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Snacks

Welcome. 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 snacks here. New recipes added every week.

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 1

    The brand that makes the most popular rice pudding in the country also makes a great tapioca pudding, with large tapioca pearls in delicious vanilla cream. I wanted to duplicate the pudding as easily as possible, and since large tapioca pearls are much harder to find and take longer to cook than Minute Tapioca made by Kraft, I opted to design the recipe using this more available ingredient.

    Minute Tapioca is made with small pearls of tapioca which have been par-cooked so that it takes less time to prepare the pudding. Soaking large tapioca pearls until tender is a process that can take as long as 12 hours, and then you still have to make the pudding. This quick recipe, however, will take you just an hour from beginning to end.

    Give the pudding a nice chill once it's done and it will thicken up nicely. You can be spoon-deep in a bowl of homemade tapioca pudding the same day you make it.  

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    Recently, Hostess released a new “limited-edition” mint chocolate version of the brand’s famous CupCakes, with mint creamy filling and mint frosting on top. I had already hacked the well-known chocolate CupCakes from Hostess for Step-by-Step, so the cake recipe and the white icing on top was already done. I reworked the filling and the frosting with delicious mint flavor and proper green hue, and put it all together in this new hack that’s a twist on an old favorite.

    As with the chocolate CupCakes clone, the frosting is designed to be runny so that you can dip the cupcakes in it. This will produce a smooth frosting that, when dry, looks just like the real thing. Most likely you’ll need a couple coats of frosting. The first coat is a crumb layer that locks in the chocolate cake crumbs so that the second layer finishes clean and smooth. If you find that you’re losing too many crumbs in the frosting bowl when dipping the cupcakes, you may want to spread on your first layer with a butter knife.   

    Before baking be sure to grease your muffin cups well so that cupcakes come out clean. And you'll need a piping bag or pastry gun with a medium tip to fill the cupcakes and a small tip to add the seven loops of white icing on top. No proper clone of this famous product would be right without that final step.

    Check out my clone recipes for Hostess Twiinkies and Powdered Donettes

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    Ultra-sour liquid candy in a spray bottle was first introduced to puckering mouths in Taiwan in 1975, and eventually came to the U.S. in 1993. The liquid candy is a simple formulation of sugar, flavoring, acids (for the sour), and glycerin. Once you have these ingredients, a home version is easy—just measure and stir. For your own ultra-tart spray candy hack, you’ll need six ingredients and three re-usable small spray bottles.

    The sourness in the real thing comes from citric acid and malic acid, both of which are natural ingredients found in fruits and vegetables. Malic acid is a more intense sour and can be found at Whole Foods or online, while citric acid can be found in many stores, including Walmart. If you can’t track down malic acid, you can still make the recipe with just citric acid, by increasing the amount of citric to 1 tablespoon. The quality of the sour will be a little different, but I’m pretty sure no kids will be complaining about it.  

    The candy is flavored with unsweetened Kool-Aid mix, which is great because there are so many flavors to choose from. The real Warheads come in watermelon, green apple, sour cherry, and blue raspberry, but the blue raspberry Kool-Aid also has lemonade in it, so that one won’t taste quite the same as the real one. 

    To thicken your spray, you’ll need some glycerin. Glycerin—also a natural product—is developed from vegetable oil or animal fat and is often used in icing preparation. Glycerin helps thicken the liquid candy to make it syrupier, and it also adds sweetness. You’ll find glycerin where cake decorating supplies are sold, or online. 

    While you’re online, also look for three 2.7-ounce reusable spray bottles. That’s where I found mine. This recipe will fill each bottle all the way up, with a little left over for a partial refill.

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    Who is Otis Spunkmeyer? Actually, he does not exist. The character who flies around in the plane pictured on the product labels, searching the world for premium ingredients, is just a catchy name dreamed up by founder Ken Rawling's 12-year-old daughter.

    The company offers low-fat versions of many of its 11 varieties of muffins, but they are more difficult to track down than the original versions. 

    This reduced-fat conversion clone recipe of the famous Texas-size muffins has 4 grams of fat per serving, or 8 grams total—quite a reduction compared to the original muffins, which have a total of 22 grams of fat each.

