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Good job. You just found copycat recipes for all your favorite famous foods! Bestselling author and TV Host Todd Wilbur shows you how to easily duplicate the taste of iconic dishes and treats at home. See if Todd hacked your favorite copycat recipes from K.C. Masterpiece to Orville Redenbacher's here. New recipes added every week.

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  • Score: 5.00 (votes: 14)
    Lipton Brisk Iced Tea

    I found a great secret ingredient to duplicate the lemony bite in a can of Brisk Iced Tea: Kool-Aid unsweetened lemonade drink mix has the perfect mixture of citric acid and lemon juice solids to help you effortlessly clone this one over and over again by the pitcher, as your thirst requires.

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Unlocked by Todd Wilbur.

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  • Score: 5.00 (votes: 11)
    Lawry's Taco Spices and Seasonings

    This is a clone for the stuff you buy in 1-ounce packets to create, as the package says, "a fun-filled Mexican fiesta in minutes." Ah, so true. In fact, thanks to Lawry's, my last Mexican fiesta was filled with so much fun that I had to take a siesta. And I promise you just as much fun with this TSR clone. Maybe even a tad more. Just mix the ingredients together in a small bowl, then add it to 1 pound of browned ground beef along with some water and let it simmer. Before you know it you'll be up to your nostrils in good old-fashioned, taco-making fun.

    Source: Even More Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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  • Score: 5.00 (votes: 8)
    Nabisco Old Fashion Ginger Snaps

    If you're a ginger snap fanatic, clone the cookie giant's store-bought version in a, uh, snap. And if you're watching the fat, four of these cookies check in with a total of around 2.5 grams of fat.

    Nutrition Facts
    Serving size–4 cookies
    Total servings–30
    Calories per serving–110
    Fat per serving–2.5g

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

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  • Score: 5.00 (votes: 7)
    Mrs. Fields Pumpkin Harvest Cookies

    You're not in the mood for pumpkin pie, but you want to bake something with pumpkin in it for the holidays. Give this clone of the seasonal Mrs. Fields favorite a shot. You'll use pure canned pumpkin, plus there are pecans in there and chunks of white chocolate that can be chopped up from bars. Pull the cookies out when they're still soft in the middle and just slightly browned around the edges, and you'll produce 2 dozen perfectly baked pumpkin-pumped happy pucks.

    Update 10/12/17: A more accurate measurement for the flour in this recipe is 14 ounces by weight. If you don't have a scale, add another 2 tablespoons to the 2 1/2 cups of flour called for in the recipe. Also, you may get better results if you bake the cookies at 325 degrees for 16 minutes, or until they are just beginning to turn light brown around the bottom edges.

    Check out my other Mrs. Fields copycat recipes here

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Unlocked by Todd Wilbur.

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  • Score: 5.00 (votes: 6)
    Keebler Soft Batch Chocolate Chip Cookies

    Keebler joined in a federation with sixteen local and regional bakeries to help form the United Biscuit Company in 1927. This system lasted for twenty-two years, until 1949, when the conglomerate chose to operate under a single name. Keebler was judged to be the most sound and memorable. In 1983 Keebler expanded its distribution to the West Coast, making the conglomerate a national concern.

    Today Keebler manufactures more than 200 different products from its 83,000-square-foot facility in Elmhurst, Illinois. Those products, including the chewy Soft Batch cookie, are sold in some 75,000 retail outlets nationwide. Total annual sales for the company are in excess of $1.5 billion, making Keebler the second-largest cookie and cracker manufacturer in the United States, with popular products that have been enjoyed by five generations of Americans. 

    Source: Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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  • Score: 5.00 (votes: 5)
    Nestle Baby Ruth Candy Bar

    Beneath the chocolate of Nestle's popular candy bar is a chewy, peanut-covered center that resembles Hershey's PayDay. To clone this one we'll only have to make a couple adjustments to the PayDay clone recipe, then add the milk chocolate coating. Even though the wrapper of this candy bar calls the center "nougat," it's more of a white or blonde fudge that you can make in a saucepan on your stovetop with a candy thermometer.

    Source: Even More Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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  • Score: 5.00 (votes: 5)
    K.C. Masterpiece Original Barbecue Sauce

    Even though it's now owned and produced by the Clorox Company, Original K.C. Masterpiece barbecue sauce is the same as when it was first created in good ole Kansas City, USA. This is the sauce that steals awards from all the other popular sauces on the market. Now it's sold in a variety of flavors. But this is the clone for the original, and you'll find it very easy to make. Just throw all of the ingredients in a saucepan, crank it up to a boil, then simmer for about an hour. Done deal. And just like the original Masterpiece, this stuff will make a work of art out of any of your grilled meats, or burgers and sandwiches, and as a dipping sauce or marinade.

    Complete your cookout with this KFC Cole Slaw recipe.

    Source: Even More Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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  • Score: 5.00 (votes: 5)
    No Pudge! Original Fat Free Fudge Brownie Mix

    In 1995 pediatric nurse Lindsay Frucci discovered a way to make chewy, fudgy brownies without any of fat. Today you can find her brownie mix boxes in thousands of grocery stores and specialty markets throughout the country. All you have to do is add some nonfat vanilla yogurt to the dry mix and bake. The brownies that emerge from your oven are good, but the mix can be pricey. One box of No Pudge! Fat Free Fudge Brownie Mix will set you back around four bucks, which seems like a lot when you consider that boxes of regular brownie mix from larger brands such as Pillsbury or Duncan Hines contain similar ingredients but sell for roughly half that. So I spent a week burning through gobs of cocoa, sugar, and flour in hopes of discovering an easy way to re-create that tasty No Pudge brownie mix at a fraction of the cost of even the cheapest brownie mix on the market. After much trial and error, I finally nailed it.

