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Breakfast

Nice work. You just found copycat recipes for all of 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 has hacked your favorite breakfast foods here. New recipes added every week.

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    Score: 4.82. Votes: 11

    Menu Description: "Oven baked with fresh apples and pure Sikiyan cinnamon glaze."

    Fresh, high-quality ingredients and traditional recipes are what makes this growing chain a frequent favorite for anyone who stops in. The star of the show is the incredible apple pancake, the chain's signature dish. To make a dead-on clone, Granny Smith apples are sauteed in butter, brown sugar and cinnamon, then allowed to cool for a bit. That way, when the batter is poured into the pan, the apples and glaze stay anchored to the bottom. This technique also prevents the glaze from penetrating into the batter as the pancake bakes since there is now an apple barrier preventing any mixing of the ingredients. When the pancake comes out of the oven it's flipped over onto a plate and the apples are right there on top, dripping with a delicious cinnamon-sugar glaze. You won't need any syrup for this one, that's for sure. Just a light dusting of powdered sugar on top. Then dig into an apple pancake unlike any other.

    You may also like my clone recipe for the Original Pancake House German Pancake aka "Dutch Baby".

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 2 by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 4.50. Votes: 12

    I made several discoveries on episode 2 of my CMT Show "Top Secret Recipe" that helped me improve significantly on the recipe for my first clone of Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls that I first hacked many years ago in my book "More Top Secret Recipes". After interviewing the creator of the Cinnabon roll, Jerilyn Brusseau (aka "Cinnamom"), at her home in Seattle and visiting Cinnabon headquarters in Atlanta, I was able to sleuth out some important clues that make this recipe the closest formula you'll find. I learned about the unique gooey properties of a specific cinnamon found in Indonesia called Korintje cinnamon, which Cinnabon calls "Makara") and how to give the rolls their signature golden color (buttermilk and baking soda). I also discovered that the dough must rise in your refrigerator for at least 5 hours and that adding some xanthan gum to the filling will keep the filling from leaking down into the pan as the rolls bake.

    Cinnabon master chefs allowed me to step into the development kitchen at Cinnabon headquarters for an up-close demonstration of the rolling and slicing techniques, so the instructions I have laid out for here come straight from the inside, and will give you beautiful rolls that look and taste just like those you get at the mall. In fact, if you follow these instructions carefully being sure to weigh the ingredients rather than measuring by volume, everyone will be shocked that the delicious finished product came out of your very own kitchen. 

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

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    Score: 2.33. Votes: 3

    The automated process for creating Krispy Kreme doughnuts, developed in the 1950's, took the company many years to perfect. When you drive by your local Krispy Kreme store between 5:00 and 11:00 each day (both a.m. and p.m.) and see the "Hot Doughnuts Now" sign lit up, inside the store custom-made stainless steel machines are rolling. Doughnut batter is extruded into little doughnut shapes that ride up and down through a temperature and humidity controlled booth to activate the yeast. This creates the perfect amount of air in the dough that will yield a tender and fluffy finished product. When the doughnuts are perfectly puffed up, they're gently dumped into a moat of hot vegetable shortening where they float on one side until golden brown, and then the machine flips them over to cook the other side. When the doughnuts finish frying, they ride up a mesh conveyor belt and through a ribbon of white sugar glaze. If you're lucky enough to taste one of these doughnuts just as it comes around the corner from the glazing, you're in for a real treat—the warm circle of sweet doughy goodness practically melts in your mouth. It's this secret process that helped Krispy Kreme become the fastest-growing doughnut chain in the country. 

    As you can guess, the main ingredient in a Krispy Kreme doughnut is wheat flour, but there is also some added gluten, soy flour, malted barley flour, and modified food starch; plus egg yolk, non-fat milk, flavoring, and yeast. I suspect a low-gluten flour, like cake flour, is probably used in the original mix to make the doughnuts tender, and then the manufacturer adds the additional gluten to give the doughnuts the perfect framework for rising. I tested many combinations of cake flour and wheat gluten, but found that the best texture resulted from cake flour combined with all-purpose flour. I also tried adding a little soy flour to the mix, but the soy gave the dough a strange taste and it didn't benefit the texture of the dough in any way.  I excluded the malted barley flour and modified food starch from the Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut recipe since these are difficult ingredients to find. These exclusions didn't seem to matter because the real secret in making these doughnuts look and taste like the original lies primarily in careful handling of the dough.

