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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 1

    Three things make Costco muffins special: they’re huge, they’re moist, and berries are bursting out of the top of each one. Now your home muffins can be just as special using a similar recipe and freshly unlocked tricks from our favorite big box store.

    Obviously, you get huge muffins by using a huge muffin pan, so you’ll need a jumbo or “Texas-size” muffin pan if you want your muffins the same size as the originals. You can certainly make standard muffins with this batter in a standard size muffin pan, but in this case, bigger is definitely better.

    To get muffins that are moist you’ll need oil. I noticed many muffin recipes use butter, but I found it made the muffins taste more like butter cake or pound cake than true muffins. Looking at the ingredients listed on the package of Kirkland muffins, you won’t find any butter in there. Just oil. For this hack, some of that oil comes from margarine (for a mild butter flavor and thicker batter), and the rest is vegetable oil.

    As for the blueberries, if you add them straight into the batter the juice frozen on the outside of the berries will streak your batter blue, so be sure to rinse the berries before you add them. And to make your muffins look as irresistible as those at Costco, we’ll use another one of their tasty tricks: press 4 blueberries into each cup of batter just before the pan goes into the oven so that every baked muffin is sure to have several tantalizing berries popping out of the top. 

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    My previously published recipe hack of America's most popular rice pudding was not picky about which kind of rice to use. That's a problem because all rice is not created equal. The recipe calls for medium grain rice but is not any more specific than that, which could lead to varying results in the consistency of the pudding since every rice has a different thickening ability.

    I recently re-worked this recipe with many types of rice, from short grain to long grain, using instant rice, converted rice, basmati rice, jasmine rice, calrose rice, arborio rice, and even sushi rice. Most didn't contain the starch needed to properly thicken the pudding, especially the par-cooked rice such as instant rice and converted rice. On the other end of the spectrum, sushi rice contained too much starch and was much too small.

    The best of the bunch was jasmine rice, a long grain rice, which thickened the pudding nicely after 45 minutes or so of simmering and appeared to be comparable in size to what is in the real thing. Jasmine rice, plus five more ingredients is all it takes to make the best clone.

    And now there's no need for a cooking thermometer required by my previous recipe since you can just add the rice in when you see the milk beginning to steam and keep the pudding at a low simmer until it's done. After about an hour, you'll have a Kozy Shack pudding hack that's ready to pop into the fridge until cool and creamy.

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    Since the candy maker’s first milk chocolate bar debuted in 1900, just four candy bars have carried the Hershey name. Hershey’s Special Dark came out in 1939 and Hershey’s Cookies and Crème was introduced in 1995. But the only one made without any chocolate in it is the new Hershey’s Gold, which hit the shelves in late 2017. The base of the bar is “caramelized crème” that Hershey’s claims is made by browning the sugar in white crème. I recalled a recipe for caramelizing white chocolate by slowly cooking it in the oven, stirring often, until it becomes golden brown. By mixing in a little creamy peanut butter and salt I was able to create a perfectly caramelized base to which crushed peanuts and pretzels could be added. I poured the golden crème into candy bar molds and let them set up in the fridge for 30 minutes. When removed from the molds the bars looked like they were made in a real candy bar factory, and they tasted like it too. I wrapped each in gold foil and felt like Willy Wonka.

    If you don’t have candy bar molds, you can pour the candy onto parchment paper or wax paper on a baking sheet to set up, then just break up the candy to serve or store.

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    Recently, Hostess released a new “limited-edition” mint chocolate version of the brand’s famous CupCakes, with mint creamy filling and mint frosting on top. I had already hacked the well-known chocolate CupCakes from Hostess for Step-by-Step, so the cake recipe and the white icing on top was already done. I reworked the filling and the frosting with delicious mint flavor and proper green hue, and put it all together in this new hack that’s a twist on an old favorite.

    As with the chocolate CupCakes clone, the frosting is designed to be runny so that you can dip the cupcakes in it. This will produce a smooth frosting that, when dry, looks just like the real thing. Most likely you’ll need a couple coats of frosting. The first coat is a crumb layer that locks in the chocolate cake crumbs so that the second layer finishes clean and smooth. If you find that you’re losing too many crumbs in the frosting bowl when dipping the cupcakes, you may want to spread on your first layer with a butter knife.   

    Before baking be sure to grease your muffin cups well so that cupcakes come out clean. And you'll need a piping bag or pastry gun with a medium tip to fill the cupcakes and a small tip to add the seven loops of white icing on top. No proper clone of this famous product would be right without that final step.

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    The famous hard caramel candy created in 1903 in the German town of Werther is easy to duplicate at home as long as you’ve got a candy thermometer and some rounded silicone candy molds. Realistically, you can make these candies any shape you want—I made some in a gummy bears mold!—but the best shape for hard candies is something smooth and rounded. That’s what works best for a candy designed to be sucked on, rather than chewed. Just be sure to get enough molds to hold 50 or more bite-size candies at once.      

    This hack calls for fresh cream and butter just like the original invented in Germany over 100 years ago, and now sold throughout Europe and North America. 

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    The basic recipe of 2 parts mayonnaise to 1 part ketchup has been around for years in many parts of the world, served as a condiment with French fries and other fried tidbits. It’s commonly called “fry sauce,” but Heinz chefs added a few more ingredients to their version of the sauce, making it more sweet-and-sour than the common two-ingredient formula, and then they gave it a new name. Heinz debuted Mayochup in September of 2018 following a social media campaign that teased the heck out of it. 

    Now you can make your own mimicked Mayochup in a matter of minutes with these 5 common ingredients, a bowl, and a whisk. Use it on burgers, sandwiches or as a dip for French fries and other fried foods.

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    Score: 4.53. Votes: 36

    It was in the 1960s that deliveryman Vinnie Gruppuso got hooked on the pudding being made at one of the delis in Brooklyn where he delivered bread. Vinnie struck up a deal with that deli—called Cozy Shack—to sell the pudding to other customers on his route, and the product soon outsold his other delivery items. Eventually Vinnie scrapped up enough money to purchase the deli's pudding operation, he changed the "C" in the name to a "K," and today Kozy Shack is the number one manufacturer of rice pudding in North America. As with the original secret formula, six basic ingredients are all that go into this clone of the company's top-seller. But you'll also need a cooking thermometer and a large pot with at least a 10-inch diameter. A pot this wide helps the mixture to reduce faster. Keep your eye on the temperature and be sure to stir the pudding often. When the mixture begins to thicken, pop the pudding into your fridge for several hours where it will continue to thicken to the creamy consistency of the real thing as it cools.

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Unlocked by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 1

    Some say it's the best off-the-shelf barbecue sauce in the business. That secret combination of molasses, liquid smoke, and spices makes this stuff irresistible on chicken, ribs, or a juicy hamburger. Keep it fresh for your next cookout by whipping up your own home clone batch from scratch.

    Source: Even More Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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