The other day after making my Matilda’s Pretty Good Lasagna, my taste buds drifted over from savory to wanting something sweet and creamy. So, I thumbed through the printed copy of my family cookbook and came across a Tiramisu Twinkie dessert recipe that I had quite forgotten about (but would have gone perfectly with the lasagna).
The Tiramisu Twinkie recipe reminded me of the days when tiramisu was the dessert rage of the decade after the 1993 movie “Sleepless in Seattle” introduced the word tiramisu to Americans (tiramisu had been enjoyed in Italy and some other countries, I’m told. I do remember thinking that “tiramisu” sounded much more Japanese than Italian for “pick-me-up”).
The Tiramisu Twinkie recipe in my family cookbook was the result of trying to imitate tiramisu without having all the ingredients real tiramisu required (such as mascarpone cheese, espresso, ladyfingers, liquor, cocoa). Since I’m not fond of ladyfingers, I substituted them with Twinkies and the rest of the recipe followed with other convenient substitutes, too. Whenever I made this Tiramisu Twinkie recipe for dessert, it always promptly disappeared. The sweet filling inside the Twinkies is a little surprise and blends well with the other ingredients:
12 Twinkies, split in half the long way
2 Tablespoons Hershey’s unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups cold milk
1 package (3.4 oz) instant vanilla pudding mix
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon instant coffee
1 cup boiling water
3 Tablespoons confectioners sugar
2 Tablespoons hazelnut coffee flavoring or 1 oz. Kahlua liqueur
1. Slice Twinkies in half and create one layer in a shallow glass rectangular dish.
2. Make coffee syrup and drizzle half over the Twinkies in the dish.
3. Make pudding mixture and when it begins to thicken, pour half over coffee-soaked Twinkies.
4. Spread layer of Cool Whip over all.
5. Repeat layers. Sift cocoa powder on top.
6. Refrigerate several hours, if possible.
7. Cut into reasonable-size portions, then enjoy. (Can be frozen relatively successfully.)
This Tiramisu Twinkies recipe was never meant to replace the truly delicious tiramisu recipes of those days (which are still being served faithfully in many bistros). It usually turns out pretty well, so give it a try as a family cookbook recipe possibility!