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Snacks

You lucky devil. 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 snacks here. New recipes added every week.

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    How can you resist the cute little girls in those adorable green outfits—and a change machine around their waists? If you can't, then a least it's good to know that less than one-third of the sales price of each box of Girl Scout Cookies goes to the manufacturer. That's much less than the wholesale price food retailers pay for similar products. Most of the money raised from each sale goes to support the Girl Scouts. But how do we get our Girl Scout Cookie fix during the off-season when the cookies aren't being sold? That's when we can turn to a clone recipe such as this one for the reduced-fat cookie with the lemony tang. Included here is the custom Top Secret Recipes technique for making a delicious filling that's entirely fat-free.

    Nutrition Facts
    Serving size–3 cookies
    Total servings–14
    Calories per serving–150
    Fat per serving–4.5g

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

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    The full-fat version of these delicious discs are the top-selling shortbread cookies in the United States. It's no wonder the baked-goods giant elected to introduce a reduced-fat version in 1994. You'll find this clone as easy to make as any other cookie recipe, but with much less fat in the crispy finished product.

    Nutrition Facts
    Serving size–1 cookie
    Total servings–30
    Calories per serving–80
    Fat per serving–3g

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

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 1

    In the late thirties, as Roy Nafziger noodled through some names for his new line of baked goods for the Cakes Division of Interstate Bakeries, he decided on the name of former U.S. President James Madison's wife. Why her, you ask? Apparently the flamboyant first lady enjoyed entertaining guests with elaborate parties at the White House, and served those guests a fine selection of desserts and baked goods. Nafziger figured his company would create cakes "fine enough to serve in the White House." So, the name stuck, and today the company is a member of the Interstate Brands Corporation family, which also includes Hostess as part of a recent acquisition.

    These carrot cakes have been sold off and on through the years, but never as a reduced-fat version. So, with applesauce and egg substitute jumping in for some of the fat, here's a TSR version of the tasty carrot cake for the fat-conscious. You'll swear it's the original, but each slice comes in at less than 4 grams. Even with butter in the icing, that's better than half the fat of the real thing.

    Nutrition Facts
    Serving size–1 slice
    Total servings–10
    Calories per serving–520 (Original–360)
    Fat per serving–3.5 g (Original–8g)

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Lite by Todd Wilbur.

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    Take a close look at the Entenmann's logo sometime. You'll see a drawing of the same type of horse-drawn delivery wagon that William Entenmann drove back in 1898 in Brooklyn, New York, when he started his home-delivery baking service. The successful family business was passed on through the generations with little change in philosophy or goals. Then in 1951, the family realized the best way to reach the growing numbers of customers was by selling the products in New York-area supermarkets. The delivery business went retail, but the company was still a local New York-area business.

    All that changed in 1982, when General Foods purchased the company. Not only did distribution go national, but at the same time food scientists at General Foods were working hard to develop the first line of fresh-baked fat-free cakes and pastries. When those products hit store shelves in 1989, the fat-cutting fad was in its infancy, and Entenmann's was able to grab a big chunk of the market.

    Now you can sink your teeth into a big chunk of this home-made version of the popular cheese-filled crumb cake. This clone recipe of the popular treat makes two cakes the same size as the original, by dividing a standard 9x13-inch pan in half with a large piece of aluminum foil. 

    Nutrition Facts:
    Serving size–2.6 oz.
    Total serving–18
    Calories per serving–140
    Fat per serving–0g

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Lite by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 2

    Here's a recipe that comes from a challenge issued by the New York Daily News. The paper wanted to watch a West Coast dude duplicate the taste of an authentic New York City knish. But, mind you, not just any knish. This knish comes from one of the oldest knisheries in the Big Apple, a place that also takes pride in the low fat content of its knishes as opposed to the popular deep-fried variety. When I tasted the famous Yonah Schimmel knish (the first knish I had ever eaten), I realized that not only could a good clone recipe be created, but even more fat grams could be eliminated. The Daily News had a food lab analyze the fat content of the original knish and the clone, as well as the fat in a street vendor knish and a supermarket knish, just for comparison. The lab results are listed following the recipe.

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Unlocked by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 1

    Here's a clone recipe that gets one very important ingredient from another packaged product. The powdered cheese included in the Kraft instant macaroni & cheese kits flavors this homegrown version of the popular bright orange crackers. You'll need a can of Kraft Macaroni & Cheese cheese topping or two boxes of the most inexpensive instant variety of macaroni & cheese—you know, the kind with the cheese powder. Two boxes will give you enough cheese to make 300 crackers. As for the macaroni left over in the box, just use that for another recipe requiring elbow macaroni.

