In the past, Hostess would carry many well-known pies. They would carry a variety of flavors, like apple, lemon and even pudding fillings, and all with icing or glaze, that were popular.
As a young boy, I would invariably find them exceptional and always available in stores. Today, Hostess pies are harder to find. The Wal-Mart website has been my first exposure, recently, to the scarce snack pies. Have no fear though; Tastykake has a solution.
1) What treats do you wish stores would still carry in abundance?
When I would first receive a Hostess Chocolate Pudding Pie, I found it exceptional. I did not, and do not, really eat pudding. However, I found, once you wrap that pudding in a pie shell, with icing or glaze, that pudding becomes exceptional.
It is only recently that Hostess would come back from bankruptcy. While I had gotten older, my sweet tooth would remain pie driven.
Enter the Tastykake Chocolate Pie, with real cocoa. They have a variety of pie flavors, including lemon, apple, cherry and chocolate. The Chocolate Pie would excite me the most.
It is weighty. The pie differs from traditional Tastykake Pies, in a personal carton. Tastykake’s new pie comes in a vivid, dense, cocoa wrapper.
I must apologize ahead of time to Hostess. I would open my first Hostess Chocolate Pudding pie and hold it in my hands.
I remember the pie crust and pudding would crumble in my hands almost instantly.
The Hostess Pie was good but I remember Hostess Pies, overall, for having an abundance of filling or for a pie shell that could not hold the filling.
I am a fan of dense, heavy crust, especially if the pie filling is in overabundance.
Tastykake represents this idea best. I would open the Tastykake pie’s packaging to find a solid dessert.
I would move the hearty pastry between my hands but it would not fall apart.
This Tastykake Pie only comes apart when you are ready.
Inside the thick shell, a rich, almost, milk chocolate pudding waits. This combination of thick, sweet butter crust, glaze and lovable, rich milk chocolate pudding makes this pastry very different from Hostess’ product.
In The End
In passing these pies, in the store, I would mistake Tastykake’s new pies for Hostess pies.
These new pies taste much better, from memory, in my opinion.
I have to admit, I ate one other flavor previously.
Instead of writing a review on it, I would like you to taste the other new Tastykake pies and come to your own decision on the product.
Pick one up in the store. Pick up the Hostess pies in certain stores. You can compare the flavors.
In defense of Tastykake, I will say you can expect the heft of the new pie to prepare you for the great taste inside the packaging.
A baker, James Dewar, for the Continental Baking Company would create the Twinkie in 1930. Hostess, part of the Continental Baking Company, would present the Twinkie in many stores around America and the snack cake would become a part of America’s history. Since then, the yellow sponge cake with crème filling has left the snack cake market, along with many other Hostess products. Hostess went bankrupt in November 2012. Tastykake, a popular baking company in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania since 1914, has come out with, what seems like, their own version of the Twinkie, the Tastykake Dreamies.
1) What product did you like that was taken off of the market and brought back to the market?
2) What did you think of the product when you first had it and what do you think of that renewed product now?
Please comment below.
The Hostess Twinkie was the first snack cake I ever had. I remember so much from that first experience. The yellow cake was dense and chewy but also soft and spongy. The crème was heavy, rich and good. I thought it was vanilla crème. I ate the two cakes in the package so quickly I just did not care. I did wonder if they would ever make the same kind of Twinkie with a banana cream in its center.
I had to turn away from Twinkies quickly. I found them again, at a much later age, though I felt the Twinkies at that time had a very different taste. The original chewy but soft sponge cake was now very light and thin. It was very much like angel food cake. The crème was lighter but had a very different taste then the Twinkies I had when I was younger. I gave up on the Twinkie at that very moment.
Tastykake made a snack cake with the same tubular shape as Hostess Twinkie and in a similar twin bound package as Hostess Twinkie. Only, these cakes have the name Dreamies. I sometimes hesitate when a new company takes on an old tradition. Then I remember Tastykake is not a new company. Tastykake has stood the test time with its variety of snack cake, pies and other goodies, nationwide.
I will hint at three very good products from the company which include their variety of krimpets, slender sponge cake with icing on top, and sometimes filling inside, pies, specifically their Black and White, Lemon and Pumpkin pies, and cupcakes. I had to see how they would spin what many will compare to the original Hostess Twinkie.
In tasting Tastykake Dreamies, I am looking at three basic things: the taste of the cake, the taste of the cream and the taste overall.
The cake for the Tastykake Dreamies is similar to the older Twinkie. It is like dense yellow pound cake, possibly thicker, with I would almost say is a hint of pineapple in the batter, though I think that is just my imagination. The cake is sweet but not as sweet as the Hostess Twinkie. it is not chewy. It is spongy without a doubt.
