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Snacks

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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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    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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