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Food and Wine Best Pastry Chef winner Stella Parks recreates and re-imagines childhood favorites into sophisticated modern desserts.

BraveTart: Make Your Own Hostess Sno Balls

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[Photographs: Sarah Jane Sanders]

If you've ever wanted to eat a Koosh Ball then you understand the appeal of Hostess Sno Balls. Who doesn't want a fluffy, jiggly, bouncy neon snack? Uh. Well. Maybe you don't. In which case, who wants chocolate cake?

We can all agree on chocolate cake.

On a technical level, Sno Balls are Hostess cupcakes turned upside down and coated in marshmallow, coconut, and dye. But that's a little like saying that Superman is just Clark Kent with a cape.

Underneath it all, yes, they may be the same. But the exterior of each dictates certain conventions or, in the case of the Sno Ball, confections. A Hostess Cupcake is solid, reliable, sweet, and a little dense, like Clark. But throw on a marshmallowy robe and that plain little chocolate cake transforms into something so much more...super.

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Like Clark and Superman, the Sno Ball knows a thing or two about the power of disguise. Around St. Patrick's day, the Sno Ball goes green and masquerades as a Lucky Puff. For Easter, it's a violet Hopper and for Trick-or-Treat it becomes a Scary Cake.

Which is funny, because the Sno Ball is kind of a scary cake all year round. I don't want to be mean, but seriously, it belongs in the X-Files. Literally. Remember Scully's birthday and the sparkler-topped Sno Ball Mulder arranged for her? But that's not the Sno Ball's first televised birthday appearance. Digging through the television director's Metaphors for Sexual Tension Handbook, I found another oh-so-questionable Sno Ball incident with Bo and Carly on Days of Our Lives.

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Despite the Hostess bankruptcy business and ensuing Twinkie panic, you can still pick up a two-pack of Sno Balls at the grocery. But, should a day come where they're no longer available and you find yourself in need of a birthday cake for the Scully or Bo in your life, I've got you covered.

Get the Recipe

Hostess Sno Balls »


About the Author: Stella Parks suffers from an unhealthy obsession with recreating the mass produced snacks of her childhood, but ironically is employed by a Frenchman to make the high brow desserts of his childhood. She blogs that dichotomy at bravetart.com and can be followed on Twitter at @thebravetart.

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