    I tried many batches with Hershey's and Nestle's cocoa, but eventually decided the best widely available unsweetened cocoa powder for the task is the stuff made by Ghirardelli. Before you assemble my No Pudge brownie recipe, you'll also want to track down baker's sugar, which is a superfine sugar, and some powdered egg whites (health foods stores or cake decorating suppliers carry this). Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl, and when you're ready to make the brownies, simply mix in 2/3 cup of nonfat vanilla yogurt, just like with the real thing. In 34 baking minutes (same as regular minutes, but they seem much longer) you'll have one plate of amazing fat-free chocolate brownies ready to eat.

    Click here for more famous cookie and brownie copycat recipes.

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Unlocked by Todd Wilbur.

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  • Score: 5.00 (votes: 3)
    Nabisco Honey Maid Grahams

    The beginning of the graham cracker goes back to the early 1800s when Sylvester Graham thought his new invention was the secret to a lifetime of perfect health, even sexual prowess—certainly extraordinary claims for a cracker. But this came from the man thought to be quite a wacko in his time, since he had earlier claimed that eating ketchup could ruin your brain. So, while his crispy whole wheat creation was not the cure for every known ailment, the sweet crackers still became quite a fad, first in New England around the 1830s and then spreading across the country. Today, graham crackers remain popular as a low-fat, snack-time munchable, and, most notably, as the main ingredient in smores.

    You don't need to use graham flour for this recipe, since that stuff is similar to the whole wheat flour you find in your local supermarket. Just pick your favorite variety among these three clones of Nabisco's most popular crackers, and be sure to roll out the dough paper thin.

    Nutrition Facts
    Serving size–2 crackers
    Total servings–22
    Calories per serving–120
    Fat per serving–3g

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

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  • Score: 5.00 (votes: 2)
    Kraft Light Deluxe Macaroni and Cheese

    The difference between the "deluxe" version of Kraft's Macaroni & Cheese Dinner and the original is the cheese. The deluxe dinner has an envelope of cheese sauce, while the original dinner, introduced to the nation back in 1937, comes with powdered cheese. The original Kraft Macaroni & Cheese Dinner is the most popular packaged dinner product around, and one of the top six best-selling of all dry goods sold in supermarkets—probably because it only takes about 7 minutes to prepare, and a box costs just 70 cents. And who doesn't like macaroni and cheese? But it's the deluxe version—the more expensive version—with its pouch of gooey, yellow cheese sauce, that Kraft  reformulated as a reduced-fat product in 1997. The new version boasts 50 percent less fat and 10 percent fewer calories than the deluxe original, and tastes just as good. So here's a simple clone that requires you to get your hands on Cheez Whiz Light, reduced-fat Cheddar cheese, and elbow macaroni. 

    Nutrition Facts 
    Serving size–1 cup 
    Total servings–4 
    Calories per serving–290 
    Fat per serving–5g

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Lite by Todd Wilbur. 

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  • Score: 5.00 (votes: 2)
    Mars Munch Bar

    At one point Mars, Inc. chose to capitalize on the company's best-selling candy bar, and called this one Snickers Munch Bar. I think that may have been confusing to consumers who expected to open the wrapper and find something inside resembling a Snickers bar. Other than the abundance of peanuts in this butter toffee brittle, this candy bar is nothing like Snickers. It is, however, an awesome peanut brittle that's super-easy to clone. The original is made with only six ingredients: peanuts, sugar, butter, corn syrup, salt, and soy lecithin. The soy lecithin is an emulsifier used here for texture, but this ingredient is hard to find, and we really don't need it for a good clone. Use a candy thermometer to bring the mixture of sugar, butter, and corn syrup up to 300 degrees F, then stir in warmed, salted peanuts. When the candy has cooled, break it into chunks and you will have created the equivalent of 12 bars of the addicting original. 

    Satisfy your candy craving with more of my copycat candy recipes here

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  • Score: 5.00 (votes: 2)
    Nestle 100 Grand Bar

    Nestle is the world's largest packaged food manufacturer, coffee roaster, and chocolate maker. It is the largest single company in Switzerland today, but Nestle derives only 2 percent of its revenue from its home country.

    The company is quite diverse. Nestle's product lines include beverages and drinks, chocolate and candy, dairy products, and frozen foods. The company also operates more than thirty Stouffer Hotels and owns 25 percent of the French cosmetics giant L'Oreal. In the United States, where the company is called Nestle USA, it ranks third behind Mars, Inc., and Hershey in chocolate sales.

    This candy bar was introduced in 1966 as the $100,000 Bar, then its name was changed to 100 Grand Bar in 1985.

