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    Score: 2.65. Votes: 17

    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.

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    Score: 4.73. Votes: 11

    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.

    Source: More Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 4.52. Votes: 21

    A Sabrett push cart hot dog isn't complete until it's slathered with the tangy orange/red onion sauce. For a buck or two you can grab a hot dog with the works on the fly from these popular umbrella-covered food carts in many major cities and at special events. You see hundreds of 'em in New York City, especially around Central Park. In fact, that's where the sample for this re-creation was obtained. While most of the Sabrett toppings are standard hot dog fare—ketchup, mustard, sauerkraut—the onion sauce makes these hot dogs special. 

    Source: Even More Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 4.61. Votes: 18

    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 a pretty 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: 1.00. Votes: 1

    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: 4.30. 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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    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 empire started in 1902, when nineteen-year-old Franklin C. Mars began selling homemade candy. In 1910 he started a wholesale candy business in Tacoma, Washington. Ten years later Frank moved to Minneapolis, where he used the family kitchen to make buttercreams, which were personally delivered to retailers in the city by his wife, Ethel. Business grew steadily, and in 1940 Frank's son Forrest established M&M Limited in Newark, New Jersey. 

    By 1967 the family's confectionery business in the United States had been consolidated into M&M/Mars. 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.

    Source: Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 1

    In addition to making the most popular rice pudding in the country Kozy Shack also makes a pretty awesome tapioca pudding. The tapioca pearls are large and the pudding is thick, creamy and rich. I wanted to duplicate the pudding as easily as possible, and since large tapioca pearls are much harder to find than the much more popular Minute Tapioca made by Kraft, I opted to design the recipe using this more available ingredient. Minute tapioca is made with very small pearls of tapioca which have been par-cooked so that it takes less time to cook the pudding. Soaking large tapioca pearls until tender, once you manage to track down those big buggers, is a process that can take as long as 12 hours, and then you still have to make the pudding. This 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, and you can be spoon-deep into a cold bowl of it the same day you make it.

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