    Nutrition Facts
    Serving size–1/2 muffin
    Total servings–16
    Calories per serving–142 (Original–220)
    Fat per serving–4g (Original–11g)

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Lite by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 6

    Keebler joined in a federation with sixteen local and regional bakeries to help form the United Biscuit Company in 1927. This system lasted for twenty-two years, until 1949, when the conglomerate chose to operate under a single name. Keebler was judged to be the most sound and memorable. In 1983 Keebler expanded its distribution to the West Coast, making the conglomerate a national concern.

    Today Keebler manufactures more than 200 different products from its 83,000-square-foot facility in Elmhurst, Illinois. Those products, including the chewy Soft Batch cookie, are sold in some 75,000 retail outlets nationwide. Total annual sales for the company are in excess of $1.5 billion, making Keebler the second-largest cookie and cracker manufacturer in the United States, with popular products that have been enjoyed by five generations of Americans. 

    Source: Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Founder Ken Rawlings opened his first baked cookie store in San Francisco in 1977, and over the next five years the chain had grown to 22 stores throughout California. In 1990, after much success, Rawlings' Otis Spunkmeyer Company started selling ready-to-bake cookie dough in grocery stores. That same year the company acquired a Modesto, California, muffin manufacturer, and Otis Spunkmeyer Muffins were born. Since then, the company has seen a 1,200 percent increase in muffins sales, and today this is America's best-selling brand of muffins.

    The banana-nut variety is my favorite, normally with 24 grams of fat per muffin, but many love the Otis Spunkmeyer blueberry muffins recipe. Real banana is a perfect substitute for much of the fat. Even with a small amount of oil in there, and the walnuts on top, these tasty Texas-size Otis Spunkmeyer banana nut muffins weigh in with less than half the fat of the original.

    Nutrition Facts
    Serving size–1/2 muffin
    Total servings–16
    Calories per serving–147 (Original–240)
    Fat per serving–5g (Original–12g)

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Lite by Todd Wilbur.

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    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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    In 1996, Nabisco built up its growing line of SnackWell's baked products with the introduction of low-fat snack bars in several varieties, including fudge brownie, golden cake, apple raisin, and the chewy banana variety cloned here. The secret ingredients that keeps the fat grams under 2 grams per serving is banana puree, which makes the cake moist while adding real banana flavor. The egg whites rather than whole eggs, molasses and just a little bit of shortening also help maintain flavor and moistness, without too much added fat. Whip it all up, pour it into a pan and bake. Soon you'll have 21 tasty little low-fat snack bars to get you through the week, guilt-free.

    Nutrition Facts
    Serving Size–1 bar
    Servings–21
    Calories per serving–118
    Fat per serving–1.8g

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

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    After baking the big 'ol muffins, Otis Spunkmeyer freezes them so that they stay fresh on the way to the stores. Vendors thaw out the tasty baked goodies before displaying them on their shelves. Even after the muffins reach room temperature, they still have a very impressive shelf life of twenty-one days.

    You can also freeze the muffins you make with this reduced-fat clone recipe. Just wait until they cool, then wrap the muffins in plastic wrap, and toss them in the freezer. And remember, the shelf life of your version without preservatives will be much less than that of the real McCoy, so dive into those muffins post haste.

    Nutrition Facts
    Serving size–1/2 muffin
    Total servings–16
    Calories per serving–165 (Original–210)
    Fat per serving–4 g (Original–11g)

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    In Cayce, South Carolina, Otis Spunkmeyer muffins were manufactured with state-of-the-art robotic equipment that would make R2-D2 jealous. The amazing machines do everything from packaging 130 muffins per minute to sealing up the cartons for a quick shipment to stores across the country.

    This Top Secret Recipes reduced-fat clone version uses unsweetened applesauce to keep the muffins moist and to help replace fat.

    Nutrition Facts
    Serving size–1/2 muffin
    Total servings–16
    Calories per serving–16 (Original–240)
    Fat per serving–5.5g (Original–13g)

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

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