Weeknights with Jenny

Your Junk Food Memories

By • June 21, 2012 • 97 Comments

Jenny is in perpetual search for easy, weeknight recipes to attempt to feed her family. When they balk, she just eats more.

Today: A special message from Jenny.

homemade junk food

Hey 52ers!

After spending weeks locked in my kitchen this winter with a canoe pan trying to perfect the homemade Twinkie, I can report to you that I am writing a book on the matter, to be published by Clarkson Potter next year.

While I have compiled a long list of homemade junk food treats that I intend to bake between now and Christmas -- hello, does anyone remember the Chocodile? -- I would love to hear from all of you about your favorite commercial baked good memory -- kind of like when I carved an obscenity into a Honey Bun to leave on my high school boyfriend's porch, only not that -- and suggestions of recipes to develop.

Yours with a deep affection for the pizza flavored Combo,

xx oo Jenny

 

Jump to Comments (97)

Tags: Jenny, junk food, baking, cookbook, help, food memories, everyday cooking

Comments (97)

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over 1 year ago chez danisse

I'd love to see your rendition of a Dolly Madison Raspberry Zinger. My father only allowed junk food in our house when it was junk food HE enjoyed. He liked Raspberry Zingers. I haven't thought about these in ages, but I wouldn't mind one right about now.

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over 1 year ago ErinH

A vote here for Little Debbie Peanut Butter Bars. Sweet, salty, crunchy, waxy chocolate coating. Heavenly.

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over 1 year ago jamcook

it is probably too late to add anything, I missed this post last summer... but does anyone remember Raspberry /Peach Humorettes from the Good Humor Man? Peach ice cream covered in Raspberry sherbert on a stick.. sort of like a creamsicle, but Much much nicer.

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over 1 year ago gt9

I am late to this news, but you have made the start to 2013 the best with the thought of a book about by Jenny! Can't wait!

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almost 2 years ago witloof

Sara Lee banana cake. Gone,. but not forgotten. Taste and texture unmatched by any homemade attempt, ever. And believe me, I have tried.

Cheetos! But only the deep fried kind. I never, ever eat them. Last week, though, I had the perfect excuse. I found myself locked out of my upper Manhattan apartment at 2am and had to ride the subway into Brooklyn to pick up my spare keys from my catsitter, who fortunately is a night owl... I combed the subway newstands and all night convenience stores for a package to go with my Dunkin' Donuts coffee for the ride back uptown at 4am, but couldn't find any! Despair!

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about 2 years ago Jane Eyrehead

I am seeing from the comments that people have very elastic notions of what junk food is. How can ice cream be junk food? It has milk and cream in it! Potato chips have potatoes! Orange Julius has orange juice! Those are real foods! For me, the ultimate junk food is the Chee-to (sp?) because it is full of salt and fat and with its fluorescent orange color is the most un-natural cheese product I have ever seen. If it weren't for the preservatives and artificial dye it would be battleship grey. There is an alternative version dusted with magenta pepper, but I prefer the original. The key element to junk food is it must make the recipient feel very guilty. I feel great after engulfing an It's It, and perfectly terrible after a Chee-to binge.

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about 2 years ago Jane Eyrehead

I am seeing from the comments that people have very elastic notions of what junk food is. How can ice cream be junk food? It has milk and cream in it! Potato chips have potatoes! Orange Julius has orange juice! Those are real foods! For me, the ultimate junk food is the Chee-to (sp?) because it is full of salt and fat and with its fluorescent orange color is the most un-natural cheese product I have ever seen. If it weren't for the preservatives and artificial dye it would be battleship grey. There is an alternative version dusted with magenta pepper, but I prefer the original. The key element to junk food is it must make the recipient feel very guilty. I feel great after engulfing an It's It, and perfectly terrible after a Chee-to binge.

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about 2 years ago elltea

I can't believe I've missed this. I guess that is what happens when you go away for a month. Just a couple of comments, then original faves:
1. Orange Julius. Loved these, and like Carla Cookscame up with a pretty similar-tasting recipe at home. May need to make these this afternoon.
2. The "Viennese" Breyers' ice cream cake! I haven't seen the cake in a while, but they have a flavor now called Chocolate Crackle, which my husband and I refer to as Chocolate Crack: it is their delicilous vanilla ice cream spun through with massive quantities of what seems like Hershey's Magic Shell. Very east to eat a quart by oneself very quickly.

3. I always thought my parents were the anti-sugar-cereal Nazis, but upon meeting my husband I realized they were just pretending. I loved the Quaker "100% Natural" Cereal, and recently rediscovered a decades-old infatuation with Cinnamon Toast Crunch.

But my true weaknesses are crackers. When one of my life heroes, Ada Louise Huxtable, mentioned in an interview that she got over writer's block by eating a whole box of crackers,
I loved her even more. Saltines, Cheez-its, Ryvita, Home Wheats, these dutch cheese crackers barely held together with flour at all, Club Crackers spread with nothing but a little butter or mayonnaise. But my true ultimate loves: Triscuits. And Chicken in a Biskit.

Stringio

about 2 years ago LynetteC

I love Wise BBQ chips,funnybones,suzy q's,those small boxes of cookies,about the size of the barnum animal crackers,they came in chocolate chip,chocolate,ginger snaps and other flavors...loved them...also Frozen charleston chews,broadway rolls(strawberyy licorice),The cookies that came 3 to a pack,OHHHH!Linden butter cookies,chocolate chip and oatmeal....I liked the jolly ranchers that came in the stick form,indianhead pumpkin seeds(they were really thin,you could chew the whole thing~!),Marathon bars,that are now renamed curly wurly,they were chocolate cover caramel but iin a squiggly design kind of...lol,So good! Reeses PB cups when they were small and in a box,Clark bars,fifth ave,which was my moms fave! Love pepperidge farm raspberry and teh blueberry turnovers with some vanilla ice cream on top ,but you could singe your mouth! LOL...ALl the penny candies,lipsticks,mary janes,squirrel nuts,bg blo....I could go on!

