Hostess Releases Grown-Up, Bite-Sized Snack Cakes
Hostess is, more than likely, a brand name that drums up nostalgia for those who hear it. From its iconic yellow spongecake Twinkies to its signature swirled chocolate cupcakes, the snack cake company has 99 years of cultural cache. But even 99-year-old bakeries (that only six years ago went bankrupt) can rise again and learn new tricks. In a packaged baked goods aisle that has probably looked pretty much the same at your local grocery store for years, Hostess is launching a line of new, small-batch-inspired treats meant to tempt the most discerning of dessert connoisseurs.
Dubbed the Bakery Petites collection, cake balls, brownie crisps, and brownie bites are hitting to supermarkets nationwide today. The brand touts that these baked goods contain no artificial colors or flavors and no high fructose corn syrup, appealing to your adult sensibilities for less-bad-for-you sweets. Additionally, these Bakery Petites don't come wrapped in pairs, but in large, resealable bags, appealing to that other adult sensibility: self-control.
Here are all of the new Bakery Petites products, what they taste like, and how they compare to Hostess classics and other bakery items:
Taking a cue from cake pops, these balls of sponge aren't as dense as their inspiration. What Hostess has created here are, essentially, miniature versions of their classic snack cakes. The double chocolate flavor is a chocolate cake with chocolate fudge coating (and sprinkles), and is filled with chocolate creme, which a spokesperson told me is the brand's way of "Hostess-izing" the cake ball concept. So, imagine a chocolate creme-filled Ding Dong, only bite-sized. The White Vanilla Fudge variety might appeal to Twinkie or Zinger fans (or those who fell in love with the recent White Ding Dongs), as they're a vanilla cake filled with vanilla creme and dipped in white fudge (plus, of course, more sprinkles).
A spokesperson for Hostess told Food & Wine that two more cake delights flavors are on the way in the near future (I suggested fruit flavors and that notion was not shot down). These, along with the brownie delights, are also ideally shaped and sized for putting out on a tray if you were in a pinch for party-ready finger foods.
Hostess makes larger brownies with M&M's and other candies inside, and even brownie bites, but these morsels take that "bite" down closer to a nibble. Denser and chewier than the chocolate cake in Ho Hos and Zingers, these brownie bites are also a bit smaller than the mini-muffin-sized brownie bites you might have already seen in the bakery section. The chocolate chunk flavor, with bits of chocolate inside, is the go-to for chocolate fans, however, the chocolate raspberry flavor wasn't so overpoweringly berry-tinged that it turned me (not a fan of chocolate/berry brownies) off in any way. This is perhaps the most prominent example of how the lack of artificial flavors comes into play.
These chip-like brownies have been causing quite a commotion for snack food fans for some time by way of other brands, but Hostess is getting into the game with both chocolate and blondie versions. As far as comparisons to other Hostess products, there's also certainly nothing like them from the company already. Both flavors are wafer-like, melt-in-your-mouth cookies that eat (dangerously so) like potato chips.
All of the new Bakery Petites products will retail (suggested) for $3.69.