1 It just looks like a Twinkie: Lowertown TwinKeys are made with care and really good cake (that actually tastes like cake) at the Buttered Tin in St. Paul. The restaurant sells charming homemade favorites (try the Thanksgiving sandwich or the pancakes with bacon butter). But few customers can leave without the Tin’s version of the Hostess classic. These little yellow torpedoes don’t taste like the Twinkies you remember. And they’re not supposed to. The golden vanilla cake is moist (and not too sweet), and the freshly whipped cream tastes like it was, well, freshly whipped. thebutteredtin.com

3 You don’t have to be a fan of sci-fi to be utterly taken over by “Exposure,” the fourth book in a series about South Carolina teenagers with canine-like superpowers. And you don’t even have to be a young adult to like these young-adult books. You just have to be a fan of exciting, action-packed stories with crackling, sparkling dialogue. In “Exposure,” the four teens struggle to keep control of their superpowers while trying to track down the kidnapper of three of their schoolmates. The series was created by Kathy Reichs, creator of the hit TV series “Bones.” She and her co-author son, Brendan, will be at Wild Rumpus in Minneapolis at 6:30 p.m. March 12.

2 “The Wind Rises” is a lyrical animated historical fantasy from Hayao Miyazaki, best known for such children’s classics as“Spirited Away.” While the film’s artistry is incontestable, many viewers are distressed by its subject: the life of aeronautical engineer Jiro Horikoshi, designer of a fighter plane used in the Pearl Harbor attack. Set before World War II begins, “The Wind Rises” doesn’t confront the real-world consequence of Jiro’s work head-on. It concentrates on his daily business of streamlining wings and staying in touch with far-off family members. Miyazaki delivers a gorgeous, morally difficult adult fable.

4 With even Arcade Fire going the way of disco-rock nowadays, one of the last records we expected to love so much is the debut of yet another danceable indie-rock band. Nashville quintet Wild Cub’s record “Youth” (below) immediately rose above the din, though, with infectious, Animal Collective-like psychedelic pop harmonies wrapped around refreshingly non-electronic, urgent, New Orderly grooves. The self-released record was reissued this winter on Mom + Pop Records, and it already stands up as one of the year’s feel-good favorites.

5 Director Michael Sommers elevates “Strumply Peter” at Open Eye Figure Theatre into a little visual gem that unlocks old memories of fairy tales and genuine, homemade theater. The story, by Heinrich Hoffmann, is about an elfin sprite who mixes life up for young children. The lead character is not sharply drawn. But this is one of the rare occasions when the sum of atmosphere and iconography is indeed greater than the flawed parts. openeyetheatre.org