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Welcome. You just found copycat recipes for all of your favorite famous foods! Bestselling author and TV host Todd Wilbur shows you how to duplicate the taste of iconic dishes and treats at home. Todd's recipes are easy to follow and fun to make. Search for recipes by brand name here. New recipes added every week.

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    Score: 4.63. Votes: 19

    Two years is all it took for Coca-Cola to banish this new hybrid of cola and black coffee to the land of the Dead Foods—in 2008. It may have been the steep price that scared customers away, since they were getting a very small 8-ounce Coca-Cola beverage for $1.79. Others claim it was the unusual flavor, although I actually thought it tasted pretty good—like a combination of Coca-Cola, cream soda, and coffee. Hey, that sounds like great combo for our hack. Dissolve some NutraSweet (that's what Coca-Cola uses) in cold espresso, add it to the sodas, and you'll get 24 ounces (3 servings) of a remarkable clone at a total cost of just 90 cents. That's more like it. Another Dead Food resurrected.

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

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    Score: 3.00. Votes: 2

    The spicy seasoned salt mash-up that Lawry's and Tabasco created several years ago garnered a cult following. Unfortunately the number of fanatics that celebrated the delicious salty, sour, and spicy blend was too small to satisfy the manufacturer, and today this tasty blend has joined the growing list of Dead Foods. The good news is I've discovered a technique for a home version, and the process is a simple one. We can duplicate the sourness that comes from vinegar powder in the real thing by adding Tabasco pepper sauce, which contains vinegar, to a handful of dry ingredients and then letting the blend dry overnight. The hardened chunks are then ground with a mortar and pestle or a coffee grinder, producing a fine blend that can be poured into a spice shaker and sprinkled on anything from French fries to eggs. It's back.

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Unlocked by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 3.80. Votes: 5
    This now "Dead Food" was introduced in the mid 90s when sales of low-fat snack foods were surging. At that time the markets were so inundated with new lower-fat packaged foods that the survival rate of those new products was very low. Today, these once-thriving SnackWell's snack bars are among the deceased. But a clone lives on. The creamy sweetened condensed milk, corn syrup, and egg substitute helps to keep the cake moist and chewy. We can even add a little butter and still keep the total fat per serving at less than 2 grams.

    Nutrition Facts
    Serving size–1 bar
    Servings–21
    Calories per serving–113
    Fat per serving–1.8g
     
    Source: Top Secret Recipes Lite by Todd Wilbur.
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    Score: 4.60. Votes: 15

    In 1992 Fortune magazine estimated the Mars family's personal worth at somewhere around $12.5 billion. This solid foundation of wealth, built on the country's undying passion for chocolate and other sweets, has made this clan the richest family in America—and the most reclusive. A family rule prohibits photographs to be taken of the Mars family and corporate executives. According to Fortune, a photographer who once tried to get a shot of Forrest Mars, Sr., found himself enveloped in a cloth that was thrown as he was about to snap the picture. 

    The fortune grew steadily larger as the corporation routinely kept four brands in the top-ten-selling chocolates in the country: Milky Way, M&M's Plain and Peanut, and, in the number-one spot, Snickers.

    For a live demonstration of this classic clone recipe, check out this video.

    Check out my other clone recipes for famous candy bars here.

    Source: Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 1

    The brand that makes the most popular rice pudding in the country also makes a great tapioca pudding, with large tapioca pearls in delicious vanilla cream. I wanted to duplicate the pudding as easily as possible, and since large tapioca pearls are much harder to find and take longer to cook than Minute Tapioca made by Kraft, I opted to design the recipe using this more available ingredient.

    Minute Tapioca's small pearls of tapioca have been par-cooked so that it takes less time to prepare the pudding. Soaking large tapioca pearls until tender is a process that can take as long as 12 hours, and then you still have to make the pudding. This quick recipe, however, will take you just an hour from beginning to end.

    Give the pudding a nice chill once it's done and it will thicken up nicely. You can be spoon-deep in a bowl of homemade tapioca pudding the same day you make it.  

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 2

    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 this 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: 4.43. Votes: 7

    This Nebraska-based company grows a special kind of yellow mushroom popcorn that pops into fluffy round shapes for all its brands of candy-coated popcorn—Fiddle Faddle, Screaming Yellow Zonkers, and Poppycock—but plain microwave popcorn is all you'll need to make an easy clone. The Poppycock motto is "It's our amazing glaze!" and it is pretty amazing. The butter-toffee glaze is flavored with maple syrup, and each box is packed with lots of nuts, unlike any other glazed popcorn brands out there. Clone the Poppycock flavor you prefer: all cashews, all pecans, or a combination of almonds and pecans. Of course, you can mix in any nuts you like, salted or unsalted, as long as it comes to two cups worth for example—macadamia nuts is an great variation. You really need a candy thermometer for this recipe to get it just right, but you can also estimate temperature by drizzling some of the candy syrup into a glass of cold water once you see it begin to darken. If the candy forms brittle threads, it's ready. You coat the popcorn with the glaze by heating everything up in the microwave and stirring. There is also a technique using your oven (see Tidbits), but the microwave method is faster. 

    Check out some of our other clones for Fiddle Faddle, Screaming Yellow ZonkersCracker Jack, and Crunch N' Munch

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Unlocked by Todd Wilbur.

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    It's time to clone America's best-selling brand of instant macaroni & cheese. This recipe is for the "Deluxe" variety of this popular product—that is, the one that comes with an envelope of thick cheese sauce, rather than the dry, powdered cheese. I think the "Deluxe" version is the better tasting of the two. Now, with this Top Secret Recipe, you can make creamy macaroni and cheese that tastes like Kraft's original at a fraction of the price of the real thing.

    Try more of my copycat recipes from Kraft here.

    Source: Even More Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 4.55. Votes: 44

    If those cute little cookie peddlers aren't posted outside the market, it may be tough to get your hands on these—the most popular cookies sold by the Girl Scouts every spring. One out of every four boxes of cookies sold by the girls is Thin Mints. This hack Girl Scout cookie thin mint recipe uses an improved version of the chocolate wafers created for the Oreo cookie clone in the second TSR book More Top Secret Recipes. That recipe creates 108 cookie wafers, so when you're done dipping, you'll have the equivalent of three boxes of the Girl Scout Cookies favorite. That's why you bought those extra cookie sheets, right? You could, of course, reduce this thin mint recipe by baking only one-third of the cookie dough for the wafers and then reducing the coating ingredients by one-third, giving you a total of 36 cookies. But that may not be enough to last you until next spring.

    Click here for more of your favorite Girl Scout Cookies

    Source: Even More Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

    Update 11/16/17: You can make an even better clone using a chocolate product that wasn't available when I created this recipe. Rather than using the semi-sweet chocolate chips combined with shortening and peppermint for coating the cookies, use Ghirardelli Dark Melting Wafers. You will need 2 10-ounce bags of the chips, mixed with 1/2 teaspoon of peppermint extract (and no shortening). Melt the chocolate the same way, and dip the cookies as instructed.

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    Score: 4.78. Votes: 23

    Hard to believe it takes only one regular-size green tea bag to make this entire 2-quart clone of the popular iced tea in the foam green bottles. Find the liquid ginseng for this recipe in your local health food store. Be sure to get American ginseng if you can since the Chinese stuff can taste pretty rank.

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

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I'm Todd Wilbur,
Chronic Food Hacker

For 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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