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Muffins After Eight

Muffins After Eight

Pentru iubitorii combinatiei menta ciocolata printre care ma numar si eu, am pregatit aceste briose fine, cu o aroma incantatoare de menta....gustul va las sa-l descoperiti...

  • 1 ciocolata cu menta ( 80 gr)
  • 3 pliculete vanilie
  • 3 linguri cacao
  • 1/2 cana sirop de menta
  • 3 oua
  • 3/4 cana zahar( cea de lapte ca masura)
  • 1 cana si 1/2 faina( cana de lapte masura)
  • 100 gr unt

Portii: 9

Timp de preparare: sub 60 minute

MOD DE PREPARARE RETETA Muffins After Eight:

1. Punem la mixer, ouale cu zaharul si vanilia, batem cam 5 minute.

2. Intr-un ibric topim untul si in el ciocolata.

3. In vasul de mixer adaugam si siropul de menta, mai amestecam 5 minute.

3. Cand ciocolata cu unt s-a racit putin o turnam usor peste compozitia cu oua.

4. Adaugam cacaoa si la urma faina.

5. Turnam in formele de muffins , daca folositi forme siliconice neaparat asezati-le pe tava de cuptor atunci cand le umpleti.

6. Incingem cuptorul la 200 grade si coacem pentru 25 de minute.

Gata... le servim cu mare placere cu o cana de cafea cu lapte. Yamyyyyyyyy!!!!



Muffins After Eight - Rețete

I have a gluten allergy. On the scale of one to 10, I'd rate it a solid seven. It gives me bad gastrointestinal issues that you'd be much happier not knowing.

Tamara and I spoke online for a few weeks before meeting in person. When we were discussing where to meet for our first date, I told her that I was gluten-free, although I could almost always find something to eat anywhere. She said she'd keep it in mind, and we ended up picking a cafe that was one of my own recommendations, a place that made its own gluten-free wraps.

To my surprise, when Tamara appeared, she carried with her a plastic container with nine cranberry muffins that she said she had made for me.

I was taken aback and really grateful, but I had to ask, "Are they gluten-free?"

"Yep!" was her instant answer. How sweet!

After lunch, we took a walk and had an impromptu picnic in a nearby park, where we split one of her muffins. It was really, really good. I asked her what she had used for the ingredients.

I asked, a bit more seriously, "What kind of flour?"

"I don't know. Regular flour."

A slight panic overtook me. You have to understand, I was and still am not a fan of the sorts of cramps that were unstoppably on their way. I said to her, "I told you I was gluten-free! You said these muffins didn't have gluten!"

"They don't. I didn't use gluten. I told you: flour, sugar, milk, eggs–"

Her eyes went wide and she said, "I didn't know. You never told me that."

I gave a tremendous sigh and informed her that I'd likely be suffering from debilitating cramps within a half-hour or so. She said, "Well, that isn't my fault. You never told me you couldn't eat flour. Just gluten."

She didn't apologize or seem to care one bit for my soon-to-be-plight. I ended the date pretty quickly, and as predicted, the cramps hit hard, but likely not as bad as they would've been if I had eaten more than half of a muffin.

I didn't write to her after that for a day or two, but before I could, she wrote me, "You forgot your muffins. Maybe I can bring them to you?"

I declined the offer. Dating Tamara was hazardous to my health.

37 comments:

Another muffin-bluffin' story?

So, was this girl sweet but naive, or calculating and sadistical? The fact that she wanted to bring him additional muffins after she was informed that they had gluten in them seems to indicate the latter.

Even if I could give her the benefit of the doubt about not knowing the muffins in fact had gluten, I'd be very upset about how she refused to accept any responsibility for it. Who would want to date someone who never is wrong or sympathetic about anything, ever?

Maybe I unconsciously posted them because I had a really tasty muffin earlier this week.

red velvet? don't tell me you got your red wings, stevie?

I prefer warm apple cinnamon.

