Way back in the 1980s, I worked in an office where we would frequently have pot lucks. One of the favorite desserts served at those pot lucks was the Twinkie Dessert. Now, this was not my recipe – it was a co-worker’s recipe. But, as we often did, we shared everyone’s favorite recipes. As I look back on it, I have so many recipes from then that we should have published a cookbook. I have a chicken enchilada recipe that is super yummy that was made by one of the guys. I might have to dig that one out, update it, and share it now that the hot weather has broken, and we can use our ovens again!
Anyway, I digress. The reason that I thought about this recipe, which I admit I haven’t had in many, many years, is that my nephew’s dear, sweet girlfriend, who happens to be living with us at the moment, is a BIG FAN of Twinkies. She is a little wisp of a
girl woman and is very quiet, but she is quite interesting, and she makes me smile and laugh.
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again – I love getting to know “kids” (yes, I know they are really young adults, but they are kids to me) in this age group. I think staying in touch and in tune with younger generations (really, when did I get this old?) helps to keep us from turning into old fogies. I do not want to be an old fogie. I don’t care if I look like one, but I do not want to be one.
I hate to hear people, particularly older people, say things like “in the good old days” or “back in my day” or similar derogatory things about those younger than themselves. So what if they have more tattooes and body piercings than we did. So what if they wear casual clothing to work. So what if they like to sleep all day and stay awake all night.
If they are supporting themselves and are being productive members of society, what difference does it make? Remember when we wore hip hugger blue jeans, platform shoes, and mini skirts? You would have thought the world was coming to an end.
Well, it didn’t and it won’t. At least it won’t because of the way any of us have ever dressed. It’s what’s on the inside, our moral characters, and our willingness to work hard and help others that really matters. And, with the kids around me, I see plenty of hard workers, caring for others, and solid citizens. Are they a bit idealistic? Yes. Let them be that way. We were at this age, too. There is plenty of time for reality to set in.
All of that over thinking about Twinkies. Gee.
Another thing about Twinkies. I love them, too. My mother NEVER bought boxed treats, but I would occasionally eat them, and my favorite was, by far, the Twinkie. Now, the modern day Twinkies aren’t quite like the ones back in my day (there I go). They aren’t as moist probably because they replaced a really bad-for-you ingredient with a better-for-you one. Did you know that there is a website for Twinkie desserts? You can find it here.
So, just for fun, I am posting a recipe made from all pre-packaged products. I had to change it up a little because of packaging size changes since the 80s, but the end result is the same. And, for the record, I am not eating the entire dish. We’ll have a piece and the rest is going into the office with my dear sweet hubby. Let another group of office buddies enjoy this sweet treat!
Isn’t it a hallmark of 80s recipes that they were all made from pre-packaged products? Maybe it was reflective of the fact that more and more women were working career jobs, but still remained mostly responsible for taking care of the home and kids.
Layer the Twinkies in the bottom of a 9×13 glass baking dish.
I believe that the original boxes of Twinkies included 14 little cakes rather than 10. I think it works fine with fewer cakes, but you could use a few more and pack them in if you like.
Prepare the gelatin according to package directions and pour over the Twinkies. Refrigerate until set or about 2 hours.
After the gelatin is set, prepare the pudding according to package directions. Spread over the Twinkie and gelatin layer.
Spread the cherry pie filling over the pudding layer.
Spread the non-dairy whipped topping over the cherry pie filling layer.
Sprinkle the chopped nuts over the non-dairy whipped topping layer, if desired. Refrigerate until completely set or about another 2 hours.
Now, I like the nuts on this. They add a nice, crunchy texture to all of the creaminess, but my kids won’t eat anything with nuts on it, and it works fine without them, too.
Twinkie Dessert Serves 12 1 15-ounce box of Twinkies (10 Twinkies) Layer Twinkies in the bottom of a glass 9×13 dish. Prepare gelatin according to package directions, pour over the Twinkies, and refrigerate for 2 hours. Prepare pudding according to package directions and spread over the Twinkie gelatin layer. Spread the cherry pie filling over the pudding layer. Spread the non-dairy whipped topping over the cherry pie filling layer. Sprinkle the top with the chopped nuts, if desired. Refrigerate until completely set or about another 2 hours. Slice and serve.
1 6-ounce box cherry gelatin
1 5.1-ounce box instant vanilla pudding (plus the 3 cups of milk to prepare it)
1 21-ounce can cherry pie filling
1 8-ounce container non-dairy whipped topping
½ cup chopped nuts (optional)
1 15-ounce box of Twinkies (10 Twinkies)
Layer Twinkies in the bottom of a glass 9×13 dish. Prepare gelatin according to package directions, pour over the Twinkies, and refrigerate for 2 hours. Prepare pudding according to package directions and spread over the Twinkie gelatin layer. Spread the cherry pie filling over the pudding layer. Spread the non-dairy whipped topping over the cherry pie filling layer. Sprinkle the top with the chopped nuts, if desired. Refrigerate until completely set or about another 2 hours. Slice and serve.