Racing-inspired Desserts Take The Checkered Flag

Leave it to star female race-car drivers to come up with desserts that are not only fast, but incredibly tempting. Using the most iconic ingredients-Twinkies, Ding Dongs and Hostess Cup Cakes-IRL's Danica Patrick, NASCAR's Leilani Münter and the National Hot Rod Association's Melanie Troxel easily made the cut for the Hostess Race Divas team.

Danica Patrick's Speedway Shortcake Twinkie-Style

10 Hostess Twinkies

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened

1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk

8 ounces frozen whipped topping, thawed

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

5 to 6 cups thinly sliced fresh strawberries

Slice Twinkies in half horizontally and place, cut-side up, in a decorative or glass 9 x 13-inch dish. Twinkies will cover the entire bottom surface of the pan.

Beat cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk until well blended. Fold in whipped topping and vanilla.

Spread half of the cream cheese mixture over Twinkies; top with half of the sliced strawberries. Repeat layers. Refrigerate several hours.

Leilani Münter's Fast Track German Chocolate Tarts

1 box Hostess Ding Dongs

11/2 cups chopped pecans

21/2 cups sweetened flaked coconut

1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk

11/2 cups sugar

3/4 cup (11/2 sticks) butter

4 egg yolks, slightly beaten

2 teaspoons vanilla

Using a serrated knife, slice Ding Dongs in half horizontally. Place on platter and set aside.

Spread the pecans and coconut on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 7 to 10 minutes or until toasted. Set aside.

Place evaporated milk, sugar, butter, egg yolks and vanilla in medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thick and golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in pecans and coconut. Allow mixture to cool for 30 to 45 minutes. Dollop a heaping spoonful on top of each sliced Ding Dong. Serve tarts at room temperature.

Tip: You can speed cooling by placing saucepan in ice water.

Melanie Troxel's

Motoring Mud Pie

1 jar (11.75 ounces) hot fudge sauce

1 package (6 ounces) chocolate cookie pie crust

5 Hostess Cup Cakes

1 cup heavy whipping cream

1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar

1 package instant chocolate pudding mix

11/2 cups milk

1/4 cup chocolate shell topping

Remove lid and microwave hot fudge sauce on High (100%) power 20 to 30 seconds. Spoon half of sauce into bottom of pie shell.

Cut Cup Cakes in half, vertically. Arrange in pie crust, with filling facing edge of crust and continue in circles to cover entire crust.

Beat cream until soft peaks form; add confectioners' sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Whisk pudding mix and milk until thickened. Fold 3/4 cup whipped cream into the pudding. Spoon remaining whipped cream over top of pie. Refrigerate until set.

Spoon chocolate shell topping into center of the pie to resemble a mud puddle. Keep pie refrigerated until serving.

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About The Author, Wayne Ryan
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