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You lucky devil. You just found recipes for all of your favorite famous brand-name foods! Bestselling author and TV host Todd Wilbur shows you how to easily duplicate the taste of iconic dishes and treats at home for less money than eating out. Todd's recipes are easy to follow and fun to make! See if Todd has hacked your favorite brands here. New recipes added every week.

 

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    How can you resist the cute little girls in those adorable green outfits—and a change machine around their waists? If you can't, then a least it's good to know that less than one-third of the sales price of each box of Girl Scout Cookies goes to the manufacturer. That's much less than the wholesale price food retailers pay for similar products. Most of the money raised from each sale goes to support the Girl Scouts. But how do we get our Girl Scout Cookie fix during the off-season when the cookies aren't being sold? That's when we can turn to a clone recipe such as this one for the reduced-fat cookie with the lemony tang. Included here is the custom Top Secret Recipes technique for making a delicious filling that's entirely fat-free.

    Nutrition Facts
    Serving size–3 cookies
    Total servings–14
    Calories per serving–150
    Fat per serving–4.5g

    Source: Low-Fat Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    It was a heart attack that inspired Charles M. Harper of ConAgra Foods to come up with a new product line. In 1988, the Healthy Choice brand introduced frozen dinners with reduced fat, sodium, and cholesterol. Hundreds of other products followed through the '90s, including this fat-free pasta sauce, which hit stores in 1992. It's a cinch to make and goes great on any pasta, pizza, or meatball sandwich.

    Nutrition Facts
    Serving size–1/2 cup
    Total servings–5
    Calories per servings–50
    Fat per serving–0g

    Source: Low-Fat Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Healthy Choice was one of the first low-fat brands to hit the stores. The Wall Street Journal reported in 1993, "When Healthy Choice dinners first arrived in stores, big competitors were caught off guard: nothing quite like it had ever been marketed on a large scale." But nowadays the competition ain't so lean. You'll find more than a dozen brands devoted to the same low-fat, healthy claims in stores, all fighting it out for shelf space and market share.

    If you like your marinara sauce with big chunks of veggies in it, then this is the one you'll want to make. The canned tomatoes, plus fresh mushrooms, onion, and garlic make for a thicker sauce that works great over your favorite pasta dish.

    Nutrition Facts
    Servings size–1/2 cup
    Total servings–5
    Calories per serving–45
    Fat per serving–0g

    Source: Low-Fat Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 4.45. Votes: 11

    Rather than trying to beat the competitors—especially if they have an exceptional product—Mrs. Fields Famous Brands throws cash at 'em. With the acquisition of Great American Cookies in 1998 by the company that made chewy mall cookies big business, Mrs. Fields is now peddling her baked wares in more than 90 percent of the premier shopping malls in the United States. That's how you make some serious dough. One of the all-time favorite cookies you can grab at any of the 364 Great American Cookies outlets is the classic snickerdoodle. It's rolled in cinnamon/sugar and baked just enough to be soft and chewy like the other Great American Cookies. 

    Source: Even More Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 4.78. Votes: 9

    In the early eighties, at his Gardenhouse restaurant, Chef Paul Wenner created a unique meatless patty to replace hamburgers. The patty, which contained mushrooms, brown rice, onions, oats, and low-fat cheeses was dubbed Gardenburger and quickly became a hit. Soon, Wenner closed his restaurant and began to concentrate on marketing his meatless, low-fat creation to a hungry, health-conscious America. Today Gardenburger patties can be found in more than 35,000 food service outlets around the world, and in more than 20,000 stores.

    Now you can make a surprisingly accurate clone of the real thing with the same type of ingredients Wenner uses. Most of the ingredients can be found at your local supermarket, although you may have to go to a health food store to get bulgar wheat. And if you jog over there you can burn off the few calories you ingest from this cool kitchen clone.

    Nutrition facts:
    Serving size–1 patty
    Total servings–6
    Calories per serving–135
    Fat per serving–3g

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Lite by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 4.00. Votes: 1

    Real Hawaiian Punch contains only 5 percent fruit juice. Even though some of the ingredients in our clone are not pure fruit juice, and we're adding additional water and sugar, this Top Secret Recipes version still contains a lot more tasty real fruit juice than the real thing. 

