My favorite subject in school growing up was… snack time! I can still hear the crinkling of plastic packaging as my classmates and I showed off our tasty Little Debbie’s and Hostess baked treats. This time of year, when the kids are headed back to school, there’s a small part of me that wishes I could go back to those days of school snacks and lunch boxes. So what’s a gal to do when you want a slice of nostalgia to snack on? You do the adult thing and bake your own! Thanks to the geniuses in the Flourish kitchen, we’ve got three imitation recipes featuring classic school snacks, just a little bit healthier, made with fewer, pronounceable ingredients, and with a lot more fiber! Praise be for simple ingredients and modern technology capable of transporting us right to the golden age of snacks. Without further ado, it’s time to make yourself the holy trinity of nostalgic snacks (with a high fiber twist): Cosmic Brownies, Oatmeal Cream Pies, and Hostess Cupcakes. Enjoy!
Topped with colorful sprinkles, this thick, fudgy take on Cosmic Brownies is topped with a creamy homemade chocolate ganache for a brownie that’s *out-of-this-world* delicious. Now you may recall that the OG Cosmic Brownie is a little on the thin side, which although was never an issue when cutting deals at the lunch table, when given the choice today, we’re opting for a super thick update to trap even more of the fudgy chocolate-y taste. To really nail the characteristic dense and fudgy texture, you’re going to want to mix these by hand to avoid whipping up too much air and fluff into the mixture, otherwise your brownies will drift into the cake galaxy, which is not the assignment. In a nod to simplicity, the soft, delicious frosting atop the brownies is a chocolate ganache made with milk vs. heavy whipping cream, so this will hopefully save an additional trip to the store for single ingredients. What that means, though, is that once your brownies are assembled and coated in frosting, you’ll need to refrigerate them for 1-2 hours so the ganache, sans heavy whipping cream, can firm up and harden to allow for crisp, clean, uniform cuts for serving. While these will stay moist and fudgy for 3-4 days when stored in the fridge, we’ve also found that these taste amazing straight out of the freezer!
Two soft oatmeal cookies sandwiched together with a layer of sweet vanilla buttercream frosting is all you need to make yummy, homemade Little Debbie Oatmeal Cream Pies. The homey aroma of oats and cinnamon that accompanied the opening of an Oatmeal Cream Pie package was always a welcome experience. Looking critically at the original cookies, though, the cookies themselves are thin little guys! So, as above, if given the option, we’re going big and sturdy for these high fiber oatmeal cookies. With a light crisp on the outside and a chewy middle, these oatmeal cream pies are hearty enough to travel safely to school, work or wherever you’re headed. The sweet cream filling is basically a glorified buttercream frosting, beaten for a full five minutes to ensure it’s light and fluffy, using pantry staples you’ve likely already got at home. During the assembly process, don’t overdo it with the frosting, otherwise you’ll have a big old mess when you squish the cookies together, sending the frosting on an escape mission, bubbling out the sides. These homemade Oatmeal Cream Pies will last for about three days when refrigerated and taste best if you let them sit out at room temperature for an hour before digging in.
A lunchbox staple since 1919, this tantalizingly moist chocolate cake filled with cream filling and topped with chocolate icing is a healthier take on the incomparable classic Hostess Cupcake. Some say we’re crazy for trying to mess with perfection, and they’re right. 😉 These come together in just under an hour, and while the ingredient list is straightforward, with items you’ll recognize and names you can pronounce, we do recommend using high quality varieties for a few select ingredients, namely the chocolate, to ensure maximum flavor and texture. Now you might be asking, “Where’s the cream filling?” Using heavy cream, you’ll use a hand mixer to create the homemade whipped cream that you’ll later inject into each cupcake with a piping bag or a Ziploc bag with a corner cut off. The frosting on top is a chocolate ganache that you’ll dunk the cream-filled cupcakes in, and once they’re cool, you’ll add the signature swirl on top using one final batch of whipped cream and powdered sugar. These will do best if stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, and because there’s so much cream used in this recipe, they won’t keep for super long, away from the fridge, so these would be best for a morning school snack or as part of an early lunch. They said it couldn’t be done, but here we are, friends: a perfect copycat Hostess Cupcake, ready for snacking.
Tastier than the original, and a little bit healthier to boot, we think you’ll fall in love all over again with these old school meets new school lunchbox faves. Grab a bag of high fiber all purpose flour today and enjoy the baking trip down the tastiest memory lane we could find!
Your Flourish Fam