• Hostess is re-releasing four recipes from its Twinkies cookbook that it believes are perfect for tailgating. We read through them and ranked them on a scale of...of course...Twinkies.
By Amy Parlapiano
October 19, 2017

It's not a tailgate without...Twinkies? If you're a fan of the classic Hostess snack, and you're a fan of pre-game gatherings that involve heavy food consumption, then the release of these "tailgate-friendly Twinkie recipes" will likely be of interest. These four fan-submitted recipes are re-released from The Twinkies Cookbook, which was originally published in 2006 (Ten Speed Press). While I am curious as to the other recipes that could make up an entire Twinkies Cookbook, SI Eats has been given four in particular that Hostess believes are the perfect tailgate recipes. We have not attempted to make any of these ourselves, but we read through the ingredients and the descriptions, and have taken it upon ourselves to do our journalistic diligence and rank these recipes on a scale of 0-to-3 twinkies (based on how eager we'd be to try them). 

Behold: the Twinkie recipes (copyright by Hostess Brands, LLC) are below, and our rankings are right underneath them. 

Twinkie Kebabals

“This was a spur-of-the-moment idea. I had leftover fruit, but not enough Twinkies...This recipe saved the day.”  —Dianne Meyers, Lakemoor, Illinois
Copyright by Leo Gong

"Serves 10

10 Twinkies

20 large marshmallows

About 60 pieces or chunks of fruit, such as pitted cherries, pineapple chunks, and mandarin orange slices

Cut each Twinkie crosswise into quarters. Thread alternating pieces of Twinkies, marshmallows, and fruit onto wooden skewers. Serve at once."

SI EATS RATING: Three Twinkies Out of Three. This is an ideal way to use twinkies: essentially as part of a fondue skewer (though not sure how many tailgates offer actual chocolate fondue). Plus, it's a way of having fruit AND cake at your tailgate, in one fell swoop. And it's incredibly easy to put together. Good job, Dianne. This isn't nearly as weird as it could have been.

Patriotic Twinkie Pie (via Ruth Royal, Cody, WY) 

While preparing a recipe for a Fourth of July party, I realized I was missing a few key ingredients. It was too late to go to the store, so I began looking for substitutes and used some of the Twinkies I had on hand." —Ruth Royal, Cody, WY

Copyright by Leo Gong

"Serves 16

1 (6-ounce) package blueberry Jell-O

3 cups boiling water

1 (16-ounce) bag frozen blueberries

1 (6-ounce) package strawberry Jell-O

1 (16-ounce) bag frozen sliced strawberries in syrup

6 to 7 Twinkies, broken or torn into 1-inch pieces

2 (5.1-ounce) packages instant vanilla pudding mix

6 cups milk

1 (12-ounce) container frozen nondairy whipped topping, thawed

In a bowl, combine the blueberry Jell-O and 11/2 cups of the boiling water and stir until dissolved. Add the blueberries and stir until blended and slightly thickened. Allow to cool completely.

In another bowl, combine the strawberry Jell-O and remaining 11/2 cups boiling water and stir until dissolved. Add the strawberries and stir until blended and slightly thickened. Allow to cool completely.

Place half of the Twinkie pieces in a 6-quart glass bowl or trifle dish. In a separate bowl, combine the pudding mix and milk and stir according to the package instructions. Spoon half of the pudding over the Twinkies.

Spoon the blueberry mixture over the pudding, spreading evenly. Top with the remaining Twinkie pieces. Spoon the remaining pudding over the Twinkies, spreading evenly. Spoon the strawberry mixture over the pudding, spreading evenly.

Cover and refrigerate for several hours or overnight, until completely chilled and set. Top with the whipped topping just before serving."

SI EATS RANKING: ONE TWINKIE OUT OF THREE. Ruth, this is an incredibly daring venture you've embarked upon here, much respect for that. But there are a few issues: 1.) While this is an appropriately-themed dish for July 4th or a Patriots game, if you are not attending either of those things, it's just a whole lot of work. I also am slightly skeptical of Jell-O. And there's a lot of mixing going on here. The twinkies will likely end up completely drenched, thus defeating the purpose of their cake-like texture. This dessert doesn't quite know what it wants to be: Is it pudding? Is it pie? Is it cake? No one knows. It's a dessert with an identity crisis. 

Pigs in a Twinkie

“My twelve-year-old nephew Shea created this recipe because he thought it would be something other kids would enjoy. It’s important to make sure that the sausage is cooked thoroughly.”  —Janine O’Barr, Burbank, California

"Serves 6

6 pork sausage links

6 Twinkies

Maple syrup, for serving

Preheat the oven to 350˚F.

Place the sausage in a skillet over medium heat and cook, turning to brown evenly, until the meat is no longer pink inside, following any package directions. Remove from the skillet and drain well on paper towels.

Thinly slice one end off each Twinkie. Stuff a cooked sausage into each Twinkie. Place the Twinkies in a shallow baking dish and bake for 10 minutes, or until the Twinkies are warm. Serve warm, with syrup if desired."

SI EATS RANKING: ONE AND A HALF TWINKIES OUT OF THREE: Shea was 12 years old when he thought of this recipe, so have to give some props for creativity there. It's...interesting! It's also something that I don't think is that far off from the kinds of greasy fast food breakfast items that are being sold already anyway, so in that regard, it's not that far-fetched. I, for one, am a huge fan of pigs in a blanket, so perhaps if I had a couple of beers at a tailgate, I'd be willing to try a bite of this. 

Dave's Twinkie Burger 

“During a sales meeting at the food service company I work for, we had to split up to make a burger using the different ingredients we had on hand. My team won by using Twinkies as the bun to give it a totally different taste than just a precooked burger.”  —Dave Edwards, Portland, Oregon

"1 frozen, fully cooked beef patty

3 Twinkies, sliced lengthwise

3 slices bacon, cooked until crisp

1 1/2 ounces brie cheese, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

1/2 teaspoon green pepper hot sauce, such as Cholulu

1/2 teaspoon Sriracha sauce

Heat the beef patty, according to package directions, until hot.  Set aside and allow to stand 1 minute.  Slice the patty into 1/2-inch strips.

Arrange the strips of the hot beef patty on the bottom half of each Twinkie. Top with a strip of bacon and a slice of brie.

In a small bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, green pepper hot sauce, and Sriracha.  Spread the sauce over the cut side of the top half of each Twinkie, then place, cut side down, over the brie."

Copyright by Leo Gong

SI EATS RANKING: TWO OUT OF THREE TWINKIES. Dave! Are you a former Chopped contestant?!  Look, I have to be honest: I became instantly skeptical when I saw "Twinkie" and "burger" in the same sentence. BUT! Dave really does some nice work here. A Twinkie is not that far off from a bun in terms of texture, so it's not a bad choice. I am a little nervous about the green pepper hot sauce and the sriracha, as these are not items that I would like to imagine putting on a Twinkie, but, you know what Dave, you do you. I'd keep you around for the dessert round on Chopped.

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