    Source: More Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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  • Score: 5.00 (votes: 2)
    Newman's Own Creamy Caesar Dressing

    With over 100 million dollars given to charity since 1982, Newman's Own products have become an American favorite. One variety of the brand's dressings that really stands out is this exceptional Caesar salad dressing, probably the best commercial Caesar dressing on the market. Part of the secret for this special recipe is the inclusion of Worcestershire sauce. Not only does Worcestershire give your dressing the perfect flavor and color of the original, but the sauce is made with a fishy ingredient that's crucial for a good Caesar dressing: anchovies.

    Source: Even More Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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  • Score: 5.00 (votes: 2)
    Nestea Natural Lemon Flavored Iced Tea

    For five thousand years tea was served hot. But when a heat wave hit the World’s Fair in St. Louis in 1904, tea plantation owner Richard Blechynden couldn’t give the steamy stuff away. So he poured it over ice, creating the first iced tea, and the drink became the hit of the fair. Today Nestlé’s drink division, which markets Nestea, produces somewhere in the area of 50 percent of the world’s processed tea. That’s huge business when you consider that tea is second only to water in worldwide beverage consumption.

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

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  • Score: 5.00 (votes: 2)
    Kozy Shack Rice Pudding (Improved)

    My previously published recipe hack of America's most popular rice pudding was not clear about which kind of rice to use. That's a problem because not all rice is 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 reworked my Kozy Shack Rice Pudding recipe using many different types of rice, including 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 are all it takes to make this new, improved clone.

    And now there's no need for a cooking thermometer as required in my previous recipe, since you can just add the rice 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 rice pudding copycat recipe that's ready to pop into the fridge until it’s cool, creamy, and ready to eat.

    Also, check out my copycat recipe for Kozy Shack Tapioca Pudding.

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  • Score: 5.00 (votes: 1)
    Otis Spunkmeyer Apple Cinnamon Muffins Reduced-Fat

    Who is Otis Spunkmeyer? Actually, he does not exist. The character who flies around in the plane pictured on the product labels, searching the world for premium ingredients, is just a catchy name dreamed up by founder Ken Rawling's 12-year-old daughter.

    The company offers low-fat versions of many of its 11 varieties of muffins, but they are more difficult to track down than the original versions.

    My reduced-fat conversion copycat recipe of the famous Otis Spunkmeyer Apple Cinnamon Muffins has 4 grams of fat per serving, or 8 grams total—quite a reduction compared to the original muffins, which have a total of 22 grams of fat each.

    Nutrition Facts
    Serving size–1/2 muffin
    Total servings–16
    Calories per serving–142 (Original–220)
    Fat per serving–4g (Original–11g)

    Try my recipes for reduced-fat versions of Otis Spunkmeyer chocolate chip, blueberry and banana muffins here.

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Lite by Todd Wilbur.

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  • Score: 5.00 (votes: 1)
    Nabisco SnackWells Chocolate Chip Cookies

    Nabisco debuted its first six SnackWell's line of productions in 1992 to rave reviews and more than impressive sales. The company was having a hard time keeping up with the extraordinary demand, and customers would find empty shelves in the supermarkets where SnackWell's cookies were once stocked. A series of commercials addressed the supply problem with the shelf-stocking "Cookie Man" attacked by ravenous women in search of the popular products. The announcer told everyone not to worry—the products would soon be on their way.

    Today, supply has caught up with demand, and stores are able to keep plenty of these products in stock, including the bite-size chocolate chip cookies, which can be cloned with this recipe. The cookies are easily made so small by rolling the dough into long logs, which you then chill, slice, and bake. 

    Nutrition facts 
    Serving size–13 cookies 
    Total servings–11 
    Calories per serving–105 
    Fat per serving–3.3g

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Lite by Todd Wilbur.

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  • Score: 5.00 (votes: 1)
    Kahlua Coffee Liqueur (Improved)

    The redesigned Kahlua Coffee Liqueur labels now says "Rum and Coffee Liqueur," which is a helpful description when creating a clone version of the famous cordial. This text was not on the bottle 30 years ago when I made my first version of this liqueur using vodka—not rum. So, back into the lab went I, to create an improved version of the drink with rum, just like the label says.

    I used light rum for my Kahlua recipe because it is more of a neutral taste like the vodka called for in my first version, but since it doesn't include the caramel color added to Kahlua, your drink will come out a lighter shade of brown than the real stuff. However, you can also use dark rum in this recipe, which will add other flavor notes to your finished product, plus caramel color to deepen the shade of your liqueur.  

    There are many other famous drinks you can make at home! See if I cloned your favorites here

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  • Score: 5.00 (votes: 1)
    Kraft Free Classic Caesar Salad Dressing

    Thanks to fat-free mayonnaise and low-fat buttermilk, we can make a homegrown version of this popular fat-free Kraft creation. You might say, “Wait a minute, how can this be fat-free when there’s buttermilk and two kinds of grated cheese in there?” Yes indeed, those products do contain fat. But, as long as a serving of the finished product contains less than ½ gram of fat—as it does here—it’s considered fat-free. Be sure to give yourself plenty of time to allow this dressing to chill in the refrigerator for several hours before serving. 

    Nutrition Facts 
    Serving size–2 tablespoons 
    Total servings–7 
    Calories per serving–35 
    Fat per serving–0g

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Lite by Todd Wilbur.