    The Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut recipe dough will be very sticky when first mixed together, and you should be careful not to over mix it or you will build up some tough gluten strands, and that will result in chewy doughnuts. You don't even need to touch the dough until it is finished with the first rising stage. After the dough rises for 30 to 45 minutes it will become easier to handle, but you will still need to flour your hands. Also, be sure to generously flour the surface you are working on when you gently roll out the dough for cutting. When each doughnut shape is cut from the dough, place it onto a small square of wax paper that has been lightly dusted with flour. Using wax paper will allow you to easily transport the doughnuts (after they rise) from the baking sheet to the hot shortening without deflating the dough. As long as you don't fry them too long—1 minute per side should be enough—you will have tender homemade doughnuts that will satisfy even the biggest Krispy Kreme fanatics.

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Unlocked by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 6

    Panera Bread's Baked Spinach and Artichoke Egg Souffle reminds me of a breakfast Hot Pocket, if a Hot Pocket tasted really good. With eggs, cheese, spinach, and artichoke hearts baked into a buttery crust, this super-cool presentation will earn you big bonus points from your crew in the a.m. And the best part about this copycat Panera spinach souffle recipe is you won't stress out over making the dough from scratch since you use premade Pillsbury Crescent Dough that comes in a tube. Just be sure when you unroll the dough that you don't separate it into triangles. Instead, pinch the dough together along the diagonal perforations to make four squares. After the dough is rolled out, line four buttered ramekins with each square, fill each ramekin with the secret egg mixture, and bake. 

    Find more of your favorite recipes from Panera Bread here

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Unlocked by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 4.75. Votes: 8

    Everyone knows the center of a cinnamon roll is the best part. With that in mind, McDonald's designed a cinnamon pastry where every bite is coated with the same deliciously gooey cinnamon and brown sugar filling that you discover only after working your way through the dry, doughy part of traditional cinnamon rolls. It's sort of like monkey bread, whereby chunks of dough are tossed in cinnamon sugar and then baked in a deep cake pan. The difference with this clone of the McDonald's version is that the filling is mixed with margarine and spooned onto the dough chunks in layers. And you bake this in small, single-serving portions. As it turns out, a Texas-size muffin tin, which has cups that are about twice the size of a standard muffin tin, is the perfect pan for this. You can also use disposable aluminum pot pie pans that many markets carry. Since this recipe makes a dozen servings, dig this: After the cinnamon melts have cooled, cover and freeze them. When you need a quick breakfast pastry or late-night snack, simply remove a melt from the pan, microwave for 35 seconds, or until hot (this is how McDonald's heats it, too), and you're instantly teleported to cinnamon roll paradise.

    Cinnamon Roll fans may also want to try my clone recipe for Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls here

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Unlocked by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 4.75. Votes: 4

    If your crew likes food with a little kick, and they're into breakfast sandwiches, grab some of your favorite bagels and give this clone a go. The jalapeño salsa cream cheese used here is made with only four ingredients, and the rest of the recipe is even easier: cook up some turkey sausage patties in a skillet and prepare each serving of scrambled eggs in a small bowl in the microwave so they fit perfectly on the bagels. For the turkey sausage, I used Wampler brand which comes in 1-pound tubes, but you can also use small turkey breakfast links—just squeeze the sausage out of the casings and form your patties (ditch the casings). You can also use pork sausage if you like.

    Still hungry? Check out my recipe for Einstein Bros. Bagels Twice Baked Hash Browns

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Unlocked by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 4.53. Votes: 36

    Menu Description: "Oven baked. Dusted with powdered sugar, served with lemon and butter."