Man, I just can't agree. Looks, its shit that this happened, and she was naive, but her intentions seemed good enough. A bit of an air head. All in all, a mistake.

Seems it wasn't a refusal of responsibility, more like the kicking in of stress overdrive and self-protective behaviour. Unfortunate, but this story (or Steve) seems to want to paint her as a demon out for blood. And as a pre-emptive answer to "why not say sorry after?", I interpret the muffin offer as a coy extension of the peace pipe in itself - maybe they were gluten free this time.

It's not like muffin is the only thing left in the world for peace offering.
Or may be Op just added that as to make out more dramatic. I can't believe anybody world be that unsympathetic.

I'd love to read this story from the other perspective:

I met this cute guy, Jake, for our first date at a cafe. I was looking super cute in my favorite outfit and I had even baked him some muffins. No man can resist my muffin -) He was asking all these weird questions about the muffins. "Do they have glutton in them?" What the hell is glutton? Isn't that like a fat thing? I assured him I hadn't used any "glutton" and he gladly took the muffins.

We had a great lunch and decided to have a little muffin picnic in a near by park. As we munched our muffin, he asked what I made the muffins with so I told him the ingredients. He lost his mind! He started screaming at me about some disease he made up and saying that flour has "glutton" in it. I think I know what's in flour, thank you very much! It's just ground up wheat for Christ's sake! Anyway, he kept screaming and then took off. I was pretty disappointed that the date went so badly. He even forgot his muffins! I called him up a day or so later and offered to bring them to him but he blew me off.

Guess I dodged a bullet on this nut job.

Why don't any super cute girls let ME munch on their muffin.

So Steve, the ugly ones let you? Maybe you should use less teeth and more tongue. Muffins like the tongue.

Next time, I'll take my dentures OUT before proceeding.

I, as a woman, am just honored that you try. )

Is there ever a happy ending when a date shows up bearing homemade food gifts on a date? Unless you know the person relatively well or they requested to try your *insert name of awesome dish you can make here*, this is never a good idea. I know people are trying to show off their domesticated sides to impress someone but it rarely ever works out that way. You're either going to make them sick or they're going to hurt your feelings because your cooking sucks (remember the undercooked, gelatinous pork chop lady?). There should be a universal law about this kind of thing so people will stop getting the shits and amateur cooks can stop embarrassing themselves.

I don't think Tamara set out to make the OP crap his pants (or whatever happens) with her devil cranberry muffins. She likely doesn't know what gluten is or where it lurks. Unless you have a gluten allergy or are close to someone who is, odds are good you don't know what the hell it is because you don't need to know (yes, I know. some people who are neither afflicted or know someone who is still know what gluten is.) Tamara did come off as kind of shitty for not apologizing when she had the chance. The fact that she sent an email offering to bring back the devil muffins indicates that she's either really diabolical or just a moron.

It's not that there aren't any homemade food gifts stories with happy endings out there. It's just that we don't hear about them because they have happy endings :D .


I'm Todd Wilbur, Chronic Food Hacker

For 30 years I've been deconstructing America's most iconic brand-name foods to make the best original clone recipes for you to use at home. Welcome to my lab.

Includes eight (8) 79¢ recipes of your choice each month!

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In early 1985, restaurateur Rich Komen felt there was a specialty niche in convenience-food service just waiting to be filled. His idea was to create an efficient outlet that could serve freshly made cinnamon rolls in shopping malls throughout the country. It took nine months for Komen and his staff to develop a cinnamon roll recipe he knew customers would consider the "freshest, gooiest, and most mouthwatering cinnamon roll ever tasted." The concept was tested for the first time in Seattle's Sea-Tac mall later that year, with workers mixing, proofing, rolling, and baking the rolls in full view of customers. Now, more than 626 outlets later, Cinnabon has become the fastest-growing cinnamon roll bakery in the world.

