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Cookies & Brownies

Great Job! You just found 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 for less money than eating out. Todd's recipes are easy to follow and fun to make! See if Todd has hacked your favorite cookies & brownies here. New recipes added every week.

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    Score: 4.53. Votes: 43

    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.

    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: 4.63. Votes: 158

    Here's the first Mrs. Fields chocolate chip cookie copycat recipe I created for the Top Secret Recipes books back in 1987. Inspired by a bogus chain-letter cookie recipe, this is my version of the delicious Mrs. Fields cookies that are crispy around the edge and chewy in the middle. Be careful not to cook these too long. I know it becomes tempting to keep cooking these—they don't seem to be done after 10 minutes—but they will continue to cook for awhile after you take them out of the oven, and when cool, will be chewy in the middle.

    Source: Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 2

    Back in the 1870s, in the coastal city of Malmo, Sweden, a man named Anders Pahlsson baked the first of his soon-to-be famous gingersnaps in a bakery he named Pogen's. In 1970 Pogen's, Inc., opened in the United States, expanding the line of baked goods that Pahlsson developed in the nineteenth century.

    A legend that dates back many years says that if you place a gingersnap in the palm of your hand, press down in the middle, and it breaks into three pieces, good luck will follow. Today, more than 100 years later, good luck and hard work have made Pogen's the third-largest supplier of cookies to the growing vending business.

    Source: Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

    Update 1/26/17: Bump up the ginger flavor a little by adding another 1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger to the recipe. Also, reduce the cinnamon, so that it doesn't dominate, by 1/2 teaspoon.

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    Score: 4.00. Votes: 1

    According to Main On Foods, the manufacturer and distributor of Twin Dragon Almond Cookies, the original recipe was brought to this country in 1951 by a Chinese baker who owned a small corner shop in downtown Los Angeles. That retail bakery is gone now, but its most popular product, the world's best-tasting almond cookie, is still selling.

    Source: Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Formerly called the National Biscuit Company, Nabisco was formed in the late 1800s by several bakeries that joined together to meet a growing demand. In the 1870s Nabisco's forefathers had introduced the first individually packaged baked goods. Before this, cookies and crackers had been sold from open barrels or biscuit boxes. The company has become the world's largest manufacturer of cookies and crackers, selling some 42 million packages of Nabisco products each day to retail outlets on every continent.

    Nutter Butter Cookies were introduced in 1969 and have quickly taken their place alongside Nabisco's most popular products, including Oreos, Chips Ahoy!, and Fig Newtons.

    Source: More Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 1

    No one knows the exact origin of the vanilla wafer but it's guessed that the recipe was developed in the South. The wafers were being created from scratch at home long before Nabisco introduced the lightweight, poker chip-like packaged cookies in 1945. Back then they were called Vanilla Wafers. But in the 60's Nabisco slapped the trade name Nilla Wafers on the box. Today the real things come about 100 to a box and really fly when whipped into the air with a little flick of the wrist. Here now, you can relive the days of old with a homemade version fresh out of the oven. This clone recipe makes about half a box's worth, and they fly just as far.

    Source: Even More Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 8

    If you're a ginger snap fanatic, clone the cookie giant's store-bought version in a, uh, snap. And if you're watching the fat, four of these cookies check in with a total of around 2.5 grams of fat.

    Nutrition Facts
    Serving size–4 cookies
    Total servings–30
    Calories per serving–110
    Fat per serving–2.5g

    Source: Low-Fat Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 4.93. Votes: 15

    To dispel the urban legend of the $250 recipe in the infamous chain letter, Neiman Marcus created an actual recipe for chocolate chip cookies and displayed it on the Neiman Marcus Web site. Since I get so many request for that formula, I'm posting the real Neiman Marcus recipe here. 

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 2

    While passing these out to each giddy audience member on her 2003 "Favorite Things" show, Oprah gushed, "Isn't that the best macaroon you've ever had?" The recipe for these delicious yet easy-to-clone coconut macaroons was passed down to Cliff Barsevich years ago from his grandmother, and they were served at the events serviced by Cliff and partner Ron Strles' catering business. When customers continued to rave about the cookies, the duo began selling the macaroons by the box in high-end stores such as Neiman Marcus. With a lot of help from The Oprah Winfrey Show, the cookies have become a huge success. Still, at 15 bucks a dozen, it's nice to have a clone that will satisfy your macaroon munchies at a fraction of the cost. It's the closest we'll ever get to a homemade version since Cliff says he's never sharing the recipe. He says when he dies he's taking the secret formula with him.

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Unlocked by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 3.75. Votes: 4

    When cloning cookies for the holidays, why not clone the best? Pepperidge Farm's Ginger Man cookies bring a sweet gingery crunch to the seasonal festivities. 

    Source: Even More Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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