    It was in 1953 when Les Highet and Erma Huenke opened their first Original Pancake House in Portland, Oregon using traditional pancake recipes handed down through the generations. The German Pancake AKA "Dutch Baby" is baked at high temperature in a skillet where it puffs up like crazy in the oven, then settles down when it comes out. It's dusted with powdered sugar, and served with whipped butter and lemon wedges on the side—delicious. A cast-iron skillet works best for this recipe.

    Check out my version of the Original Pancake House Apple Pancake for a decadent cinnamon apple-filled delight. 

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 2 by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 4.09. Votes: 23

    On November 18, 2009 Kellogg Co. reported a nationwide shortage of its popular Eggo frozen waffles until the middle of 2010 because of interruptions at two of the four plants that make them. Historic amounts of rain closed a plant in Atlanta, and production lines at the bakery in Rossville, Tennessee were closed indefinitely for repairs. Once I heard the news I bounced to my local supermarket and snagged some of the last few boxes of Eggos on the freezer shelves to pound out a recipe for the homestyle version of these waffles (plus three other popular varieties—see Tidbits). Now the Eggo-deprived could fill the hole in their freezer with a worthy substitute until the real Eggos returned. But I never did print the recipe in a book.

    Eggo Waffles are round, so I looked everywhere for a waffle iron that will produce round waffles small enough to fit into your toaster. No such luck. I finally called off the search when I decided that waffle shape is an unimportant detail. What really matters is that your waffles taste the same as Eqqo Waffles, and heat up the same way in a toaster as Eggo Waffles when you are ready to serve them. So that’s how I designed this clone.

    With this recipe you make waffles that are slightly undercooked so that they can be frozen and reheated later in a standard toaster without overcooking. Most waffle irons produce rectangular waffles that fit nicely into a toaster, but even the waffles that come out of round waffle irons are easy to break in half or in quarters so that they completely fit all the way into the toaster slot when you’re ready to eat them. Just be sure to set your toaster on its lowest or second lowest setting when you heat them up.

    Today Eggo Waffles are plentiful on store shelves. But if there is ever another shortage in this waffle’s future, you are now prepared.

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    Score: 4.67. Votes: 9

    In March 1988 the first McDonald's in Belgrade,Yugoslavia, set an all-time opening-day record by running 6,000 people under the arches. In early 1990, when a Moscow McDonald's opened, it became the busiest in the world by serving more than 20,000 people in just the first month of operation. The McDonald's Rome franchise racks up annual sales of more than $11 million. And in August of 1992, the world's largest McDonald's opened in China. The Beijing McDonald's seats 700 people in 28,000 square feet. It has over 1,000 employees, and parking for 200 employee bicycles. McDonald's outlets dot the globe in fifty-two countries today, including Turkey, Thailand, Panama, El Salvador, Indonesia, and Poland. About 40 percent of the McDonald's that open today stand on foreign soil—that's more than 3,000 outlets.

    Back in the United States, McDonald's serves one of every four breakfasts eaten out of the home. The Egg McMuffin sandwich was introduced in 1977 and has become a convenient breakfast-in-a-sandwich for millions. The name for the sandwich was not the brainstorm of a corporate think tank as you would expect, but rather a suggestion from ex-McDonald's chairman and CEO Fred Turner. He says his wife Patty came up with it.

    You will need an empty clean can with the same diameter as an English muffin. A 6 1/2 ounce tuna can works well.

    Try more of my McDonald's clone recipes here

    Source: Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 4.68. Votes: 204

    Even though the early press runs of the first book, Top Secret Recipes, excluded buttermilk in this recipe—a very important ingredient if you really want pourable batter—many figured out the missing ingredient on their own and the error was quickly corrected in later copies. Now we just like to call those copies of the book the "Collector's Editions." For any of you who were lucky enough to get one of the "Collector's Editions" we'd like to say "Congratulations!" Now here's the recipe—with the complete list of ingredients—to make pancakes just like those served every day at IHOP. Also check out our IHOP banana nut pancake recipe.

    Source: Top Secret Recipes 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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