The first Auntie Anne's pretzel store opened in 1988 in the heart of pretzel country—a Pennsylvanian Amish farmers' market. Over 500 stores later, Auntie Anne's is one of the most requested secret clone recipes around, especially on the internet. Many of the copycat Auntie Anne's soft pretzel recipes passed around the Web require bread flour, and some use honey as a sweetener. But by studying the Auntie Anne's home pretzel-making kit in the secret underground laboratory, I've discovered a better solution for re-creating the delicious mall treats than any clone recipe out there. For the best quality dough, you just need all-purpose flour. And powdered sugar works great to perfectly sweeten the dough. Now you just have to decide if you want to make the more traditional salted pretzels, or the sweet cinnamon sugar-coated kind. Decisions, decisions.

I never thought dinner rolls were something I could get excited about until I got my hand into the breadbasket at Texas Roadhouse. The rolls are fresh out of the oven and they hit the table when you do, so there’s no waiting to tear into a magnificently gooey sweet roll topped with soft cinnamon butter. The first bite you take will make you think of a fresh cinnamon roll, and then you can’t stop eating it. And when the first roll’s gone, you are powerless to resist grabbing for just one more. But it’s never just one more. It’s two or three more, plus a few extra to take home for tomorrow.

Discovering the secret to making rolls at home that taste as good as the real ones involved making numerous batches of dough, each one sweeter than the last (sweetened with sugar, not honey—I checked), until a very sticky batch, proofed for 2 hours, produced exactly what I was looking for. You can make the dough with a stand mixer or a handheld one, the only difference being that you must knead the dough by hand without a stand mixer. When working with the dough add a little bit of flour at a time to keep it from sticking, and just know that the dough will be less sticky and more workable after the first rise.

Roll the dough out and measure it as specified here, and after a final proofing and a quick bake—plus a generous brushing of butter on the tops—you will produce dinner rolls that look and taste just like the best rolls I’ve had at any famous American dinner chain.

If those cute little cookie peddlers aren't posted outside the market, it may be tough to get your hands on these—the most popular cookies sold by the Girl Scouts every spring. One out of every four boxes of cookies sold by the girls is Thin Mints. This hack Girl Scout cookie thin mint recipe uses an improved version of the chocolate wafers created for the Oreo cookie clone in the second TSR book More Top Secret Recipes. That recipe creates 108 cookie wafers, so when you're done dipping, you'll have the equivalent of three boxes of the Girl Scout Cookies favorite. That's why you bought those extra cookie sheets, right? You could, of course, reduce this thin mint recipe by baking only one-third of the cookie dough for the wafers and then reducing the coating ingredients by one-third, giving you a total of 36 cookies. But that may not be enough to last you until next spring.

Click here for more of your favorite Girl Scout Cookies.

Source: Even More Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

Update 11/16/17 : You can make an even better clone using a chocolate product that wasn't available when I created this recipe. Rather than using the semi-sweet chocolate chips combined with shortening and peppermint for coating the cookies, use Ghirardelli Dark Melting Wafers. You will need 2 10-ounce bags of the chips, mixed with 1/2 teaspoon of peppermint extract (and no shortening). Melt the chocolate the same way, and dip the cookies as instructed.

Anyone who loves Olive Garden is probably also a big fan of the bottomless basket of warm, garlicky breadsticks served before each meal at the huge Italian casual chain. My guess is that the breadsticks are proofed, and then sent to each restaurant where they are baked until golden brown, brushed with butter and sprinkled with garlic salt. Getting the bread just right for a good Olive Garden breadstick recipe was tricky—I tried several different amounts of yeast in all-purpose flour, but then settled on bread flour to give these breadsticks the same chewy bite as the originals. The two-stage rising process is also a crucial step in this much requested homemade Olive Garden breadstick recipe. Also check out our Olive Garden Italian salad dressing recipe.