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  • Score: 5.00 (votes: 1)
    Otis Spunkmeyer Banana Nut Muffins Reduced-Fat

    Founder Ken Rawlings opened his first baked cookie store in San Francisco in 1977, and over the next five years the chain had grown to 22 stores throughout California. In 1990, after much success, Rawlings' Otis Spunkmeyer Company started selling ready-to-bake cookie dough in grocery stores. That same year the company acquired a Modesto, California, muffin manufacturer, and Otis Spunkmeyer Muffins were born. Since then, the company has seen a 1,200 percent increase in muffins sales, and today this is America's best-selling brand of muffins.

    The banana-nut variety is my favorite, normally with 24 grams of fat per muffin, but many love the Otis Spunkmeyer blueberry muffins recipe. Real banana is a perfect substitute for much of the fat. Even with a small amount of oil in there, and the walnuts on top, these tasty Texas-size Otis Spunkmeyer banana nut muffins weigh in with less than half the fat of the original.

    Nutrition Facts
    Serving size–1/2 muffin
    Total servings–16
    Calories per serving–147 (Original–240)
    Fat per serving–5g (Original–12g)

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Lite by Todd Wilbur.

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  • Score: 5.00 (votes: 1)
    Mrs. Fields Peanut Butter Dream Bars

    In 1987 the Mrs. Fields Corporation devised a rather clever treat called the Peanut Butter Dream bar, a delicious combination of peanut butter, chocolate, and a cookie-crumb crust. It was not only a tasty product, but an economical one. Mrs. Fields has always had the policy of removing cookies that are more than two hours old from outlet display cases. Now, instead of being thrown away, the chocolate chip cookies are crumbled up and mixed with melted butter to form the Dream Bar crust. 

    If you can't talk your local Mrs. Field's outlet into giving you old cookies for this Peanut Butter Dream Bar recipe, make your own Mrs. Fields chocolate chip cookies using my recipe here.

    Source: Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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  • Score: 5.00 (votes: 1)
    Mars 3 Musketeers

    Nougat is an important ingredient in the 3 Musketeers Bar, as well as in many other candy bars created by Mars. Nougat is made by mixing a hot sugar syrup with whipped egg whites until the solution cools and stiffens, creating a frappe. Other ingredients may be added to the nougat during this process to give it different flavors. In this recipe, you'll add chocolate chips to create a dark, chocolaty nougat.

    But the 3 Musketeers Bar wasn't always filled with just a chocolate nougat. In fact, when the candy bar was created back in 1932, it was actually three pieces with three flavors: vanilla, strawberry, and chocolate. After World War II, the product was changed to a single chocolate bar because that was the favorite flavor, and customers wanted more of it. Thankfully they didn't change the name to 1 Musketeer.

    You'll need a heavy-duty electric mixer for this recipe.

    Check out more of my candy bar clone recipes here

    Source: More Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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  • Score: 5.00 (votes: 1)
    Nabisco Nutter Butter

    Formerly called the National Biscuit Company, Nabisco was formed in the late 1800s by several bakeries that joined together to meet a growing demand. In the 1870s, Nabisco's forefathers had introduced the first individually packaged baked goods. Before this, cookies and crackers had been sold from open barrels or biscuit boxes. The company has become the world's largest manufacturer of cookies and crackers, selling some 42 million packages of Nabisco products each day to retail outlets on every continent.

    Nutter Butter Cookies were introduced in 1969 and have quickly taken their place alongside Nabisco's most popular products, including Oreos, Chips Ahoy!, and Fig Newtons.

    Try making the famous peanut shaped peanut butter cookies with my Nutter Butter recipe below. 

    Source: More Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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  • Score: 5.00 (votes: 1)
    Nestle Crunch

    In 1867, infant mortality rates in Vevey, Switzerland, had been climbing and Henri Nestle was working hard on a concoction of concentrated milk, sugar, and cereal for babies who were refusing their mother's milk. Eventually he discovered a formula that helped infants stay strong and healthy. He called his new product Farine Lactee and merged with two American brothers, Charles and George Page, who came to Switzerland to capitalize on Swiss canned milk technology. Their new company was called Nestle and Anglo-Swiss Condensed Milk Company, and quickly expanded into fifteen other countries. Seven years later, Nestle sold the company to three local businessmen for one million francs.

    The new company kept the Nestle name and started selling chocolate in 1904. In 1929, the company acquired Cailler, the first company to mass-produce chocolate bars, and Swiss General, the company credited with inventing milk chocolate. This company was the core of the chocolate business as we know it today. The Nestle Crunch bar was introduced in 1928 and is now the company's top-selling candy bar.

    Update 10/27/20: For chocolate that sets better, temper the chocolate by melting 2/3 of the chips (16 ounces) in a glass bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Be sure not to get any water in the chocolate or it will seize up. Gently stir occasionally.  When the chips are melted and smooth, remove the bowl from the hot water and place it on a bunched up dish towel. Add the remaining 8 ounces of chips and stir vigorously until they are melted. If you are having a tough time getting the chips to melt all the way, you can place the bowl over the simmering water again, but just for a couple seconds, then remove the bowl and stir again. You may also want to line your 9×13-inch pan with parchment paper, or make a sling so that the candy can be easily removed. 

    Think of all the famous candy you can make at home? Click here to see if I hacked your favorites.

