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McDonald's

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    Score: 3.95. Votes: 19

    I finally got on the case to figure out a kitchen clone for this famous sauce—as it turns out, it's an easy hack. Dried mustard mixes it up with sweet and sour flavors in a saucepan over medium heat. Cornstarch thickens and stabilizes, and a little habanero pops in for the perfect spicy punch. Use it for dipping, use it for spreading...use it again and again, since you'll be making about a cup of the stuff. 

    Source: Even More Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 4.26. Votes: 38

    It's easy to recreate the flavors of McDonald's annual St. Patrick's Day shake using only four ingredients. The two that make this holiday shake special are the mint extract and green food coloring. Make sure your extract says "mint" and not "peppermint". And if you don't care to have shakes that are green like the real ones, you can forego the food coloring.

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

    Update 3/14/17: For a thicker, mintier shake add only 1 cup of milk. If your blender can't mix it up, add 1/4 cup of milk at a time until it blends. Also, the new Shamrock Shakes have whipped cream and a cherry on top.

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    Score: 4.90. Votes: 10

    McDonald's enlisted Destiny's Child, Venus Williams, and Bob Greene (Oprah's trainer) to kick off its balanced lifestyles campaign in the spring of 2005, starting with this salad and the tagline "Get a fruit buzz." Most of the recipe is no big secret: two kinds of sliced apples, red seedless grapes, and low-fat vanilla yogurt. If there is a secret ingredient it's the candied walnuts which we can clone from scratch using honey, peanut oil, sugar and vanilla. 
     
    Source: Top Secret Recipes Unlocked by Todd Wilbur.

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    These 16-ounce desserts-in-a-cup are made with McDonald’s soft-serve ice cream and one of several crumbled sweet additives. Duplicating soft-serve ice cream at home comes easy using regular vanilla ice cream (not French vanilla), a little whole milk, and a frozen bowl to do the mixing. You might also want to freeze the glass that you plan to serve this in to ensure the ice cream is served up creamy yet firm, rather than melted and soupy.

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

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 2

    To honor the International Day of Peace on September 21, 2015, Burger King published an open letter to McDonald's in The New York Times and Chicago Tribune proposing that the two burger giants call a cease fire on their "burger wars," and honor the day by joining forces to sell a one-day mash-up of their two famous hamburgers at a pop-up shop located in Atlanta—the halfway point between the two cities where the chains' headquarters are located (Chicago and Miami). The letter stated that the "McWhopper" would include "All the tastiest bits of your Big Mac and our Whopper, united in one delicious, peace-loving burger." Burger King spent some significant time and money on the campaign, building a beautiful website and super slick YouTube video, but unfortunately the proposal fell flat. McDonald's CEO Steve Easterbrook responded with his own open letter stating, "We love the intention, but think our brands could do something bigger to make a difference." In other words, "Thanks, but no thanks." He ends his letter with a biting p.s. that reads, "A simple phone call will do next time." Ouch. 

    It looks like there won't be a real McWhopper in our near fast food future, but that doesn't mean you can't still taste one for yourself. Or, at least a clone of one using this Top Secret Recipe which I assembled from information found on the McWhopper website and the hack recipes I created years ago for the Big Mac and Whopper. If you like both of those sandwiches I promise you that your efforts will be rewarded here. This is a really good burger. 

    Included in the recipe below is my new, improved hack of McDonald's secret sauce from the new book, Top Secret Recipes Step-by-Step, plus the full assembly instructions for the burger. The Whopper is built with a flame-broiled patty, so you'll need a grill for that, and the Big Mac patty can be cooked in a pan on your stovetop. The bun sizes are different for each of these burgers, so if you want it to be authentic, you'll need to buy a package of small sesame seed buns and a package of large ones. Slap together the six components from each of the two burgers and even though the two halves taste great on their own, when combined these ingredients make a delicious and unique hamburger that unlike any you've had before.

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    Score: 4.62. Votes: 13

    It was in the late seventies, shortly after McDonald's introduced the Egg McMuffin, that the food giant realized the potential of a quick, drive-thru breakfast. Soon, the company had developed several new breakfast selections, including the Big Breakfast with eggs, hash browns, and sausage, and this morning meal in a tortilla, first offered on the menu in 1991.

    Source: Even More Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 4.88. Votes: 16

    This one's super easy to make, plus it's low fat and delicious. The yogurt in the original is very sweet and creamy like Yoplait. So that's the brand that you should use, although any brand of a vanilla yogurt will work fine (see update in "Tidbits"). If you use Yoplait, you'll need two 6-ounce containers of the stuff per serving. For the granola, just look for one that contains mostly oats. It should be crunchy and sweet, and can also include puffed rice bits. You can make these parfaits a day or two ahead of time. Keep them covered in the fridge, and hold off on the granola topping until just before you serve them or it'll get soggy.

    Source: Even More Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    McDonald's refreshing smoothie is easy to knock off at home in a blender with fresh bananas and boxed frozen strawberries that come in syrup. Thaw out those strawberries before adding them and include some of the syrup when measuring. This McDonald's strawberry banana smoothie recipe makes 2 medium drinks so you can share, or one really big drink for a very hot and thirsty you.

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    In 1963 the busiest clown in America, Ronald McDonald, made his debut in Washington, D.C. But beneath that red wig and 14 1/2-inch shoes was someone who would later become the portly weatherman on NBC's "Today" show. It was Willard Scott.

    Future Ronald McDonald wanna-be's get their training at McDonald's "college," just as many of the chain's managers and franchise owners do. It is a surprisingly busy institution. By 2001 the 40,000th student was granted a Hamburgerology Degree from McDonald's Hamburger University in Oak Brook, Illinois. Hamburger University was set up to provide instruction for McDonald's personnel in the various aspects of their business—equipment, controls, human relations skills, and management skills.

    Nearly 3,000 students pass through the halls of the school each year as they continue to grow in their McDonald's careers. And the American council on Education has approved eighteen of the university's courses for college credits.

    One more chapter in the studies of H.U. graduates came in 1985, when the "hot side" and "cool side" of the McD.L.T. found their way onto McDonald's menu. It lives on only here, for five years after it was introduced, the McD.L.T. was dropped and replaced with the McLean Deluxe.

    Source: Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 4.08. Votes: 13

    In 1996, McDonald's set out to target more educated taste buds in a massive advertising campaign for its newest burger creation. We watched while Ronald McDonald golfed, danced, and leisurely hung out with real-life grown-up humans, instead of the puffy Mayor McCheese and that bunch of wacko puppets. Supposedly the Arch Deluxe, with the "Adult Taste" would appeal to those dancers and golfers and anyone else with a sophisticated palate. But let's face it, we're not talking Beef Wellington here. The Arch Deluxe was just a hamburger after all, with only a couple of elements that set it apart from the other menu items. The big difference was the creamy brown mustard spread on the sandwich right next to the ketchup. And you were able to order the burger with the optional thick-sliced peppered bacon. But the pitch didn't work out the way Micky D's had hoped. Sales of the Arch Deluxe were disappointing and the Arch Deluxe was soon a Dead Food. Good thing I cloned this burger when I did. 

    Source: Even More Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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