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    The famous hard caramel candy created in 1903 in the German town of Werther is easy to duplicate at home as long as you’ve got a candy thermometer and some rounded silicone candy molds. Realistically, you can make these candies any shape you want—I made some in a gummy bears mold!—but the best shape for hard candies is something smooth and rounded. That’s what works best for a candy designed to be sucked on, rather than chewed. Just be sure to get enough molds to hold 50 or more bite-size candies at once.      

    This hack calls for fresh cream and butter just like the original invented in Germany over 100 years ago, and now sold throughout Europe and North America. 

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 1

    The health concerns regarding microwave popcorn are a result of the way it’s packaged. For the corn to pop, the kernels are submerged in boiling fat inside the bag until a buildup of steam in the kernels causes them to burst. To prevent the liquid fat from seeping through, the bags are lined with a chemical called perfluorooctanoic acid, which, unfortunately for microwave popcorn lovers, has been linked to cancer and other nasty things.

    I set out on a mission to make better homemade microwave popcorn with only natural ingredients, and without using costly popping gadgets. I also wanted to avoid using plastic, tape, or metal, such as staples. My solution, like many others I researched, utilizes paper lunch bags, but with a new method for prepping the kernels. I was dismayed to find some discussions about the potential for problems using brown paper bags in your microwave oven, such as fire, but I had absolutely no issues any of the many times I did it. No smoke, no sparks, nothing looking at all dangerous was going on inside my magic cooking box. The USDA states that using paper bags in your microwave, “may cause a fire, and may emit toxic fumes,” yet the internet is full of microwave popcorn recipes calling for paper bags. So, I decided I will still share my recipe and technique, but ultimately leave it up to you to determine if it’s a hack recipe you feel safe using. 

    My hack starts with clarifying butter so that it’s pure fat, without any milk solids or water. Butter is about 16 percent water and if any of that stays in the mix, your popcorn will be on a fast trip to Soggytown. Once the butter is clarified, we’ll combine it with popcorn and salt and freeze it into pucks that can be saved for weeks, until you are ready to make quick popcorn.

    When it’s popcorn time, a puck goes into a small bowl, which goes inside two interlocking paper bags. After a warming session, you hit the “popcorn” button on your microwave oven and the popcorn will pop just like the store product (you may have to add another 30 seconds or so of cooking time). The first bag will soak up the excess butter that splashes around inside as the popcorn pops, and the second bag will keep the butter from messing up your oven.

    To serve, pull the bags apart over a big bowl, and you’ll have a fresh batch of hot microwave popcorn coated perfectly with real butter and salt.             

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    At the 2018 Salvation Army National Doughnut Day World Doughnut Eating Contest, held every June 1st, competitive eater Joey Chestnut consumed 257 Hostess powdered Donettes in six minutes to take home the top prize. There was a big smile on Joey's powdered-sugar-and-crumb-coated face that day as he raised a trophy to celebrate another glorious gastronomic feat.  

    If you had to guess who makes the top-selling doughnuts in America, you’d probably say Dunkin’ Donuts or Krispy Kreme, but you’d be wrong. According to Hostess, Donettes are the country’s most popular doughnuts—you rarely find a supermarket, corner market, or convenience store without at least a few packages on the shelf. Hostess Donettes come in several flavors, including chocolate, crumb and strawberry, but the one most people turn to, and the one I grew up on (they were called “Gems” back then), is coated with a thick layer of powdered sugar.    

    Cloning the Hostess powdered donuts recipe is not hard, once you know the secrets. You'll make a stiff cake dough, punch out 2-inch rounds with a biscuit cutter, pierce the dough with a straw or chopstick to make a hole, then fry the doughnuts for 2 minutes until golden brown. After you roll them in powdered sugar you'll have around 20 fresh home cloned miniature doughnuts that will make you feel like a kid again.

    And—just doing a little math here—it would take Joey Chestnut all of about 14 seconds to eat that entire plate of doughnuts you just made.