They're the world's most famous French fries, responsible for one-third of all U.S. French fry sales, and many say they're the best. These fried spud strips are so popular that Burger King even changed its own recipe to better compete with the secret formula from Mickey D's. One-quarter of all meals served today in American restaurants come with fries a fact that thrills restaurateurs since fries are the most profitable menu item in the food industry. Proper preparation steps were developed by McDonald's to minimize in-store preparation time, while producing a fry that is soft on the inside and crispy on the outside. This clone requires a two-step frying process to replicate the same qualities: the fries are par-fried, frozen, then fried once more to crispy just before serving. Be sure to use a slicer to cut the fries for a consistent thickness (1/4-inch is perfect) and for a cooking result that will make them just like the real thing. As for the rumor that you must soak the fries in sugar water to help them turn golden brown, I also found that not to be necessary. If the potatoes have properly developed they contain enough sugar on their own to make a good clone with great color.

Now, how about a Big Mac or Quarter Pounder to go with those fries? Click here for a list of all my McDonald's copycat recipes.

Menu Description: "Made from scratch in our kitchens using fresh Grade A Fancy Russet potatoes, fresh chopped onion, natural Colby cheese and spices. Baked fresh all day long."

In the late sixties Dan Evins was a Shell Oil "jobber" looking for a new way to market gasoline. He wanted to create a special place that would arouse curiosity, and would pull travelers off the highways. In 1969 he opened the first Cracker Barrel just off Interstate 40 in Lebanon, Tennessee, offering gas, country-style food, and a selection of antiques for sale. Today there are over 529 stores in 41 states, with each restaurant still designed as a country rest stop and gift store. In fact, those stores which carry an average of 4,500 different items apiece have made Cracker Barrel the largest retailer of American-made finished crafts in the United States.

Those who know Cracker Barrel love the restaurant for its delicious home-style breakfasts. This casserole, made with hash brown-sliced potatoes, Colby cheese, milk, beef broth, and spices is served with many of the classic breakfast dishes at the restaurant. The recipe here is designed for a skillet that is also safe to put in the oven (so no plastic handles). If you don't have one of those, you can easily transfer the casserole to a baking dish after it is done cooking on the stove.

Love Cracker Barrel? Check out my other clone recipes here.

A recipe for Portuguese sweet bread inspired the soft rolls that became a big hit at Robert Tiara's Bakery & Restaurant in Honolulu, Hawaii in the 1950s. It wasn’t long before Robert changed the name of his thriving business to King’s Hawaiian, and in 1977 the company opened its first bakery on the mainland, in Torrance, California, to make the now-famous island sweet rolls sold in stores across the U.S.

King’s Hawaiian Rolls are similar to Texas Roadhouse Rolls in that they are both pillowy, sweet white rolls, so it made sense to dig out my Texas Roadhouse Rolls clone recipe and use it as a starting point. These new rolls had to be slightly softer and sweeter, so I made some adjustments and added a little egg for color. And by baking the dough in a high-rimmed baking pan with 24 dough balls placed snugly together, I ended up with beautiful rolls that rose nicely to the occasion, forming a tear-apart loaf just like the original, but with clean ingredients, and without the dough conditioners found in the packaged rolls.

Use these fluffy sweet rolls for sandwiches, sliders, or simply warmed up and slathered with soft European butter.

This recipe was our #3 most popular in 2020. Check out the other four most unlocked recipes for the year: Rao's Homemade Marinara Sauce (#1), Olive Garden Lasagna Classico (#2), Pei Wei Better Orange Chicken (#4), Chipotle Mexican Grill Carnitas (#5).

Menu Description: "Delicate white cake and lemon cream filling with a vanilla crumb topping."

To make this clone easy I've designed the recipe with white cake mix. I picked Betty Crocker brand, but any white cake mix you find will do. Just know that each brand (Duncan Hines, Pillsbury, etc.) requires slightly different measurements of additional ingredients (oil, eggs). Follow the directions on the box for mixing the batter, then pour it into 2 greased 9-inch cake pans and bake until done. The filling recipe is a no-brainer and the crumb topping is quick. When your Olive Garden lemon cream cake recipe is assembled, stick it in the fridge for a few hours, and soon you'll be ready to serve 12 slices of the hacked signature dessert.