The crème inside the cake is slight. It is still very good, strong and luscious. The crème is not to heavy but is just right. I would guess there is vanilla cream in the center each Dreamie and a very worthwhile cream at that.
Overall, in my opinion, this is Tastykake’s rendition of the no longer available Hostess Twinkie. For people who adore the Twinkie, it will be a substitute, and maybe a new friend. For everyone else, I wonder if this cake, if put together with either cool or warm pineapples, and sauce or strawberries, and sauce or blueberries, and sauce, caramel or chocolate would make a fine dessert. Tastykake has made a very fine product.
This is a very strong standalone product. Tastykake has a tendency, in my opinion, to bring products to market that are strong and that is what Tastykake Dreamies brings to the snack cake market. Tastykake presents another fine product will make snack cake consumers fall in love.
During my visit to The Night Kitchen Bakery, they presented the best of any sweet dessert or dish in its most natural form. I visited the business with one intention, to get a small lunch and soothe a desired need for the bakery’s cookies. The business, located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on 7725 Germantown Avenue, presented natural meals and desserts done well.
I have not tried the brownies, sticky buns, wedding or regular cakes. They enticed me with their rich chocolate, sticky, sweet, honey, and regal looks. I tried the cookies.
The cookies, I noticed, carried their own theme. The Jumble, a combination of chocolate chips, oatmeal, raisins, nuts and, I believe, oatmeal, will have your needs met. The Poppy seed cookies are saccharine, crunchy, and delectable.
During my visit, I tried a Strata and different cookies, specifically, one set of cookies called Sandy Feet. Strata, a combination of bacon, cheddar, and eggs served with fruit or mixed green salad called me home. It turned out Strata was a slice of fine quiche but with more layers. The eggs, bacon, and cheese morphed into a light and savory pie.
The fruit, strawberries, blueberries, and grapes, tasted fresh picked.
The Night Kitchen Bakery presented a robust taste. With a cordial staff and a quaint and clean business, Night Kitchen Bakery’s standards are high.
Sandy feet, when I think about it, reminded me of something in a prayer related email. These Sandy Feet are not holy feet, as mentioned in the email. They are cookies cut into small feet. They were thick but had a light crumbled texture.
Their sweet taste, covered with either cinnamon sugar or a combination of light spice and a sugar sweet blend, raised the cookies to another level. If you smell the underside of these cookies, they stink, of Parmesan cheese.
I also tasted the cookies called Jumbles. I considered them small mountains of flavor, which are moist, nutty, sweetly centered, and wholesome. I finally tried The Poppy Seed cookies, which are sweet, smooth, simple, but classic.
Night Kitchen Bakery presented, in my eyes, a wonderful business idea with good taste.
Night Kitchen Bakery, in existence for 25 years, served great cookies and fine food. The Night Kitchen Bakery, a staple of Chestnut Hill, Pennsylvania, took the necessary steps to make their business more environmentally conscience. Amy Beth Edelman and John Millard own the bakery.
You can also find more information on their available cakes, custom cakes, tarts, café items and their Thanksgiving barrage of dessert pies and treats, everything from Cranberry Almond Cake, Blueberry Almond Tarts or Double Crust Apple, Apple Crumble or Pumpkin Pie.
They specialize in coffee preparation, roasting and even presentation. What many do not know is the quality of the restaurant, food preparation and the dining service, available in this small, but heartfelt place, is phenomenal.
If you were from Upper Black Eddy you probably already would visit, or are would frequent the business as a customer of Homestead Coffee Roasters. The way I would like to present this restaurant is a home, away from home, for anyone outside of the area of Upper Black Eddy, Pennsylvania.
On a nice day, it is a joy to eat outdoors with great trees, brush, and a lovely, lake view, in the distance. If you wish to eat indoors, you sit in a quaint, dining room fit for a pleasant conversation, a romantic evening, meeting new friends, or traditional family dining.
I visited this place on a fishing trip in Upper Black Eddy. The outside of the restaurant represents a rustic and pleasant dining establishment. You stay inside, your creative mind and nostrils swell with the aromatic scents of the varied roast coffee blends.
You stay inside the staff stands ready with smiles and service to fill your empty stomach, and place any order for food that whets your appetite. In this case, I would order a short stack of pancakes, three strips of pork, bacon and an excellent cup of coffee, simply known at the Ringing Rocks Roast.
I have to admit I normally do not like coffee. This customer is just am not a usual coffee drinker. I can drink it, but no coffee has really overcome my senses, until now. However, I will get to that later.