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    The Twinkie company, otherwise known as Hostess, was one of the first to introduce reduced-fat baked goods to the masses. In 1990 the company took its most popular products and created lower-fat versions under the "Hostess Lights" label. Among the company's well-known low-fat offerings is this popular cupcake, with its seven loops of white icing on the top of frosted, creme-filled cake. Here's a way you can recreate these popular cupcakes at home, with applesauce in the cake to help replace the fat, and filling made with marshmallow creme.

    Nutrition Facts
    Serving size–1 cupcake 
    Total servings–12 
    Calories per serving–220 
    Fat per serving–1.5g

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Lite by Todd Wilbur.

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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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    Nabisco took great effort to produce reduced-fat versions of the most popular products created by the food giant. This product loyalty-retaining move is just good business. According to one Nabisco spokesperson, "We want to bring back the people who have enjoyed our products, but went away for health and diet reasons." And that's exactly what we see happening, as customers are now grabbing the boxes with "Less Fat" printed on them. This box says, "Reduced fat: 40% less fat than original Cheese Nips."

    The secret ingredient for this clone of the popular little square crackers is the fat-free cheese sprinkles by Molly McButter. One 2-ounce shaker of the stuff will do it, and you won't use it all. Just keep in mind that cheese powder is pretty salty, so you may want to go very easy on salting the tops of the crackers 

    Nutrition Facts 
    Serving size–31 crackers 
    Total servings–about 10 
    Fat per serving–3.5g 
    Calories per serving–105

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Lite by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 1

    Nabisco debuted its first six SnackWell's line of productions in 1992 to rave reviews and more than impressive sales. The company was having a hard time keeping up with the extraordinary demand, and customers would find empty shelves in the supermarkets where SnackWell's cookies were once stocked. A series of commercials addressed the supply problem with the shelf-stocking "Cookie Man" attacked by ravenous women in search of the popular products. The announcer told everyone not to worry—the products would soon be on their way.

    Today, supply has caught up with demand, and stores are able to keep plenty of these products in stock, including the bite-size chocolate chip cookies, which can be cloned with this recipe. The cookies are easily made so small by rolling the dough into long logs, which you then chill, slice, and bake. 

    Nutrition facts 
    Serving size–13 cookies 
    Total servings–11 
    Calories per serving–105 
    Fat per serving–3.3g

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Lite by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 4.83. Votes: 6

    In 1871 a German immigrant named F. W. Rueckheim came to Chicago with $200 in his pocket. He used all of his money to open a small popcorn shop in the city and started selling a sweet caramel-and-molasses-coated popcorn confection. Rueckheim's big break came in 1893, when the treat was served at Chicago's first world's fair. From then on the popcorn's popularity grew enormously. In 1896 a salesman tasting the treat for the first time said, "That's a cracker jack," and the name stuck. Shortly after Cracker Jacks debut another customer commented, "The more you eat, the more you want," and that's still the slogan today.

    In 1912 the Cracker Jack Company started adding toy surprises, ranging from small books to miniature metal toy trains. To date they have given away more than 17 billion toy surprises. In 1964 Borden, Inc. bought the Cracker Jack Company, and today the Cracker Jack division is the largest user of popcorn in the world, popping more than twenty tons of corn a day. 

    Source: Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 4.43. Votes: 7

    This Nebraska-based company grows a special kind of yellow mushroom popcorn that pops into fluffy round shapes for all its brands of candy-coated popcorn—Fiddle Faddle, Screaming Yellow Zonkers, and Poppycock—but plain microwave popcorn is all you'll need to make an easy clone. The Poppycock motto is "It's our amazing glaze!" and it is pretty amazing. The butter-toffee glaze is flavored with maple syrup, and each box is packed with lots of nuts, unlike any other glazed popcorn brands out there. Clone the Poppycock flavor you prefer: all cashews, all pecans, or a combination of almonds and pecans. Of course, you can mix in any nuts you like, salted or unsalted, as long as it comes to two cups worth for example—macadamia nuts is an great variation. You really need a candy thermometer for this recipe to get it just right, but you can also estimate temperature by drizzling some of the candy syrup into a glass of cold water once you see it begin to darken. If the candy forms brittle threads, it's ready. You coat the popcorn with the glaze by heating everything up in the microwave and stirring. There is also a technique using your oven (see Tidbits), but the microwave method is faster. 

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Unlocked by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 1

    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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