Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Cliffords! (Red-Velvet Snack Cakes)

I loved reading to my girls and now my grandchildren.  One of their favorite books is the story of Clifford, the Big Red Dog.  Baking today pays homage to that wonderful dog that brought so many smiles to my little ones.

Last fall the nation was hit with Hostess selling off their business due to a stand-off with the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union.  I grew up with Twinkies and although this was a little devastating, I also knew, thanks to the purchase of a Snack-Cake Pan, I would be okay.  So, thinking about Clifford and wanting to make a treat for some friends, I decided on this one-of-a-kind snack. (Don't worry, Twinkies will return to the shelves in July:-D)

Cliffords!
Red Velvet Cake:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp. Vanilla extract
1 bottle (2 T) red food coloring
3 T Dutch-processed cocoa
2 1/2 cups King Arthur Queen Guinevere Cake Flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 T white vinegar

Preheat oven to 350F-degrees.  Spray snack cake pan with a non-stick baking spray and set aside.


In a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together thoroughly.  Add the vanilla and red food coloring and mix again.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides with a rubber spatula as needed.

Mix the vinegar with the buttermilk.  Add the dry ingredients to the bowl and while the mixer is running, slowly pour in the buttermilk over them.  Mix 1 minute bowl and scrape the sides.

Scoop the batter into the cake wells, filling about two-thirds of the way.
Bake in the preheated oven about 18 minutes.  Test by using a wooden skewer poked in the center.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool 5 minutes before transferring to a rack to cool completely.

Cream Cheese Filling:
1 8oz. pkg. cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperture
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract

In a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment (or a bowl with a hand-held mixer) cream the cream cheese and butter together.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then, add the confectioners' sugar and vanilla extract and mix once more. [Note-this is a smooth filling, not a frosting!]

Using Tip #230, fill a pastry bag with the filling.
Trim snack cakes of any "over-flow" pieces.
I filled the Cliffords with the cream cheese filling from each end, not underneath like Twinkies!
The trick is to poke the Tip about 1 1/2" in, start filling, then, slowly pull the tip out while still applying pressure to the pastry bag.

Finally, I dipped the cakes into 2 lbs. of white chocolate that I melted over a double boiler and added a few little sprinkles on the top.

I can honestly say...these put a smile on my face--who needs Twinkies when you have a Clifford! Enjoy!
 
 

36 comments:

  1. WOW, Susan! Genius!! I bet these are SOOOOO good!! If only we were closer... :) I love red velvet and I have the cream canoe pan. I'm thinking an Irish Car Bomb version of the twinkie. Thanks for thinking of me today! You put a smile on my face, too. lv, me

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    1. Maybe we'll have an assortment of "Twinkie-like" treats in our bakery! I'm always thinking of you, XOXO

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  2. Yummy yummy, I can't wait to try these beauties...sooo delish, wish I had one now...

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    1. Sometimes, I even surprise myself what I come with--this one is a winner and I wish you were here to try one, XOXO

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  3. What I would give to be your next door neighbor, I would be at your backdoor daily saying, "mmmm, what do I smell today?". I'm not much in the kitchen but always enjoy reading your recipes, but this one I think it may be your most fascinating. The cakes and cream cheese sound wonderful, but white chocolate for the top, oh my, be still my heart! Great job all around. If I was EVER going to try one of your recipes, it would be this one!

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    1. ...and I wish you were my next door neighbor too!

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  4. Red velvet cake is my son's favorite. When my mother was alive, she would make it especially for him. I also remember "Clifford", the big red dog !!

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    1. This really went over big with my friends...good thing I gave most of them away (the recipe made 21) because I'd probably be finishing them off for breakfast this morning:-D

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  5. Those are beautiful little cakes. Great idea!

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    1. Fun to make and a lot more healthy than the original Twinkies!

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  6. Exactly! I'm sure these taste much better than those!

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    1. ...And, I guarantee they wouldn't last in a 20-year Time Capsule!!

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  7. My kids would love those! I still can't get over all your cool pans. If only I had more room in my kitchen... Have a wonderful day!

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    1. Oh, mine kitchen gadgets have spilled over to other rooms and closets:-D But, this is a fun one to have and there are a lot more ideas in my head to make other cool snack cakes!

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  8. Oh my goodness!! I need a Clifford right now! These look wonderful Susan. xoxo ♥
    Martha Ellen

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    1. One of the best treats I've come up with! Worth a try and an investment in a "Twinkie" pan!

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  9. That is exactly what I was thinking!! Who needs a twinkie when you can have a Clifford! YUMMMY!!!!!

    hugs,
    Linda

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    1. I can't wait to make these again when Ari comes for a visit--I know he'll love them!

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  10. These look yummy Susan! I haven't had a Twinkie in years. Used to have them all the time when I was little. My mom used to put one in my lunchbox. I'm more anxious to see your new blog with your paper flowers. I made a pansy with your pansy/violets die set. I smudged on Distress Ink on the petals. I haven't posted it yet on my blog. Need to make some more. I want to make some mini ones, but trying to figure out which petals to use.

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    1. I'm actually trying to launch a website, which, for me, is proving to me a challenge. However, I think I will have something up on the "blog" part, maybe today or tomorrow. I will address the versatility of the "Mini Petals" and all the flowers it will make. Can't wait to see your pansy. BTW, my set of PanPastels will be available next week (Ellen is for sure getting them in!) XOXO

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    2. I think I got confused about you launching a website versus blog. Ugh, website sounds hard. I'll be interested in seeing what other flowers you had in mind for the Mini Petals other than roses and pansies. I like smudging on ink on the petals.

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    3. Kathy--the mini petals does Roses, Pansies, Hibiscus (borrowing the stamen from the Quince), Dogwood (using a 1/16 punch for the "notch" on the ends), Poppy (using the calyx of the mini daisy for the stamen), and Peony, to name a few:-D I'm trying this week to get everything up and running, XOXO

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  11. These red velvet cakes are beautiful. And exactly who needs Twinkies when you have a Clifford!

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    1. Thanks Angie...my thoughts exactly!

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  12. Better than a Twinkie any day. What a great idea, my friend! xoxox

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    1. Thanks Kat, they were yummy--wish you lived near, but when we get together, I'll make them again, XOXO

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  13. I was reading Selma's blog and she mentioned your wonderful little cakes, so I searched and came up with your blog, which I should be following anyway, since I have everyone of the flower punches and now have purchased everyone of Sizzix dies, so I can make some beautiful flowers like you do!!! So lovely!! And now, since I also love to cook and am well known in my area for being a good cook and event planner I have to try these little cakes out. Thank you from two creative areas that we have in common! Paper art and cooking! I hope you don't mind if I follow your blog. Blessings!

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    1. Soon, I should have my "flower" blog up and running. It's actually a website and has turned out to be a lot to design. In the meantime, thank you for stopping by, XOXO

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  14. A zillion times better than Twinkies! What a fun pan:)

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    1. Definitely!! I love this pan and have a whole bunch of ideas of Twinkie-like cakes:-D

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  15. My hubby would love these. His favorite cake is red velvet and he eats sugary baked goods like crazy....mostly Tastee Kakes! Enjoy your day! Hugs from the mountains!

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  16. These look so good! Much better than a Twinkie!

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  17. This one made me tear up. Clifford takes me back to when my children were just babies. Always a favorite in our home too.
    Perfect red velvets.

    PS-Where do I purchase a good pastry bag vs the more flimsy ones at Michael's, etc?

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