The pancakes are a piece of heaven. The short stack is two golden brown pancakes that fill a massive plate. Each cake is so fluffy, supports the richness of true fresh butter, and mixes with light, sweet, but present syrup to melt in your mouth and fill your stomach. The pork bacon is good. It is fresh, not greasy but is meaty but lean.
The coffee, the Ringing Rocks Roast, is light, sweet with sugar and half-and-half, creamy, smooth, not bitter but blissful. When a friend told me about the coffee, I had my previous perceptions and interactions with coffee, in my mind, blown away.
This was an amazing experience along with the beauty of Upper Black Eddy, on a luminous day. If you combine, all of these elements with a fast and accommodating staff, Homestead Coffee Roasters becomes the place to visit, if you are in the neighborhood.
If you come to this part of Pennsylvania, want order food for takeout, in the area, or want to take in a beautiful collision of nature and quality cuisine, come visit Homestead Coffee Roasters. You can also order the amazing blends online, at their home website. Come try this home away from home.
Homestead Coffee Roasters is a family business founded by Rick Lewis, owner, and roast master. He started Homestead General Store in 1979. He transformed Homestead General Store with his family, and Michael Lewis, the other roast master, into Homestead Coffee Roasters. It now offers a general store, a restaurant, and a place to acquire quality roasted and import coffees either in the restaurant, or online. You can visit their website at, http://www.homesteadcoffee.com.
There are times you can go to a doughnut shop, as part of a chain, to meet your snacking needs. As local doughnut shops go, there are many options and a variety places to visit for fresh and tasty donuts.
Only one place exist that applies creativity to their donuts, has consistent freshness in their donuts and great customer service.
Ambler Donuts is one of those places that you have to visit and taste what they have to offer.
I do not know why I went to Ambler Donuts, on a Sunday. There is actually a Subway restaurant right next door to Ambler Donuts.
In reality, my sweet tooth was driving my true food need that day. I went into Ambler Donuts. It is a smaller place that is comfortable. The staff even greets you as you walk in the door but neither of those things can prepare you for the quality of Ambler Donuts.
It is the best of what you can get locally in donuts, period, in my opinion. While Ambler Donuts is not a part of a chain, it seems like a popular doughnut shop, as shown in the links found at the end of this article. They use creativity, and transform that creativity into reality, by making unique and flavorful donuts.
I did not know this during my first visit to this shop. Small chalkboards with the names of various donuts, in an array of flavors,are spread neatly in trays, along the wall of the shop. A small counter stands ready with muffins, if donuts are not your taste. Coffee is ready for those customers just in need of a coffee fix.
There are other bakeries, and businesses, locally, that carry donuts with similar flavors to Ambler Donuts. Clearly in order to understand the difference between Ambler Donuts and other places, it comes down to tasting what they have to offer.
They have a Chocolate Iced Doughnut. It is a plain yeast doughnut, if you could call it that, with a chocolate icing on it. The doughnut is fresh and slightly chewy. It is wholesome and filling. The chocolate icing on the doughnut is like a fresh milk chocolate cream. It makes the doughnut complete.
The Chocolate Iced Doughnut can prepare you for the other creative flavors available at Ambler Donuts. They have flavors like the French toast, Lemon Meringue, Red Velvet, French Apple, Blueberry Pancake or the Sea Salt Chocolate Donuts, just to name a few. I would like to try these flavors, but often, I just try the basic donuts before launching into other flavors at a new place.
I would purchase one other doughnut Sunday. Ambler Donuts carries a Cream Doughnut, which is epic. The doughnut is fresh and light, as everything has been at Ambler Donuts, and the outside of the doughnut has a light coating of powdered sugar. When you bite into the doughnut, initially, it is airy but also hearty. It is very easy on your tongue and your taste buds.
In the very center of the doughnut, is a rich dollop of light, sweet vanilla cream that takes the doughnut not only to another level, but fills your mouth with a sweet surprise and warms your heart. I do have something else to confess about Ambler Donuts.
I have been there previously for one other doughnut. It is a cardinal sin if a business has this doughnut and does not prepare it properly.
It is this doughnut, in my opinion, that makes Ambler Donuts the ultimate place, for a morning stop or a great snack. Ambler Donuts carries a doughnut, a Peanut Butter and Jelly Doughnut that is a combination of fresh peanut butter icing, that is not too sweet and has the perfect amount of peanut flavor, on top of the doughnut, and just the right amount of grape filling, inside the doughnut, to send any peanut butter and jelly fan into ecstasy.
The Peanut Butter and Jelly doughnut does not taste like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich but it does taste like a peanut butter and grape dessert you could find at a very nice restaurant.
