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Make your favorite snack cakes and cookies at home

Diana De Cicco is a food editor and writer based in New York City. She has a master's degree from New York University in Food Studies. Her passions are eating, traveling, and eating while traveling.

Special homemade treats

As a child you absolutely loved Twinkies, Oreos, and Hostess Cupcakes, and, given the permission, would have eaten them all day long. However, as an adult, you know what these delicious sweets are made of and can't bring yourself to indulge in them all that often. Fortunately, you can treat yourself (and feel good about it) with these homemade and preservative-free versions of your childhood favorites. Granted, they aren't low-fat or calorie-free, but they are so tasty you won't mind the occasional treat.

Homemade Oreos

Homemade Oreo Cookies

Makes 24 cookies

Ingredients:
1 box devil's food cake mix
1/2 cup shortening
2 eggs
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 to 4 cups powdered sugar

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a standup mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, blend cake mix with shortening and eggs. Form dough into dime-sized balls and place on a baking sheet. Bake cookies for 8 minutes. Let cool.

2. Meanwhile, beat together cream cheese, butter, vanilla, and powdered sugar (add more to taste). Frost the backs of half of the cooled cookies and top with remaining cookies.

Homemade Twinkies

Makes 12 servings

Ingredients:
1 cup milk
5 tablespoons flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup Crisco
1/2 cup butter, chilled
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 baked yellow cake (follow directions on the box)

Directions:
1. Combine milk and flour in a saucepot and bring to a boil, stirring until smooth and thick. Let cool. Beat with electric beaters until fluffy, then add remaining ingredients (except the cake), one at a time beating well after each addition.

2. Slice cake in half horizontally and spread cream mixture on bottom layer of cake. Replace top layer. Chill cake until cream is firm. Slice cake into individual pieces and wrap each in plastic wrap. Store in refrigerator until ready to serve.

Hostess Cupcakes

Makes 30 cupcakes

Ingredients:
1 box of chocolate cake mix
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg
Pinch of salt
6 ounces chocolate chips
1 tub of prepared chocolate frosting

Directions:
1. Prepare cake mix following directions on box. Place paper liners in muffin tins and fill 2/3 of the way full with cake mix.

2. Beat together cream cheese and sugar in a bowl until smooth. Beat in egg and salt. Mix in chocolate chips. Spoon one teaspoon of cream cheese mixture onto each cupcake.

3. Bake cupcakes as direction on package. Let cool. Frost with chocolate frosting.

For more dessert recipes, visit the SheKnows.com Food and Recipes Channel.

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