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Fate Of Texas State Fair Fried Twinkies

(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Bud Gillett
Bud is the most veteran reporter at CBS 11 News with 42 years in m...
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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - First Big Tex burned down, now another State Fair of Texas icon may be in danger…what will happen to Deep Fried Twinkies now that the Hostess Bakery is liquidating?

The folks who’ve sold more than eighty thousand of them over the last decade are asking the same question about the beloved dessert.

“They’re really good; they’re something a little different and not too sweet,” Katie Maher says, who along with Billy O’Connor first tried to sell the fair on fried candy bars back in 2002.

The boss wasn’t too thrilled. She recalled, “Then about a week later Hostess called and they were looking for someone to fry a Twinkie, and we said, ‘Well, we’ll fry a Twinkie.’”

O’Connor takes up the story.  “And our boss said, ‘Y’all are kind of crazy enough to try anything, huh?’”

Both had grown up with Twinkies; they experimented.

“Roll them in a little flour, we use a Tempura batter with rolling them in flour and batter,” Maher says.  “Dip it in the batter, do it on a stick, fry them for a couple of minutes until that creamy center melts into the cake, and then we offer a powdered sugar with a chocolate sauce or mixed berry.”

O’Conner observes, “Kind of fried up a little different than a Twinkie tastes when you start off.   I liked that a lot because it’s a different taste than when you start off with an old sponge cake…It does taste good.  Some of the fried items out here turn out to be novelty because they don’t last but we’ve been fortunate because this item still sells.”

And so it caught on, now popular enough to be both loved and mocked on YouTube.  But Friday’s announcement left them like everyone else in America.

“Right now we need to buy them, if you can get them,” Maher told CBS 11 News.

Would-be entrepreneurs have snapped up what products were left, offerings items for sale on eBay and Craigslist at many times what they cost.   Kroger tells CBS 11 News the last of the Twinkies disappeared from Dallas-Fort Worth area store shelves yesterday; that if you look you can still find things like Mini-Muffins or doughnuts or maybe a snack food or two…but they’re an endangered species.

“We better get to buying Twinkies. But hopefully another company will pick them up and we can keep Twinkies going,” Maher believes.

O’Connor agrees.  “Right now we need to buy them, if you can get them,” he says adding, “It’d be nice if somebody would pick them up and operate at a profit.”

Tammi Stifler, the lady who sells fried Ding-Dongs at the fair tells CBS 11 News she’s in the same boat.  But the brand names are worth something, and the vendors hope another bakery can buy the rights and start making them in time for next year’s fair.