    Source: More Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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  • Not rated yet
    Necco Candy Butttons

    The majority of paper that I ingested as a kid most likely came from eating these crunchy candy dots of flavored sugar. Peeling the buttons off the strips was never an entirely pure candy experience since there were always several buttons removed with haste that came with a bonus layer of paper stuck to the underside. And perhaps part of the candy’s charm was making a game out of attaining a clean, paper-free button removal.

    Candy Buttons or Candy Dots were created in the 1930s when an engineer at Cumberland Valley Company in New York created a machine to produce tiny dots of flavored sugar onto strips of paper. Necco bought Cumberland Valley in 1980 and became the sole manufacturer of the colorful candy strips until the company declared bankruptcy in 2018, and the famous candies, including Necco Wafers, Sweethearts, and Clark Bar, were sold off to the highest bidders. Candy buttons almost became a dead food, but fortunately, the product was resurrected when it was purchased by Cincinnati-based Doscher’s Candies, and today candy buttons are alive and well.

    A strip of the original pastel-colored candy buttons includes a combination of cherry, lemon, and lime flavors, but you can make your homemade Necco candy buttons any flavor or color you like with this recipe using the same ingredients as the real deal. For flavoring, find the popular LorAnn candy flavoring oils and add one bottle to the pan as the candy is cooling. Get some coated butcher paper and cut it into 11x2-inch strips (or any size you want, really), and use the back end of a skewer to place your dots on the paper. After a couple of days of drying the candy will be crunchy just like the original, and with coated paper, the sugar should make a clean release for a paperless burst of sweet nostalgia.

    The recipe will make at least 1000 candy buttons, but I’m not sure of the exact amount since I only got through about half of the pan of candy syrup to determine yield when my sanity came into question. Don’t feel obligated to use up the whole pan of candy for your buttons. For three different flavors of buttons on each strip like the original, you'll need to make three batches of candy.

    Click here for more of my copycat recipes of famous candy.

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  • Not rated yet
    Lofthouse Frosted Cookies

    When the Lofthouse frosted cookies were first produced from a handed-down family recipe in a makeshift bakery in the back of a Utah garage in 1994, it's likely the ingredients were different than they are in the mass-produced product found in markets across the country today. To maintain a long shelf-life, it is common for baked goods to be manufactured with nondairy substitutes, so butter is often replaced with hydrogenated oil and butter flavoring (otherwise known as margarine), and various vegetable gums and preservatives are added to improve the texture and stabilize the product. 

    Rather than using ingredients such as artificial flavoring, lecithin, cellulose gum, or carrageenan in my Lofthouse cookie recipe, as you will see on the label of the store product, we will use real butter, fresh eggs, and vanilla extract in our clone - perhaps just as the family who created this recipe did back in the day. The big difference is that you have to be sure to eat the cookies within a few days to get that freshly baked taste and texture. Or you may want to freeze them. Cake flour is used here rather than all-purpose flour to duplicate the tender, cakey texture of the original, and sour cream is used to add in the dairy needed without overliquefying the dough (as milk would). An added benefit of sour cream is the high acidity, which activates the leavening power of the baking soda. The dough is still going to be much thinner and tackier that typical cookie dough, so chilling it for a couple of hours before portioning it out onto a baking sheet is a must to make it easier to shape. 

    Get the full recipe in Todd Wilbur's "Top Secret Recipes Step-by-Step" cookbook. 

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  • Score: 5.00 (votes: 2)
    Milo's Famous Sweet Tea

    Milo Carlton opened the first Milo’s Hamburger Shop in Brirmingham, Alabama in 1946 serving hamburgers, pies and freshly brewed iced tea which customers would sweeten from a bowl of sugar on each table. But because of a sugar ration caused by the war, Milo was forced to do something no one had tried before: he took all the sugar bowls off of the tables and pre-sweetened the tea. When customers realized the tea was better than they could make themselves Milo’s Famous Sweet Tea became as popular as the food.

    In the late 80’s, Milo’s began selling the Famous Sweet Tea in gallon jugs in grocery stores in the Birmingham area, and it has been a growing successful product ever since, recently becoming a national brand.

    To duplicate Milo's famous sweet tea, you absolutely must start with Southern tea bags, and that means Luzianne. This New Orleans tea company crafts its tea blend especially for iced tea. You will get the best clone of Southern-style sweet tea with this brand. If you can’t find Luzianne, you can still make great tea with Lipton Iced Tea Bags.

    Check out more of my recipes for famous drinks here. 

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  • Score: 4.91 (votes: 11)
    Mrs. Fields Chocolate Chip Cookies (TV)

    I jumped at the chance to get another crack at hacking one of America's most famous chocolate chip cookies when I was faced with the challenge for my show, Top Secret Recipe. After all, this was the very first recipe I cloned over twenty-five years ago, and I've learned many new tricks for replicating the famous foodstuffs since then. Getting the chance to improve on my old secret recipes with new information was a golden opportunity to craft the best Mrs. Fields Chocolate Chip Cookie clone recipe ever revealed. So I hopped on a plane and headed to Salt Lake City to meet with Tim Casey, president and CEO of Mrs. Fields Cookies.

    Tim showed me around the flavoring labs and test kitchens of Mrs. Fields HQ. I watched cookie dough being mixed, noting the oven temperature and length of time the cookies were baked. I was also able to discover one important trick I missed in my first recipe: after the dough was portioned out onto baking sheets, it was frozen. This way, when the cookies were baked, they came out crispy on the edges and soft and gooey in the middle. It made a huge difference!