Jerrico, Inc., the parent company for Long John Silver's Seafood Shoppes, got its start in 1929 as a six-stool hamburger stand called the White Tavern Shoppe. Jerrico was started by a man named Jerome Lederer, who watched Long John Silver's thirteen units dwindle in the shadow of World War II to just three units. Then, with determination, he began rebuilding. In 1946 Jerome launched a new restaurant called Jerry's and it was a booming success, with growth across the country. Then he took a chance on what would be his most successful venture in 1969, with the opening of the first Long John Silver's Fish 'n' Chips. The name was inspired by Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island. In 1991 there were 1,450 Long John Silver Seafood Shoppes in thirty-seven states, Canada, and Singapore, with annual sales of more than $781 million. That means the company holds about 65 percent of the $1.2 billion quick-service seafood business.

What is it about Stouffer's Macaroni & Cheese that makes it the number one choice for true mac & cheese maniacs? It's probably the simple recipe that includes wholesome ingredients like skim milk and real Cheddar cheese, without any preservatives or unpronounceable chemicals. The basic Stouffer's Mac and Cheese ingredients are great for kitchen cloners who want an easy fix that doesn't require much shopping. I found the recipe to work best as an exact duplicate of the actual product: a frozen dish that you heat up later in the oven. This way you'll get slightly browned macaroni & cheese that looks like it posed for the nicely lit photo on the Stouffer's box. Since you'll only need about 3/4 cup of uncooked elbow macaroni for each recipe, you can make several 4-person servings with just one 16-ounce box of macaroni, and then keep them all in the freezer until the days when your troops have their mac & cheese attacks. Be sure to use freshly shredded Cheddar cheese here, since it melts much better than pre-shredded cheese (and it's cheaper). Use a whisk to stir the sauce often as it thickens, so that you get a smooth—not lumpy or grainy—finished product.

If you're still hungry, check out my copycat recipes for famous entrées here.

Crafting a clone of Olive Garden’s signature Lasagna Classico became the perfect opportunity to create a beautiful multi-layered lasagna hack recipe that uses up the whole box of lasagna noodles and fills the baking pan all the way to the top. This Top Secret Recipe makes a lasagna that tips the scale at nearly 10 pounds and will feed hungry mouths for days, with every delicious layer copied directly from the carefully dissected Olive Garden original.

I found a few credible bits of intel in a video of an Olive Garden chef demonstrating what he claims is the real formula on a midday news show, but the recipe was abbreviated for TV and the chef left out some crucial information. One ingredient he conspicuously left out of the recipe is the secret layer of Cheddar cheese located near the middle of the stack. I wasn’t expecting to find Cheddar in lasagna, but when I carefully separated the layers from several servings of the original dish, there was the golden melted cheesy goodness in every slice.

This clone recipe will make enough for 8 big portions, but if you make slightly smaller slices this is easily enough food to fill twelve lasagna-loving bellies. If you like lasagna, you're going to love this version.

Browse my other Olive Garden clone recipes here.

Before he became America's sausage king, Jimmy Dean was known for crooning the country hit "Big Bad John." That song came out in 1962 and sold more than 8 million copies. His singing success launched a television career on ABC with The Jimmy Dean Show, where Roy Clark, Patsy Cline, and Roger Miller got their big breaks. The TV exposure led to acting roles for Jimmy, as a regular on Daniel Boone, and in feature films, including his debut in the James Bond flick Diamonds are Forever. Realizing that steady income from an acting and singing career can be undependable, Jimmy invested his show-biz money in a hog farm. In 1968 the Jimmy Dean Meat Company developed the special recipe for sausage that has now become a household name. Today the company is part of the Sara Lee Corporation, and Jimmy retired as company spokesman in 2004.

This clone recipe re-creates three varieties of the famous roll sausage that you form into patties and cook in a skillet. Use ground pork found at the supermarket—make it lean pork if you like—or grind some up yourself if you have a meat grinder.

