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Snacks

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    Score: 4.70. Votes: 47

    The streets of New York City are peppered with Nuts 4 Nuts vendors selling freshly candied nuts that you can smell a block away. For a buck or two you get your choice of warm, sugar-coated almonds, peanuts, or cashews wrapped up in a little paper bag with the corners twisted closed. The nuts are candied right there on the carts in a large metal bowl over a heating element. When the nuts are added to sugar and water they are stirred vigorously until the water evaporates and the sugar crystallizes into a crunchy coating, without burning. They're easy to make on the street, which means they're even easier to clone at home. All you need for your own quick version of this addictive street snack is 1 1/2 cups of your favorite raw nuts, some sugar, a little water, and a hot saucepan, and you're about 4 minutes away from an authentic New York City treat. The recipe works best in a pan that isn't nonstick, and the nuts must be raw. The oil added to roasted nuts prevents the sugar from properly crystallizing. Use this recipe with pecans or walnuts, and then sprinkle them over fresh spinach or baby greens, along with a little goat cheese or Gorgonzola and some diced apple or pear for an easy gourmet side salad.

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Unlocked by Todd Wilbur.

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    In 1914 the founders of the Tasty Baking Company created "the cake that made Mother stop baking." Tastykake products remain popular today with millions of snack cakes shipping across the country every day. And the recipes have remained remarkably unchanged over the years. These chocolate cupcakes in several varieties are the company's top-selling item, with more than 7 million baked weekly.

    Source: Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 4.00. Votes: 1

    This oddly name popcorn confection gets its yellow color from the butter-flavored popcorn beneath the nearly clear candy coating. We'll use microwave popcorn for this low-fat version, and we'll throw in some real butter and butter flavoring for just the right touch. With this secret formula, we can duplicate the taste of the original with only half the fat.

    Nutrition Facts
    Serving size–1 cup
    Total servings–12
    Calories per serving–107 (Original–140)
    Fat per serving–2g (Original–4g)

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

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    Nabisco unveiled a line of reduced-fat products in 1992 with the introduction of SnackWell's Devil's Food cookie cakes. The product was an instant hit with demand quickly outstripping supply, leaving store shelves empty. The company poked fun at the situation with a series of humorous TV spots, featuring the dweebish "Cookie Man" hounded by pushy shoppers trying to get their hands on his cookies. The successful product launch was followed with the introduction of dozens of new SnackWell's products through the years, including Apple Raisin Snack Bars. Our clone uses a secret combination of unsweetened applesauce along with molasses and apple juice to keep the cake moist and tasty.

    Nutrition Facts
    Serving size–1 bar
    Total servings–21
    Calories per serving–120
    Fat per serving–1.7g

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

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    When Interstate Brands started the Dolly Madison line of baked goods that has today become the convenience store leader, it was known as Interstate Bakeries. Roy Nafziger started the bakery in 1927, and he could only have dreamed that one day his company would ring up more than one billion dollars in sales. One item that contributes to those impressive sales figures are these little brown sugar/cinnamon-topped cakes, which have become a popular addition to the Dolly Madison line of baked goods since the late eighties.

    We can easily create a low-fat home clone of the real thing with only seven ingredients, thanks to white cake mix that can be found in practically all stores. Notice that the cake mix is not a reduced-fat variety. That's not necessary for the recipe to produce little cakes that taste just like the real thing, but still have less than one-third the fat. And even though the original is sort of square-shaped, we'll use a couple of 12-cup muffin pans to simplify the process. The shape will be different, but the flavor will be right on.

    Nutrition Facts
    Serving size–1 cake
    Total servings–24
    Calories per serving–111 (Original–170)
    Fat per serving–1.7g (Original–6g)

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Lite by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 1

    Look at what F. W. Rueckheim started. He was the guy who, back in the late 1800s, made candy-coated popcorn a national treasure with the invention of Cracker Jack. Now we've got Fiddle-Faddle, Screaming Yellow Zonkers, Crunch 'n Munch so many other candy-coated popcorns. Sure, these other varieties don't have the traditional prize inside the box, but let's face it, those prizes are pretty weak compared to what used to be found at the bottom of a box of Cracker Jack when I was a kid. And the old-fashioned molasses formula used on Cracker Jack just doesn't have the appeal of some of the other tantalizing candy coatings on popcorn today. Butter toffee is a good example, so that's what I've reverse-engineered for you here. It's a simple recipe that makes a finished product so tasty you'll have to beg someone to take it away from you before you finish the whole bowl by yourself. All you need is a candy thermometer, some microwave popcorn, and a few other basic ingredients to re-create a home version of popcorn heaven.

