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You lucky devil. You just found 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 favorites from Warheads to York here. New recipes added every week.
This easy muffin clone is modeled after the low-fat product found in the freezer section of your market, from one of the first brands to make low-fat food hip and tasty. Muffins are notorious for their high fat content, but in this recipe mashed banana adds flavor and moistness to the muffins to replace the fat. Now you can satisfy a muffin craving without worrying about fat grams.
Source: Top Secret Recipes Unlocked by Todd Wilbur.
Joseph Walker used only the best ingredients to make the famous pure butter shortbread recipe he created in 1898 at his Bakery in Aberlour, Scotland. More than a century later Walker's is one of the bestselling shortbreads in the world and it’s still made with the same four quality ingredients: flour, butter, sugar, and salt.
But just knowing the ingredients still leaves you a long trip away from great shortbread—a fact that’s best confirmed by giving any other copycat recipe a try. If a recipe calls for all-purpose flour and/or standard granulated sugar and salt, you’re destined for disappointment.
The secret ingredient in a perfect Walker's Shortbread cookie is pastry flour. It has less gluten than all-purpose flour and will produce a tender bite mirroring the original cookies, but it still provides a stable structure that won’t spread out when baked. My favorite pastry flour is Bob’s Red Mill.
There is no leavening in these cookies (that’s why they're called shortbread), so the sugar and salt are whipped into the butter until it’s fluffy which works in air bubbles that provide a lift to your shortbread when baked. Standard sugar and salt grains won’t easily dissolve in the butter, so I'm using superfine sugar here (baker’s sugar) and superfine salt (popcorn salt) to produce perfect shortbread with a clean bite that’s free of any detectable sugar or salt granules.
Try my Walker's Shortbread copycat recipe below, and click here for more great famous cookie recipes.
Ultra-sour liquid candy in a spray bottle was first introduced to puckering mouths in Taiwan in 1975, and eventually came to the U.S. in 1993. The liquid candy is a simple formulation of sugar, flavoring, acids (for the sour), and glycerin. Once you have these ingredients, a home version is easy—just measure and stir. For your own ultra-tart Warheads candy spray candy recipe, you’ll need six ingredients and three reusable small spray bottles.
The sourness in the real thing comes from citric acid and malic acid, both of which are natural ingredients found in fruits and vegetables. Malic acid is a more intense sour and can be found at Whole Foods or online, while citric acid can be found in many stores, including Walmart. If you can’t track down malic acid, you can still make the recipe with just citric acid (see Tidbits). The quality of the sour will be a little different, but I’m pretty sure no kids will be complaining about it.
The candy is flavored with unsweetened Kool-Aid mix, which is great because there are so many flavors to choose from. The real Warheads come in watermelon, green apple, sour cherry, and blue raspberry, but the blue raspberry Kool-Aid also has lemonade in it, so that one won’t taste quite the same as the real one.
For my Warheads super sour spray candy recipe below, you’ll need some glycerin to thicken your spray..Glycerin—also a natural product—is developed from vegetable oil or animal fat and is often used in icing preparation. Glycerin helps thicken the liquid candy to make it more syrupy, and it also adds sweetness. You’ll find glycerin where cake decorating supplies are sold, or online.
While you’re online, also look for three 2.7-ounce reusable spray bottles. That’s where I found mine. This recipe will fill each bottle all the way up, with a little left over for a partial refill.
Making candy is fun! Check out my recipe for Haribo Gummy Bears here.
In the early 20s Natalie Olivieri was watching his wife can tomatoes, when he got the idea to create a bottled chocolate drink with a long shelf life while. When New York Yankee great Yogi Berra later met Natale and tasted his drink he was an instant fan, and helped raise funds to make Yoo-hoo a national success.
I cloned this drink in the first book, Top Secret Recipes, but have since discovered an improved technique. Using a blender to mix the drink, as instructed in that first recipe, adds too much unnecessary foam. So here now is a revised recipe that you shake to mix.
Source: Top Secret Recipes: Sodas, Smoothies, Spirits & Shakes by Todd Wilbur.
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 (one time I made some in a gummy-bear 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.
My Werther's candy recipe calls for fresh cream and butter just like the original, which was invented in Germany over 100 years ago and is now sold throughout Europe and North America.
Weight Watchers was one of the first companies to introduce low-fat foods to supermarket freezer sections. The earlier items were mostly meals, such as dinners and lunch items. In 1980 the company began offering a selection of low-fat desserts, which gained in popularity because they didn’t taste low-fat. More recent favorites are these small chocolate-frosted, crème-filled éclairs, developed in 1993. They are sold frozen, and can be defrosted at room temperature in about an hour.
The clone recipe here is designed so that you don’t need a special pastry bag to make the shells, or to fill them with the delicious, custard-like combination of fat-free vanilla pudding and Dream Whip. It’s an éclair recipe you won’t find anywhere else, and it’s guaranteed to satisfy your most fierce desserts craving.
Serving size–1 éclair
Calories per serving–160
Fat per serving–4g
Source: Top Secret Recipes Lite by Todd Wilbur.
A while back when I was rummaging through my pantry, I came upon several bottles of flavored Yoo-hoo that I had picked up from Wal-Mart and tucked away for over a year. Each of the bottles was covered with a little dust and needed a pretty fierce shaking, but the contents were well-preserved and still tasty. After some Web browsing of a few unofficial Yoo-hoo websites, I discovered these worshipped "Mix-ups" variety of the famous chocolate drink had since been discontinued, and I was holding onto a few rare bottles. I immediately got to work on these Yoo-hoo Mix-Ups recipes below, so you can successfully resurrect these Dead Foods at home.
Try my Yoo-Hoo chocolate drink recipe here.
Source: Top Secret Recipes: Sodas, Smoothies, Spirits & Shakes by Todd Wilbur.
At his candy factory In York, Pennsylvania, in the late 1930s, Henry C. Kessler first concocted this minty confection. The York Cone Company was originally established to make ice cream cones, but by the end of World War II the peppermint patty had become so popular that the company discontinued all other products. In 1972 the company was sold to Peter Paul, manufacturers of Almond Joy and Mounds. Cadbury USA purchased the firm in 1978, and in 1988 the York Peppermint Pattie became the property of Hershey USA.
Other chocolate-covered peppermints were manufactured before the York Peppermint Pattie came on the market, but Kessler's version was firm and crisp, while the competition was soft and gummy. One former employee and York resident remembered the final test the patty went through before it left the factory. "It was a snap test. If the candy didn't break clean in the middle, it was a second." For years, seconds were sold to visitors at the plant for fifty cents a pound.
Try my York Peppermint Pattie recipe below, and find more of my famous candy recipes here.
Source: More Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.
For over 30 years I've been deconstructing America's most iconic brand-name foods to make the best original copycat recipes for you to use at home. Welcome to my lab.