AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
Today's Found Recipe starts with a panic over baked goods.
JENNIFER STEINHAUER: When Hostess announced that it was filing for Chapter 11, I saw a lot of weeping on the Internet about, how will I ever get a Twinkie again?
CORNISH: And that got Jennifer Steinhauer thinking, would you even want a Twinkie again and why?
STEINHAUER: Well, maybe we all want a Twinkie or have access to a Twinkie because it's not just that you're losing a snack food you may not eat anymore, you're kind of losing your childhood.
CORNISH: Jennifer Steinhauer covers Congress for The New York Times. She's a busy woman. Yet the possibility of a snack food apocalypse sent her to the kitchen for a solution. For a year from scratch, she made Twinkies, Devil Dogs, Mallomars, Fritos - yes, you can do it yourself, homemade junk food. Steinhauer even tackled that little pink treat she had zero respect for - Sno Balls. And that is today's Found Recipe.
STEINHAUER: So you're walking down the grocery aisle and you're walking past your Twinkies, and you're walking past your Ho Hos, and you're walking past your Donettes, and there is the Sno Ball. The Sno Ball is the pastel cousin to everybody else. It's showing off. It's saying, look at me, I'm bizarre, don't you want to take part in this? It's bright pink. It's not anything that you've seen in nature or food. It's kind of a holiday, but it's March and it's still there. You can tell it's going to be cloyingly sweet and you pull back the cellophane and you bite in, and it's a mouthful of coconut, marshmallow, a frosting thing - a sort of overly-sweet cake batter. It's a mouth of sugar and probably an instant sugar high.
For me, the Sno Ball was a bridge too far. And so I thought it through and I thought, OK, how can I make this Sno Ball be something visually that will remind the Sno Ball lover of their favorite treat, but actually make them something that I want to eat and that maybe others who were not fans of Sno Ball would enjoy? So first I started with idea of the shape, the round. What's round? A doughnut hole is round. A doughnut hole is also delicious. Guess what else? You can buy a doughnut hole pan. And then I think about the marshmallow and how I don't like that marshmallow on the outside sticking to me and I don't like the way it feels, you know, all over my face or it's just kind of gross. And I think, let's get the marshmallow - let's pop it inside the doughnut. We're going to get a mouth of marshmallow, but we're not going to get a face of marshmallow. And we're going to do the coconut, like a nice little frosting with it. And we'll roll it in that coconut, but we won't go crazy. And let's not maybe make it bright pink. We can - we can do that, or we don't even have to.
So I had an event at school, there was a school party. And I brought those Sno Balls to school and there was some skepticism including from teachers who said, I don't like coconut. And I have to say, there was something about that texture and the flavor of that doughnut itself kids loved. They were smaller in scale too, than the Sno Ball. I think that's important. It's not an overwhelming, gross-sized treat. It's a little pop, a little fun thing. I think, in a funny way, it's sort of a deconstructed cake pop at this point.
CORNISH: Jennifer Steinhauer. Her snack food recipes are in the cookbook "Treat Yourself." We've posted her revamp of that classic snack cake the Sno Ball on our Found Recipes page at npr.org.
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