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Unlocked by Todd Wilbur.

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    The Einstein/Noah Bagel Corporation sold around 300 million bagels in 1997--around 6 million bagels a week. And on top of those bagels, customers will smear (or Shmear) more than 8 million pounds of the flavored cream cheeses created by the company. That's 11 tons of the stuff each day! The bagels themselves are reasonably low in fat--coming in at 1 to 3 grams each. But when you add just an ounce of cream cheese Shmear, you're quadrupling the fat, at the very least.

    With fat-free cream cheese and a variety of different flavorings and ingredients, we can easily recreate Einstein Bros. Shmear, while reducing the fat to zero. These Einstein's bagel schmear recipes are very easy to make, and if you would like yours fo firm up more after mixing in the ingredients, just pop the finished spread (in a microwavesafe bowl) for a minute of two, stir, cover, and chill completely. Use these spreads with bagels of your choice.

    Source: "Top Secret Recipes Lite" by Todd Wilbur.

    Roasted Garlic
    Serving size--2 tablespoons
    Total servings--about 8
    Calories per serving--35 / Original--100
    Fat per serving--0 g / Original--9 g

    Strawberry
    Serving size--2 tablespoons
    Total servings--about 8
    Calories per serving--35 / Original--100
    Fat per serving--o g / Original--8 g

    Jalapeno Salsa
    Serving size--2 tablespoons
    Total serving about--10
    Calories per serving--30 / Original--90
    Fat per serving--0 g /Original--8 g

    Maple Walnut Raisin
    Serving size--2 tablespoons
    Total servings--about
    Calories per serving--48 / Original--100
    Fat per serving--0 g / Original--9 g

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    Howdy Doody peddled them on his 1950s TV show. Archie Bunker got one in his lunchbox every day. Even President Jimmy Carter was a fan, supposedly ordering a Twinkie vending machine installed in the White House. Yes, Twinkies are an American favorite. And if the oblong little snack isn’t being eaten, it’s being talked about: usually by talk show hosts joking about the snack food's supposedly long shelf life.

    The crème-filled cakes we know today are not exactly the same as the early Twinkies. When the snack cake was first conceived by Hostess plant manager James Dewar in 1930, it was as a way to use the cake pans for the strawberry “Little Short Cake Fingers,” which sat idle for all but the six-week strawberry season. The filling in those original cakes was flavored with bananas, and they were called “Twinkle Fingers.” When bananas got scarce during World War II the filling was changed to the vanilla flavor we know today, and the name was shortened to “Twinkies.” 

    The latest reformulation of the Twinkie came in 1990, when a low-fat version was first introduced. Now Twinkie lovers could have their cakes and eat ‘em too, with only half the fat of the original.

    You should know that these clones are twice the size of the Hostess version, with the fat and calories double as well. By weight, though, this clone’s nutrition stats are right on track with the original. 

    Nutrition Facts
    Serving size–1 snack cake
    Total servings–12 
    Calories per serving–280 
    Fat per serving–3g

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Lite by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 4.87. Votes: 15

    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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    Score: 4.67. Votes: 3

    Its not necessary to use expensive Kona coffee when cloning these awesome glazed macadamia nuts from Mauna Loa. Since the coffee is combined with butter, sugar, and other ingredients, no one will know the difference. But you will have to make your coffee very strong. Use twice the grounds recommended by your coffee maker or use espresso for this recipe. you'll also need a candy thermometer since you'll need to bring the candy to precisely 290 degrees F before stirring in the nuts. Make sure to heat up the nuts in a separate pan so theyll be hot when you add them to the candy. This way the candy doesnt cool too quickly and the nuts get a nice thin coating of the goodness. The candy coating wont be as thin as on the original nuts, but its a pretty good copy considering your home kitchen probably doesnt come equipped with one of the commercial candy tumblers or enrobers you find on the production line in the Mauna Loa manufacturing plant.

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