    The company was understandably vague on the specifics of the proprietary vanilla and chocolate chips they use in the cookies, but I discovered through taste tests that Madagascar vanilla extract and high-quality chocolate chips such as those made by Guittard (or even Ghirardelli) are the way to go.

    Mission accomplished! What follows is my much-improved re-hack of the classic recipe that started it all, and perhaps one of the best chocolate chip cookies to ever come out of your oven. 

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Step-by-Step by Todd Wilbur.

     

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  • Score: 5.00 (votes: 1)
    King's Hawaiian Original Hawaiian Sweet Rolls

    A recipe for Portuguese sweet bread inspired the soft rolls that became a big hit at Robert Tiara's Bakery & Restaurant in Honolulu, Hawaii in the 1950s. It wasn’t long before Robert changed the name of his thriving business to King’s Hawaiian, and in 1977 the company opened its first bakery on the mainland, in Torrance, California, to make the now-famous island sweet rolls sold in stores across the U.S.

    King’s Hawaiian Rolls are similar to Texas Roadhouse Rolls in that they are both pillowy, sweet white rolls, so it made sense to dig out my Texas Roadhouse Rolls clone recipe and use it as a starting point. These new rolls had to be slightly softer and sweeter, so I made some adjustments and added a little egg for color. And by baking the dough in a high-rimmed baking pan with 24 dough balls placed snugly together, I ended up with beautiful rolls that rose nicely to the occasion, forming a tear-apart loaf just like the original King's Hawaiian Rolls, but with clean ingredients, and without the dough conditioners found in the packaged rolls.

    Use these fluffy sweet rolls for sandwiches, sliders, or simply warmed up and slathered with soft European butter.

    This recipe was our #3 most popular in 2020. Check out the other four most unlocked recipes for the year: Rao's Homemade Marinara Sauce (#1), Olive Garden Lasagna Classico (#2), Pei Wei Better Orange Chicken (#4), Chipotle Mexican Grill Carnitas (#5).

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  • Score: 5.00 (votes: 1)
    Nabisco Fig Newtons

    In 1891, a baker named Charles Rosen invented a machine that inserted fig paste into seamless pastry dough and was soon mass-producing one of the first commercially baked products in America. Rosen named his creation after the nearby town of Newton, Massachusetts, and eventually sold the recipe to the Kennedy Biscuit Company, which later became Nabisco. Today Nabisco sells over 1 billion Fig Newtons each year.

    It has long been my wish to create a satisfying clone of such an iconic snack, but I was never quite sure how to go about it. The fig filling needs to be sweet with a sour aftertaste, and thick like jam. The thin pastry would need to be tender, not tough, and should smoothly wrap around the figs without cracking. After a week or so of pureeing dry figs and testing pastry doughs, I finally created a Fig Newton recipe that tasted great and looked just like the original.

    Since you likely don’t have a fig bar extruder in your kitchen like Charles Rosen did, we’ll use a dough folding technique to make nicely shaped bars with smooth sides, no cracks, and no visible seam. The trick is to roll out the dough on wax paper, then wrap the dough around the fig filling by lifting the wax paper up and over the filling. You can cleanly manipulate very thin dough this way, and when you flip the bar over, the seam will be hidden.

    Re-hydrating the dried figs will help make them easier to puree, and the dry pectin in the mix will thicken the figs to a jammy consistency and give the filling additional tartness (citric acid is in pectin to help activate it). This clone recipe will make 48 cookies, or more than twice what you get in two 10-ounce packages of the real thing.

    Get this recipe in "Top Secret Recipes Unleashed" exclusively on Amazon.com.

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  • Score: 5.00 (votes: 1)
    Orville Redenbacher's Movie Theater Butter Popcorn

    The health concerns regarding microwave popcorn are a result of the way it’s packaged. For the corn to pop, the kernels are submerged in boiling fat inside the bag until a buildup of steam in the kernels causes them to burst. To prevent the liquid fat from seeping through, the bags are lined with a chemical called perfluorooctanoic acid, which, unfortunately for microwave popcorn lovers, has been linked to cancer and other nasty things.

    I set out on a mission to make better homemade microwave popcorn with only natural ingredients, and without using costly popping gadgets. I also wanted to avoid using plastic, tape, or metal, such as staples. My solution is a new method of prepping the kernels, but like many other techniques I researched, it requires paper lunch bags. I was dismayed to find some discussions about the potential for problems using brown paper bags in your microwave oven, such as fire, but I had absolutely no issues any of the many times I did it. No smoke, no sparks, nothing looking at all dangerous was going on inside my cooking box. The USDA states that using paper bags in your microwave, “may cause a fire, and may emit toxic fumes,” yet the internet is full of microwave popcorn recipes calling for paper bags. I chose to still share my recipe and technique, but ultimately leave it up to you to decide if it’s a hack recipe you feel safe using. If you’d rather stay on the safe side, see the Tidbits for an alternate technique. 

    My Orville Redenbacher's Movie Theater Butter Popcorn recipe starts with clarifying butter so that it’s pure fat, without any milk solids or water. Butter is about 16 percent water and if any of that stays in the mix, your popcorn will be on a fast trip to Soggytown. Once the butter is clarified, we’ll combine it with popcorn and salt and freeze it into pucks that can be saved for weeks until you are ready to make quick popcorn.