Check out more of my famous breakfast food clone recipes here.

Samuel Bath Thomas immigrated from England to New York City and opened his first bakery there in 1880. That is where Thomas created skillet bread that would one day become the famous muffins known for their craggy texture when split in half. This hack for Thomas’ English Muffins uses a special kneading process to give the muffins the "nooks and crannies" they are famous for, making craters in the finished bread to better hold on to melted butter and jam.

I have seen several recipes that claim to re-create these muffins, but none produce the large air pockets that a proper clone requires, in addition to great flavor and a perfectly cooked interior. To ensure proper nooks and crannies and muffins that are cooked all the way through, I've included some important steps.

The dough you'll make here is like a ciabatta dough in that it is very wet. So rather than kneading the dough, you stretch and fold it over several times on a well-oiled surface. Then, when the portioned-out dough has proofed on baking sheets for another 1½ to 2 hours, you par-bake the muffins.

After baking, the muffins are cooked on a griddle or in a pan until dark brown on both sides, then they must cool. This is the hardest part. The muffins will be too soft to open for at least four hours, and now you have to fight off the temptation to eat one. It’s hard, I know. The muffins smell great and you’ve waited all this time, but resist for now and your patience will be rewarded.

When the muffins have had their rest, split them with a fork and toast them as you would any English muffin.

Check out all my top secret recipes for famous bread here.

At his candy factory In York, Pennsylvania, in the late 1930s, Henry C. Kessler first concocted this minty confection. The York Cone Company was originally established to make ice cream cones, but by the end of World War II the peppermint patty had become so popular that the company discontinued all other products. In 1972 the company was sold to Peter Paul, manufacturers of Almond Joy and Mounds. Cadbury USA purchased the firm in 1978, and in 1988 the York Peppermint Pattie became the property of Hershey USA.

Other chocolate-covered peppermints were manufactured before the York Peppermint Pattie came on the market, but Kessler's version was firm and crisp, while the competition was soft and gummy. One former employee and York resident remembered the final test the patty went through before it left the factory. "It was a snap test. If the candy didn't break clean in the middle, it was a second." For years, seconds were sold to visitors at the plant for fifty cents a pound.

I've created a ton of famous candy recipes. See if I hacked your favorites here.

Getting a table at the 123-year-old original Rao’s restaurant in New York City is next to impossible. The tables are “owned” by regulars who schedule their meals months in advance, so every table is full every night, and that’s the way it’s been for the last 38 years. The only way an outsider would get to taste the restaurant’s fresh marinara sauce is to be invited by a regular.

If that isn’t in the stars for you, you could buy a bottle of the sauce at your local market (if they even have it). It won't be fresh, and it's likely to be the most expensive sauce in the store, but it still has that great Rao's taste. An even better solution is to copy the sauce for yourself using this new and very easy hack.

The current co-owner of Rao’s, Frank Pellegrino Jr., told Bon Appetit in 2015 that the famous marinara sauce was created by his grandmother many years ago, and the sauce you buy in stores is the same recipe served in his restaurants. The ingredients are common, but correctly choosing the main ingredient—tomatoes—is important. Try to find San Marzano-style whole canned tomatoes, preferably from Italy. They are a little more expensive than typical canned tomatoes, but they will give you some great sauce.

After 30 minutes of cooking, you’ll end up with about the same amount of sauce as in a large jar of the real thing. Your version will likely be just a little bit brighter and better than the bottled stuff, thanks to the fresh ingredients. But now you can eat it anytime you want, with no reservations, at a table you own.

You might also like my #1 recipe of 2019, Texas Roadhouse Rolls.

To get their Extra Crispy Chicken so crispy KFC breads the chicken two times. This double breading gives the chicken its ultra craggy exterior and extra crunch, which is a different texture than the less crispy Original Recipe Chicken that’s breaded just once and pressure fried.

