I’m currently in the midst of a serious dilemma.
It runs deep and is causing a definite riff between my family and I. And possibly soon, society and I.
You see.. I have a problem. A problem sometimes frowned upon by people of either gender, except for those who can appreciate and understand my problem for what its worth.
I have a problem…with guy cologne.
You see, as a person who blows through a bottle of perfume a week and as a person who hoards body sprays in within a foot-radius of anywhere around her, you could say I know a little thing or two about perfume. I couldn’t live without it, because if it didn’t exist, I’d likely smell like soup and thus my life would collapse upon itself since smelling like soup is my number one fear, right above monkeys and long-haired, mandal-wearing men with wire-rimmed glasses. It’s just not okay, you know?
But I have some issues with ladies perfume. It all smells THE SAAAAAME. And by ‘same’, I mean it smells like either some form of a baked good and/or musky creature (read: instamigraine), or like flowers which, call me crazy, smell better as actual flowers than as perfume. And I’m not really a vanilla/musk/gardenia kinda girl.
(On a side note: gardenias smell AWFUL. My mom loves them, so I try to please her with them occasionally, but omg, they smell rotten to me. And one time we got her a gardenia bubble bath and it smelled like mustard. Every time she used it, the smell of French’s wafted throughout the house. Thankfully, I like mustard, but I do not like gardenia-mustard, so it was kind of hard to get used to this).
So I have a few girlie favorites, but really, I LOVE me some cologne. It just smells so sophisticated, and who doesn’t want to smell like a chic male model? I know I do, since there are far worse things to smell like (like soup. or gardenia-mustard).
A couple days ago, my brother gave me the arduous task of buying him a new bottle of Old Spice body wash. I spent a good portion of my shopping time in the bath aisle huffing bottle after bottle of the stuff. IT SMELLED SO GOOD. I ended up buying him this new flavor with foxes on the front, and I must say, if foxes smell like this in real life, I am going to be a fox hoarder. Stuff smells BAWWWMB. I also fell in love with this one that has a hawk on it and smells like the chicest male you ever did see. Determined to smell good, I bought it for myself.
When I emerged from the most sophisticated smelling shower in the history of the world, my brother asked me if I had used his body wash. I explained that I had, in fact, used a MALE body wash, but not his, because mine has the hawk on the front and he has the fox one. He picked up the bottle and said “you’re using guy body wash? Isn’t that weird?” and I had to have a long heart-to-heart with him about how hard it is to be a girl in this world full of weird-smelling floral perfumes and if he was open-minded in allowing women wear men’s cologne, the world would be a better place.
Needless to say, my family asks me daily where I came from. My enlightening girl-cologne-conversation didn’t go over as well as I’d hoped. But that’s okay because I made Twinkies, and the world was realigned once more.
Since Hostess took a nosedive, I’ve been thinking about Twinkies more lately. Like using them in truffles or shortcake… you know, normal things. And it dawned on me that making an actual Twinkie was probably pretty easy, and then, switching up that classic pound cake-and-cream flavor for something a little different would be just as simple. So I did that, and took a kid-friendly PB&J and stuffed it into a Twinkie.
Best idea since smelling like a chic male.
Peanut Butter & Jelly Twinkies *Twinkie base recipe from Brown Eyed Baker
- 1 box Betty Crocker pound cake mix
- 4 egg whites
- ⅔ cup water
- About ⅔ cup jam (I used strawberry, but any flavor works)
- ¼ cup butter
- ¼ cup smooth peanut butter
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
- 2 Tbsp cream or milk
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Liberally grease a cream canoe pan, or make your own Twinkie molds! Here's how: Take an approx. 12" sheet of aluminum foil and fold it in half lengthwise. Place a spice bottle in the center of the foil horizontally. Gently fold one long end of the foil around the spice bottle, then roll and tuck the ends up to create a small "canoe." Remove the bottle and place the canoes on a rimmed baking sheet. Make about 8-10, depending on how puffy you want your Twinkies. Make sure to grease the makeshift Twinkie canoes with cooking spray!!
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the egg whites on high speed until stiff peaks form. While the egg whites are beating, combine the pound cake mix + the water. Gently fold in ½ of the whipped egg white mixture to combine, then gently fold in the remaining whipped egg whites.
- Carefully spoon the batter evenly among the canoe pan/foil canoes, about ½-2/3 full. Bake for approx. 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool the cakes for about 10 minutes before carefully removing the foil and turning the cakes onto a wire rack to cool completely. The foil will be hot, so don't burn yourself!
- Once the cakes are cooled, flip them over so you have the flat side face-up. Take a toothpick and make three small holes in a line in the center of the Twinkie. Use the toothpick to quickly "dig" the crumbs out of each hole so it's about the size of your fingertip (I actually used my fingertip to help clrea out some of the crumbs, but be careful not to completely puncture your finger through the Twinkie!)
- Place the jam in a piping bag attached with a small circle tip (I used Wilton 6). Stick the piping bag into the hole and gently pipe the jam into the Twinkie's cavities. Allow the jam to set in the Twinkies by placing them upside down (or jam-side up) for about 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, melt the butter + peanut butter over medium heat, stirring constantly. Stir in the powdered sugar and cream until a thick glaze has formed. Dip the tops of the Twinkies into the peanut butter glaze, allowing excess to drip off. Repeat with remaining Twinkies. Allow the glaze to set, about 20 minutes, before serving. These are best served the same day but can be stored airtight, at room temperature, for a couple days.
There’s something continually comforting in eating a peanut butter & jelly sandwich. It’s the quintessential kid food, and when those flavors pair up with a Twinkie, it makes one delicious snack! The peanut butter glaze on top remains softer even the next day, giving that creamy texture we all love from peanut butter. And the jelly filling is surprising and sweet, tasting like a canoe-shaped PBJ sammy. I really loved these, and I know your kids will, too!