    When it’s popcorn time, a puck goes into a small bowl, which goes inside two interlocking paper bags. After a warming session, you hit the “popcorn” button on your microwave oven and the popcorn will pop just like the store product (you may have to add another 30 seconds or so of cooking time). The first bag will soak up the excess butter that splashes around inside as the popcorn pops, and the second bag will keep the butter from messing up your oven.

    To serve, pull the bags apart over a big bowl, and you’ll have a fresh batch of hot microwave popcorn coated perfectly with real butter and salt. 

    If you're like me and you like things spicy, try sprinkling your copycat Orville Redenbacher Movie Theatre Popcorn with my original Hell Flakes to create what we like to call "Hell Corn".

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  • Score: 5.00 (votes: 2)
    Kozy Shack Rice Pudding (Improved)

    My previously published recipe hack of America's most popular rice pudding was not clear about which kind of rice to use. That's a problem because not all rice is 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 reworked my Kozy Shack Rice Pudding recipe using many different types of rice, including 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 are all it takes to make this new, improved clone.

    And now there's no need for a cooking thermometer as required in my previous recipe, since you can just add the rice 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 rice pudding copycat recipe that's ready to pop into the fridge until it’s cool, creamy, and ready to eat.

    Also, check out my copycat recipe for Kozy Shack Tapioca Pudding.

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  • Not rated yet
    Nothing Bundt Cakes White Chocolate Raspberry Cake

    While sharing a Bundt cake one day in 1997, amateur bakers and close friends Dena Tripp and Debbie Shwetz realized they could do better. After much experimentation, the duo discovered a batter that produced a moist, delicious cake, which was a huge improvement over the dense, dry cake usually associated with Bundts. But they weren’t done yet.

    The next step was to decide how to best frost their new Bundt cake. Traditionally, Bundt cakes are glazed by drizzling warm icing over the top, which drips down the sides and dries there. But the pair didn’t want to use glaze. They had a cream cheese icing they thought tasted better than any glaze, but it took some time to figure out how to apply it. They eventually settled on frosting their Bundts with large piped vertical ropes, so the icing looks like it’s dripping down the outside of the cake.

    To make a Bundt cake that matches the moistness and crumb of the real Nothing Bundt Cake, it’s important to start with the right flour. The cake has more bite to it than one made with only cake flour, but it isn’t as tough as one made with all-purpose flour. That’s why I settled on pastry flour, like the one from Bob’s Red Mill. Pastry flour contains more protein than cake flour, but not as much as all-purpose flour, so it works perfectly here. If you can’t find pastry flour, no need to worry. I’ve got a way for you to hack it by combining cake flour with all-purpose flour in a 2-to-1 ratio.

    The raspberry puree is made from scratch using frozen raspberries and it’s swirled into the batter before the cake goes into the oven. While the cake cools you can make the cream cheese buttercream icing. Get a 1A tip, which is a wide, circular tip for a pastry bag or gun, to make ropes of icing over the top and down the sides of the cake all the way around, just like the original.

    Get this recipe in "Top Secret Recipes Unleashed" exclusively on Amazon.com.

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  • Score: 5.00 (votes: 1)
    Kahlua Coffee Liqueur (Improved)

    The redesigned Kahlua Coffee Liqueur labels now says "Rum and Coffee Liqueur," which is a helpful description when creating a clone version of the famous cordial. This text was not on the bottle 30 years ago when I made my first version of this liqueur using vodka—not rum. So, back into the lab went I, to create an improved version of the drink with rum, just like the label says.

    I used light rum for my Kahlua recipe because it is more of a neutral taste like the vodka called for in my first version, but since it doesn't include the caramel color added to Kahlua, your drink will come out a lighter shade of brown than the real stuff. However, you can also use dark rum in this recipe, which will add other flavor notes to your finished product, plus caramel color to deepen the shade of your liqueur.  

    There are many other famous drinks you can make at home! See if I cloned your favorites here

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  • Not rated yet
    Nabisco Reduced-Fat Oreo Cookies

    There is no consensus on the origin of the name "Oreo." But one of the most interesting explanations I've heard is that the two o's from the word chocolate were placed on both sides of re from the word creme. This way the name seems to mimic the construction of the famed sandwich cookie.

    That may or may not be true, but I know this for sure: Nabisco introduced a reduced-fat version of its popular cookie in 1994. With only half the fat, it manages to taste just as good as the original version invented way back in 1912. We cut back on the fat for our clone here by re-creating the creme filling without any of the shortening you'd find in the original full-fat version. We do this with a special technique developed in the secret underground Top Secret Recipes test kitchen that allows you to create a delicious, fat-free filling in your microwave. If you want the cookies as dark as the original, include the optional brown paste food coloring in your recipe.

    Nutrition Facts
    Serving size–3 cookies
    Total servings–18
    Calories per serving–150
    Fat per serving–3.5g

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  • Not rated yet
    Kraft Jet-Puffed Marshmallows

    The most popular recipe circulating on the internet and among Food Network chefs who claim it as their own makes decent marshmallows, but the ubiquitous formula won’t pass as a hack for America’s favorite marshmallows, Jet-Puffed. I know this for sure because my eleven-year-old daughter says so, and she’s the House Marshmallow Expert (HME).