Ambler Donuts is not a surprise or a secret in Ambler, Pennsylvania, as shown in the links below, but it is a place where I would suggest you try the doughnuts, sip the coffee, taste the doughnut holes, which are small chocolate and plain yeast doughnut bites, taste the muffins to come to your own conclusions on Ambler Donuts.
I found Ambler Donuts as one of the places; they talk about in Pennsylvania, and outside of Philadelphia, that has so much to offer.
Ambler Donuts Update (9/12/2013)
I am not sure what made me stop at Ambler Donuts today. It could be the feeling of September’s cool breeze sweeping in, the idea of Fall flavors at Ambler Donuts or the need for the fresh taste and the wondrous variety, I was hungry for them.
There were two previous flavors I did not have at Ambler Donuts yet, the Chocolate Creme Doughnut and the French Toast Doughnut. The Chocolate Creme Doughnut does not differ in its perfect freshness, the specific dollop of creme, in the center, or its diamond shape, in comparison to the Vanilla Creme Doughnut.
Chocolate Creme, with its dusting of powdered sugar, holds a sweet, light, but subtly rich milk chocolate taste directly in the center of the doughnut.
The French Toast Doughnut makes a point of being good anytime. I mean eat it in the morning, afternoon or night. Inside of its perfectly round shape and delicious syrup and butter glaze, the French Toast Doughnut has its own buttery, sweet, cinnamon creme, inside, that puts you in that breakfast in bed moment, in the first bite.
Just to see how close this doughnut is to a French toast breakfast, I would warm the doughnut just slightly. The flavors, in combination, will start your morning right. A buttery taste, the creme given just a little heat and the slight melt of the syrup, butter and smidgen of powdered sugar on top, says Good Morning to you.
Once September really settles in, doughnut flavors like Apple Cider and Pumpkin will warm peoples’ hearts and expectations this Fall and Winter.
It is sort of like an absence you will not long for until you just start to need it. They had real peanut butter, and jelly donuts. Peanut Butter Cup. Fresh vanilla, and chocolate glazed goodness, daily. The strawberry donuts were unyielding. Yet, on March 13, 2015, Ambler Donuts closed its doors.
Personally, I thought they would be there seasonally, and daily, for years to come. It is gone. There are only the other options. It will be missed. The chocolate cream was insane. Sprinkle Alley.
This place doesn’t need advertisement. However, it requires more exposure. When you’re dealing with accessibility, and the precision, of a particular way, you want it, and get what you deserve, in Tony Luke’s. I mean this place has a very special way. I didn’t understand until I visited the location, at 39 East Oregon Avenue.
You get in. You view that menu, with numerous options. Place your order, sit, and get great taste, in a moment’s notice. It might be Italian Roast Pork, on a long roll, with Broccoli Rabe, the Cheese Steak or some other delectable item, or food combination.
I got the Roast Pork. I have to say it took a long time, to find a place outside of Philadelphia that delivered the taste I expected. The imagined sandwich, on a long roll, with great cuts of roast pork, given a rich, special bath in gracious and loving gravy, that’s not heavily salted, weighed on my mind. The dream became a reality thanks to Tony Luke’s. I tried other places, outside the city. There are tastes, and flavors, that are good, but they didn’t deliver on my expectations.
I did the same thing with the Cheese Steak. I discovered true beef, and cheese, on a great roll, with all the special extras, through Tony Luke’s. When I tasted it, it really was about the place, and time, the savory combination, of the fresh roll and well-prepared beef, and cheese, with a personal satisfaction, for what I wanted at that time.
Really, that’s what Tony Luke’s expansion, outside of South Philadelphia, is about. When you capture a personal taste, flavor, and method to distribute it, to the world, as it is, it’s a special thing. It can be about the people you meet at Tony Luke’s. You may take on a memorable challenge, while at the restaurant. You may have great conversations, at the restaurant, or conversations, that aren’t important.
Know what Tony Luke’s is. This restaurant gives you what you want, in Philadelphia. Now you get what you want in Warminster, two weeks from this piece’s publication. You can get it in Los Angeles, New Jersey, Florida, or even Bahrain. You get what you want, and it’s good.
This month has been another amazing chapter of travel through Italy!! I've been to: Florence, Pisa, Venice and Verona, each of which have had their own unique sense of character. Bologna however, is my favorite city in Italy for it's celebrated food culture… Memorable mornings in Bologna were spent at local café's where I savored some of the best Italian coffee and pastries. The taste of rich cappuccinos, macchiatos and poached cherry tarts wer … Read More