Stringio

about 2 years ago LynetteC

I love Wise BBQ chips,funnybones,suzy q's,those small boxes of cookies,about the size of the barnum animal crackers,they came in chocolate chip,chocolate,ginger snaps and other flavors...loved them...also Frozen charleston chews,broadway rolls(strawberyy licorice),The cookies that came 3 to a pack,OHHHH!Linden butter cookies,chocolate chip and oatmeal....I liked the jolly ranchers that came in the stick form,indianhead pumpkin seeds(they were really thin,you could chew the whole thing~!),Marathon bars,that are now renamed curly wurly,they were chocolate cover caramel but iin a squiggly design kind of...lol,So good! Reeses PB cups when they were small and in a box,Clark bars,fifth ave,which was my moms fave! Love pepperidge farm raspberry and teh blueberry turnovers with some vanilla ice cream on top ,but you could singe your mouth! LOL...ALl the penny candies,lipsticks,mary janes,squirrel nuts,bg blo....I could go on!

Stringio

about 2 years ago candi.lombard

Oh Gawd...putting on weight just thinking about this....Pepperidge Farms Blueberry Turnovers.....also their Walnut Cream layer cake, just slightly still frozen.Got a vote for coke with peanuts (guilty..I still do that now and then) and Wise Potatoe chips. Enough!

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about 2 years ago creamtea

Congratulations Jenny! My favorites: chocolate-covered Entenmann's doughnuts. The coating is waxy and a little brittle, not soft (and not a really strong chocolate flavor).

Also, ice cream sandwiches. When I came to NY for graduate school, I used to duck out sometimes to the Regency Theater on Broadway in the 60's to watch old Fred Astaire-Ginger Rogers movies. I'd get an ice-cream sandwich (chocolate wafers, vanilla ice cream) from the freezer and have a fabulous afternoon- Classic movie, classic ice-cream treat.

Oreo cookies.

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about 2 years ago KitchenDelight

Loved "Scooter Pies" - 2 graham like crackers holding a layer of marshmallow and the whole thing covered in chocolate. Yum to anything with marshmallow.

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about 2 years ago Jestei

These comments are fantastic. I loved hearing everyone's ideas and so enjoyed being part of your memories, and could relate to so many of them. THANKS SO MUCH FOR ALL THESE GENEROUS and FABULOUS replies. -- Jenny

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about 2 years ago courtneycarlson

We are big on taste tests in our family. Mom's recipes vs. the "real thing". Each St. Patrick's Day brings us the Shamrock Shake-a-thon where I try to top my husband's favorite treat the Mc Filthy's Shamrock Shake. (This year we had Z Burger's mint shake as a contender as well.) During the Hannukah fry-a-thon I replicated Krispy Kreme donuts pretty well. Also made homemade candy corn for Halloween as we couldn't find any safe for the peanut-allergic 6 year old (though those were made with agave and didn't really hold a candle to Brach's. We started working on Girl Scout Samoas, you should definitely add those to your list.

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over 1 year ago ErinH

JENNY! If you could come up with a recipe for Girl Scout Samoas, I would head up the drive to canonize you.

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about 2 years ago the preserve.

When I was a kid, I used to love going to the grocery store with my dad. We would walk around talking about the fruits and vegetables and where they came from and we muse over what we wanted to cook for dinner that week. At the end of the trip, he would always sneak a bag of peanut M&M's into the shopping cart and as we unpacked the groceries at home I would rifle through the bags until I came across those M&M's. They are still my absolute favorite junk food and guilty pleasure!

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about 2 years ago Shalini

Okay. How about giant blue (or weird white) freezies? Pink would be cool too, you could flavour it with beet juice. I recently saw a silicone tube to make homemade freezies. I know the lurid colours and plastic add to the allure of anything for my son, even though we offer homemade popsicles. But what about the freezie? Soft-serve ice creams from the ice cream truck (that are not really ice cream) recreated at home would be good too. What is in that, and how would you make it at home all stabilized and swirled? I will try and think of more.

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about 2 years ago MGrace

I grew up in Arizona so we ate a lot of frozen treats that I love to recreate, but I remember when Breyer's came out out with these rectangular ice cream cakes called something like Viennese ice cream tarts or something like that. Thin layers of vanilla ice cream (or also chocolate & vanilla) alternating with super thin crunchy layers of chocolate molded to look frilly & fancy. My mother let me serve a whole one to a gagle of girls at a Friday night sleepover and it was just the height of sophistication!

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about 2 years ago Katie

I remember trading my entire, homemade lunch for the simple indulgence of the Little Debbie Nutty Bars. I would take apart the layers and saver them one by one. Who knows what kind of preservatives and additives were in those things- they most likely took years off of my life. Even still, my mouth waters when thinking about the peanut buttery preservative goodness of the Nutty Bars.

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over 1 year ago ErinH

I often made these my middle-school lunch. Just a package of Nutty Bars. Well, sometimes accompanied by one of the cafeteria's extraordinarily creamy chocolate shakes.

Don't worry. I am well acquainted with kale now.

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about 2 years ago BoulderGalinTokyo

Congrats Jenny! My mom was in the sprouts crowd too so not many goodies. But my go-to-treat at the movies was Good-n-Plenty.. Would be nice to have a home version.