    Source: Even More Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 2

    Menu Description: "Seasoned beef, refried beans and cheese." 

    Marno McDermott was a successful Minneapolis restaurateur, opening a chain of Mexican restaurants in the seventies called Zapata's against the advice of skeptics who said he would never be able to sell Mexican food to the large population of Scandinavians in the area. Marno proved them wrong then, and once again in 1976, when he partnered with Max McGee, a former Green Bay Packer football player, to open the first Chi-Chi's in Richfield, Minnesota. The restaurant was built inside a deserted Kroger grocery store and became instantly famous for the intensely flavored and larger-than-usual portions of food. To keep volume high, Chi-Chi's designed a custom computer-driven system that clocks every aspect of service from the time each server enters an order to when the order is placed in front of the customers. Special attention was given to the design of the menu items as well, with each dish taking no more than nine minutes to prepare, even during the rush hours. 

    At the restaurant you can order the Nachos Grande with beef, chicken, seafood or a combination. This recipe will show you how to make the beef and chicken versions.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 3.00. Votes: 2

    Menu Description: "Our specialty! French Vanilla ice cream with a crunchy, crispy cinnamon coating. Served with your choice of honey, chocolate or strawberry topping."

    Cooks at Chi-Chi's chain of Mexican restaurants are instructed to not memorize recipes for the dishes they make. Management says each chef is required to consult the company cookbooks every time they whip up a meal, so that each dish tastes exactly the same in every Chi-Chi's any time of the day. Perhaps it's that practice that has made Chi-Chi's the largest Mexican restaurant chain in the country. 

    This crispy-coated ice cream sundae is not exactly fried as you may expect by the name. The scoop of vanilla ice cream is actually rolled in cornflake crumbs that have been flavored with sugar and cinnamon, giving it the appearance and texture of being fried. It's a simple idea that tastes just great, and is well worth the try. Chi-Chi's calls this their "specialty" and claims it's the most requested dessert item on the menu.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 1

    Menu Description: "Crisp, lightly fried carrots, choice of two dips."

    In 1992, Steven Spielberg organized a search for a hoagie sandwich like those he remembered from his childhood in Phoenix, Arizona. The famed director sent his assistants out to search L.A. for the perfect submarine sandwich, and from the 20 sandwiches brought back to him, not one passed the test. Former chairman of Walt Disney Studios and close friend Jeffrey Katzenberg was in on the taste test that day and agreed that most of the sandwiches were either too soggy or too leathery. The two began tossing around the idea of opening their own restaurant to reinvent the submarine sandwich with fresh baked bread and unique combinations of ingredient—like what Spago's and California Pizza Kitchen were doing with pizza. Partnered with Mark and Larry Levy of Levy Restaurants, the two movie moguls tasted over 100 sandwich recipes before finding two dozen they liked. A year of planning went by to build a deep-sea theme around the recipes, and in 1994, the first Dive! restaurant opened in L.A.

    In addition to the gourmet sandwiches on the menu, Dive! features pastas, salads, burgers, and delicious appetizers like carrot chips complete with your choice of dipping sauces. Because the carrots need to be sliced no thicker than 1/16 inch, you'll probably have to use a thin-slicing machine such as a mandoline for this recipe. I tried slicing the carrots by hand, but it's practically impossible to get the carrots a uniform thickness without using a gadget.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    At one time the ice cream in this popular dessert was actually fried. A scoop of ice cream was rolled in breading, then refrozen. Just before serving, the ice cream would be flash-fried in oil for a few seconds, and then served immediately, still frozen in the middle. Considering that the nonfried version served at the restaurant chain still has around 34 grams of fat per serving, we can assume the fried version would weigh in with even more.

    Now we're going to take those grams down even further—by an amazing 80 percent! We'll do that by using fat-free ice cream and fat-free flour tortillas. We'll also cut way down on the fat by spraying the tortillas with a light coating of cooking spray and then baking them, rather than using the traditional frying method. Use a light touch on that whipped cream can, and you've got a very low-fat dessert that just has to be experienced.

    Nutrition Facts
    Serving size–1 dessert
    Total servings–2
    Calories per serving–371 (Original–611)
    Fat per serving–7g (Original–34g)

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Lite by Todd Wilbur.

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