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)
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!