    According to our HME, the internet recipe makes marshmallows that are too sweet, and they don't have the right flavor. After testing the sweetness for myself I decided she was right, so I reduced the sugar for my Jet-Puffed Marshmallow recipe. I also adjusted the flavor by adding more vanilla, and after another taste test, my batch of fresh marshmallows got the HME seal of approval.

    But the shape was still wrong.

    One thing you’ll notice about homemade marshmallow recipes is that they all make cubic marshmallows, which are hand-sliced from one sheet of marshmallow that has set up in a square pan. But Jet-Puffed Marshmallows aren’t cubes, they’re cylindrical, and I wanted marshmallows like that. So, borrowing a technique for cornstarch molds used by candy manufacturers, I came up with a way you can make cylindrical marshmallows just like the big boys do. All you need is cornstarch and a muffin pan. You’ll find instructions for cylindrical marshmallows at the bottom of the recipe in the Tidbits if you want to give the more authentic shape a try.

    Regardless of what shape you decide to make, a stand mixer and a candy thermometer will help you turn out the best-ever homemade marshmallows—which, by the way, make fantastic s'mores.

     

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  • Not rated yet
    Knott's Berry Farm Shortbread Cookies

    It’s been nearly 100 years since Walter and Cordelia Knott first started selling berries, preserves, and pies from their roadside produce stand in Buena Park, California. Walter Knott’s berry stand and farm was a popular stop throughout the 1920s for travelers heading to the Southern California beaches.

    But Walter’s big claim to fame came in 1932 when he cultivated and sold the world’s first boysenberries—a hybrid of raspberry, blackberry, loganberry, and dewberry. This new berry brought so many people to the farm that they added a restaurant, featuring Cordelia’s secret fried chicken recipe, and the Knotts struck gold again.

    The fried chicken was a huge hit, and the restaurant got so crowded the Knotts added rides and attractions to the farm to keep customers occupied while they waited for a table. Over the years the real berry farm transformed into an amusement park called Knott’s Berry Farm—one of my favorites as a kid—which is now ranked as the tenth most visited theme park in North America.

    Knott’s Berry Farm is also a brand of delicious preserves, jams, and other foods, including these fantastic little jam-filled shortbread thumbprint cookies that everyone seems to love. The shortbread dough is piped into closed “c” shapes with a pastry bag onto baking sheets, then a little bit of jam is spooned into the center. You’ll need a pastry bag and a 1M open star tip, plus your favorite seedless jam. Once you’ve got all that, making Knott's Berry Farm Shortbread cookies is pretty easy.

    Follow this link for more copycat cookies, brownies and treats.

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  • Score: 5.00 (votes: 1)
    KIND Dark Chocolate Nuts & Sea Salt Bar

    You probably think the dark chocolaty stuff that looks like dark chocolate on a dark chocolate Kind nut bar is all chocolate, but it mostly isn’t. There is chocolate in there, but chicory root is listed third in the ingredients list, right after peanuts and almonds and way before cocoa, so the dark chocolate is actually a chocolate-flavored coating made mostly with chicory root fiber. Curiously, older labels list “chocolate-flavored coating” as the second ingredient, but newer labels don’t.

    Chicory is the root of the endive plant, and it’s beloved in New Orleans, where it’s combined with coffee drinks because its taste is so similar to coffee. Chicory also happens to taste a lot like chocolate, and it’s cheaper than chocolate, and that’s probably why it’s used here.

    But just because Kind uses chicory, doesn’t mean we have to. For our Kind Bar recipe, we’ll use real chocolate in the form of melting wafers you can find in most stores. I used Ghirardelli brand because it tastes great, but any easy-to-melt, dippable dark chocolate will do.

    The bars are stuck together with honey and agave syrup heated to 260 degrees F, or the hard ball stage. The sticky mixture is pressed into a 10x5-inch loaf pan, cooled, and sliced into 8 bars. The bottoms are dipped in the pure chocolate, and more is drizzled over the top. About 30 minutes later, when the chocolate sets up, your homemade Kind bars are ready to eat.

    Do you like dipping things in chocolate? Check out more of my clone recipes here

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  • Score: 5.00 (votes: 2)
    Mars Munch Bar

    At one point Mars, Inc. chose to capitalize on the company's best-selling candy bar, and called this one Snickers Munch Bar. I think that may have been confusing to consumers who expected to open the wrapper and find something inside resembling a Snickers bar. Other than the abundance of peanuts in this butter toffee brittle, this candy bar is nothing like Snickers. It is, however, an awesome peanut brittle that's super-easy to clone. The original is made with only six ingredients: peanuts, sugar, butter, corn syrup, salt, and soy lecithin. The soy lecithin is an emulsifier used here for texture, but this ingredient is hard to find, and we really don't need it for a good clone. Use a candy thermometer to bring the mixture of sugar, butter, and corn syrup up to 300 degrees F, then stir in warmed, salted peanuts. When the candy has cooled, break it into chunks and you will have created the equivalent of 12 bars of the addicting original. 

    Satisfy your candy craving with more of my copycat candy recipes here

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I'm Todd Wilbur, Chronic Food Hacker

For over 30 years I've been deconstructing America's most iconic brand-name foods to make the best original clone recipes for you to use at home. Welcome to my lab.

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