Every year, I go a little overboard making as many heart shaped treats for my kids for Valentine’s Day as time allows. Which is why my next few posts may be heart shaped! Hmmm, heart shaped donuts, heart shaped macarons, heart shaped churros, heart shape pancakes… oh the list could go on and on! My kids really do enjoy the heart shaped treats and I really enjoy making them feel extra special! I decided to take my homemade twinkie recipe and try it out in my silicone heart shaped pan. I added a drop or two of pink food coloring to the batter. To make them look like conversation hearts, I made blue royal icing and wrote sayings on the heart twinkies. They turned out so cute! This recipe made about 32 heart cakes. I had enough to treat my kids and husband to a special lunch treat with plenty left to box up and share with my neighbors and friends. My kids loved the heart shape and my husband commented that they were the perfect size for a one bite treat!
Conversation Heart Twinkies
2 cups (8 1/2 oz) King Arthur Unbleached Cake Flour (This is available to purchase online from KAF or amazon and can be found in some grocery stores. Any brand cake flour can be used, but the KAF cake flour is the only unbleached cake flour I know of. If you do not want to bake with chemicals such as bleach in your flour, you may consider ordering from KAF)
1 1/2 cups (10 1/2 oz) granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (3 1/2 oz) vegetable oil
3/4 cup (6 oz) cold water
7 unbeaten egg yolks
1 teaspoon Princess Cake and Cookie Flavoring for true snack cake taste OR 1 teaspoon vanilla (I use the princess cake and cookie flavoring. Click on the link to purchase from KAF)
7 egg whites, beaten very stiff
pink food coloring
Snack Cake Filling
2 tablespoon King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/2 cup (4 oz) milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
4 tablespoons (2 oz) salted butter
4 tablespoons (1 1/2 oz) shortening
1/2 cup (3 1/2 oz) granulated sugar
dash of salt (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spritz a heart shaped pan with a light layer of cooking spray. I used this silicone heart pan. But any heart shaped pan will do! Set aside.
2. Place all ingredients except beaten egg whites into a large mixing bowl. Beat until smooth.
3. Working in thirds, fold the beaten egg whites into the batter. Take care to keep the batter light; fold, don’t beat. Very gently fold your egg whites into the batter until smooth. To fold, cut your batter down the middle of your bowl with your spatula until you hit the bottom of the bowl. Now, fold the batter up and over and turn your bowl. Repeat until the all the egg whites are incorporated and the batter is smooth.
4. Fill each section of the heart pan 2/3 full. (Place your batter in a ziplock bag. Snip one small corner of the bag with scissors and squeeze the batter into your pan.) The cakes will puff quite a bit during baking, but will shrink back during cooling.
5. Bake the cakes in a preheated oven for 8-12 minutes. Baking in my silicone pan took 16 minutes. If your heart shape sections of your pans are larger, check them after 8 minutes, then add a minute or two as needed. They are done when the cakes spring back or a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.
6. Remove the pan from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Using a flexible spatula, gently remove each cake and cool flat side down on a rack until completely cool.
7. In the meantime, prepare the snack cake filling.
In a small saucepan cook flour and milk over medium heat until a paste forms. Stir constantly and do not allow mixture to brown.
Remove from heat and let cool 1 minute. Add vanilla and stir until smooth. Press a piece of plastic wrap down on the surface of the paste to avoid forming a skin and set aside to cool completely.
8. In the bowl of your mixer beat butter, shortening, and sugar until fluffy, scraping bowl to fully incorporate ingredients. Add cooled flour/milk mixture and continue to beat 5 minutes on medium-high speed until smooth and creamy. Use to fill snack cakes. Filling will remain creamy; store at room temperature 3-4 days.
To fill heart cakes: Place about 1 cup of filling into a clean pastry bag fitted with a round pastry tube. Gently insert the tube into the underside of the cake, about halfway through the cake. Using gentle pressure, squeeze a small amount of filling into the cake. You’ll feel the cake expand under your fingers. Do not overfill, or the cake will burst. Repeat for a total of 3 times per cake. (Or 4 times! I love extra cream in my twinkies. I never thought the store bought cakes had enough.) Store cakes well covered at room temperature for up to 4 days. I found that storing the cakes with the royal icing in a sealed tight container made the royal icing bleed into the snack cake. I did not have this problem when I stored them in a bakery box. Bakery boxes are available at Michael’s and Joanne’s.
Recipe Source: King Arthur Flour
1 1/2 Tablespoons meringue powder
2 C sifted powdered sugar
2 1/2-3 Tablespoons lukewarm water
blue food coloring
1.Place sugar and Meringue powder in a bowl and stir at low speed.
2.Add water (Start with 2 1/2 TBS then add a little more at a time to reach desired consistency.) and food coloring and mix on low to medium for 7-10 minutes, until icing loses its sheen.
3.To prevent drying out, keep the bowl and icing tips covered with a damp towel.
Will keep for two weeks stored in the fridge.
Whip again before using.
Recipe source: Wilton
Place royal icing in a piping bag. Attach a small tip ( I used a Wilton size 2 round tip) and pipe conversation heart sayings onto heart shaped Twinkies.
How can you bless others with conversation heart twinkies:
Share them with friends, family, teachers and neighbors. I lined white or red boxes with heart printed tissue paper. I then placed the conversation heart twinkies in the box. You can tie the box with red and white twine and attach a note if you wish.