    Source: Top Secret Recipes: Sodas, Smoothies, Spirits & Shakes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Howdy Doody peddled them on his 1950s TV show. Archie Bunker got one in his lunchbox every day. Even President Jimmy Carter was a fan, supposedly ordering a Twinkie vending machine installed in the White House. Yes, Twinkies are an American favorite. And if the oblong little snack isn’t being eaten, it’s being talked about: usually by talk show hosts joking about the snack food's supposedly long shelf life.

    The crème-filled cakes we know today are not exactly the same as the early Twinkies. When the snack cake was first conceived by Hostess plant manager James Dewar in 1930, it was as a way to use the cake pans for the strawberry “Little Short Cake Fingers,” which sat idle for all but the six-week strawberry season. The filling in those original cakes was flavored with bananas, and they were called “Twinkle Fingers.” When bananas got scarce during World War II the filling was changed to the vanilla flavor we know today, and the name was shortened to “Twinkies.” 

    The latest reformulation of the Twinkie came in 1990, when a low-fat version was first introduced. Now Twinkie lovers could have their cakes and eat ‘em too, with only half the fat of the original.

    You should know that these clones are twice the size of the Hostess version, with the fat and calories double as well. By weight, though, this clone’s nutrition stats are right on track with the original. 

    Nutrition Facts
    Serving size–1 snack cake
    Total servings–12 
    Calories per serving–280 
    Fat per serving–3g

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Lite by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 4.19. Votes: 21

    Recreate the popular bean dip at home in minutes with a food processor: just pour in all the ingredients and fire it up. It's nice that we can duplicate the taste of the popular dip without any added fat. If you check out the label of the real thing, you'll see that there's hydrogenated oil in there. We avoid this trans fat without sacrificing flavor in this home clone that's a healthier choice for dipping. Bring on the chips!

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Unlocked by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 6

    In 1880s France, oranges were quite rare and exotic. When Louis Alexandre Marnier-Lopostolle traveled to the Caribbean in search of ingredients, he came back with bitter oranges to combine with his family's fine cognac. Other orange-flavored liqueurs such as triple sec and curacao are mixed with a neutral alcohol base. Grand Marnier took it to the next level with a more complex flavor that makes it today's top-selling French liqueur.

    Now you too can combine cognac with a real orange to make a home version of the tasty—and pricey—stuff. By using an inexpensive cognac that costs around 18 to 20 dollars a bottle, you can create a clone cousin of the real thing that normally sells for around 30 bucks a bottle. All you need, in addition to the cognac, is some sugar, an orange, and a little patience to wait at least 2 weeks.

    Source: Top Secret Recipes: Sodas, Smoothies, Spirits & Shakes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 4.30. Votes: 27

    The Twinkie was invented in 1930 by the late James A. Dewar, then the Chicago-area regional manager of Continental Baking Company, the parent corporation behind the Hostess trademark. At the time, Continental made "Little Short Cake Fingers" only during the six-week strawberry season, and Dewar realized that the aluminum pans in which the cakes were baked sat idle the rest of the year. He came up with the idea of injecting the little cakes with a creamy filling to make them a year-round product and decided to charge a nickel for a package of two.

    But Dewar couldn't come up with a catchy name for the snack cake—that is, until he set out on a business trip to St. Louis. Along the road he saw a sign for Twinkle Toe Shoes, and the name Twinkies evolved. Sales took off, and Dewar reportedly ate two Twinkies every day for much of his life. He died in 1985.

    The spongy treat has evolved into an American phenomenon. Today the Twinkie is Continental's top Hostess-line seller, with the injection machines filling as many as 52,000 every hour.

    You will need a spice bottle, approximately the size of a Twinkie, ten 12x14 -inch pieces of aluminum foil, a cake decorator or pastry bag, and a chopstick.

    Source: Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

    Watch Todd's video demonstration of this classic hack.

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