ground beef
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon of diced minced onion
1/4 teaspoon of paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons of chili powder (Spanish chili powder is recommended.)
2 Tablespoons of water
8 6-inch flour tortillas
1 cup of cooking oil
1 16-ounce can of refried beans
1/3 cup of diced tomato
2/3 cup of mild picante sauce
1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup of shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/4 cup of chopped green onion
1/4 cup of sliced black olives
Cook the ground beef over medium heat until brown, then drain. Return the meat to the pan and add the salt, onions, paprika, chili powder and water. Allow the mixture to simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring often. Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, fry each tortilla for about 30 to 45 seconds per side and drain on paper towels. (Be sure to pop any bubbles that form when frying so that the tortilla lays flat in the oil. The tortillas should become golden brown.) Heat the refried beans. Preheat the oven to 400-degrees Fahrenheit. Stack each pizza by first spreading 1/3 cup of beans on one tortilla. Next, add 1/3 cup of the meat. Then add another tortilla. Top the second tortilla with 2 Teaspoons of salsa. Divide the tomato, cheese, onions and olives evenly and top in that order. Bake for 8-12 minutes.
1 plain hamburger bun
1/3 pound of ground beef
1 dash of salt
1 Tablespoon of Kraft Thousand Island dressing
1 slice of tomato (or 2 small slices)
1 lettuce leaf
4 slices of American cheese singles
1 slice of a thinly sliced onion
Preheat a frying pan over medium heat. Lightly toast the both halves of the hamburger bun face down in the pan. Set aside. Separate the beef into two even portions. Form each half into a thin patty slightly larger than the bun. Lightly salt each patty and cook for 2 to 3 minutes on the first side. Flip the patties over and immediately place two slices of cheese on each one. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Assemble the burger in the following stacking order from the bottom up. First, place the bottom bun. Next, put on the dressing. Then, the tomato. Next, the lettuce. Then, the beef patty with cheese. Next, an onion slice. Another beef patty with cheese comes next. And lastly, the top bun.

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