As with my KFC Original Recipe hack, we must first brine the chicken to give it flavor and moisture all the way through, like the real thing, then the chicken is double breaded and deep fried until golden brown. KFC uses small chickens which cook faster, but small chickens can be hard to find. If your chicken parts are on the large side, they may not cook all the way through in the 12 to 15 minutes of frying I’m specifying here. To be sure your chicken is cooked, start frying with the thickest pieces, like the breasts, then park them in a 300-degree oven while you finish with the smaller pieces. This will keep the chicken warm and crispy, and more importantly, ensure that they are cooked perfectly all the way through.

On my CMT show Top Secret Recipe I chatted with Winston Shelton, a long-time friend of KFC founder Harland Sanders. Winston saw the Colonel's handwritten secret recipe for the Original Recipe chicken, and he told me one of the secret ingredients is Tellicherry black pepper. It's a more expensive, better-tasting black pepper that comes from the Malabar coast in India, and you should use it here if you can find it. Winston pulled me aside and whispered this secret to me when he thought we were off-camera, but our microphones and very alert cameramen caught the whole thing, and we aired it.

I first published this hack in Even More Top Secret Recipes, but recently applied some newly acquired secrets and tips to make this much-improved version of one of the most familiar fried chicken recipes in the world.

This recipe was our #2 most popular in 2019. Check out the other four most unlocked recipes of the year: Texas Roadhouse Rolls (#1), Olive Garden Braised Beef Bolognese (#3), Pizzeria Uno Chicago Deep Dish Pizza (#4), Bush's Country Style Baked Beans (#5).

In December of 1996, Hershey Foods snagged the U.S. operations of Leaf Brands for a pretty penny. This added several well known candies to Hershey's already impressive roster, including Good & Plenty, Jolly Rancher, Milk Duds, Whoppers, Heath, and this delicious peanut roll, which we can finally clone at home. The center is sort of a white fudge that we can make by combining a few ingredients on the stove, then getting the mixture up to just the right temperature using a candy thermometer (you've got one, right?). Once cool, this candy center is coated with a thin layer of caramel, then quickly rolled over roasted peanuts. Looks just like the real thing! This recipe will make eight candy bars. But it's up to you to make the dental appointment.

Source: Even More Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

A requirement of any visit to Chicago is eating at least one slice of deep dish pizza in the city that perfected it. Deep dish pizza quickly became a Chicago staple after Ike Sewell and Ric Riccardo opened the first Pizzeria Uno in 1943 and served a hearty new style of pizza constructed in a high-rimmed cake pan. The yeast crust was tender and flakey, like a pastry, and the cheese was layered under the sauce so that it wouldn’t burn in a hot oven for the long cooking time.

While researching a home hack of this now-iconic recipe, I discovered an unexpected technique that I hadn’t seen in other deep dish recipes. Employees told me the pizza crusts are partially cooked each morning to cut down on the wait time for customers. Before the restaurant opens each day, cooks press the dough into a pan and then sprinkle it with a little shredded cheese. The shells are then partially baked and set aside. Later, when an order comes in, the pizza is built into one of the par-baked crusts and finished off. This way customers get their food faster, and the tables turn over quicker.

Copying that delicious, flakey crust was the task that took me the longest. After two weeks of baking, I finally settled on a formula that was a mash-up of yeast dough and pie crust and made a perfectly tender deep dish crust, with great flavor that exactly mimicked the original. If you like Uno, you will love this.

Regarding the cheese: be sure your cheese is at room temperature, not cold, or it may not melt all the way through. Also, it’s best if you buy cheese by the block and shred it yourself. Pre-shredded cheese is dusted with cornstarch so that the shreds don’t stick together in the bag, and it won’t melt as smoothly as cheese you shred by hand.

This recipe will make enough sauce for two pizzas. I just thought you should know that in case you get the urge to make another deep dish after this one disappears.

This recipe was our #4 most popular in 2019. Check out the other four most unlocked recipes of the year: Texas Roadhouse Rolls (#1) KFC Extra Crispy Fried Chicken (#2), Olive Garden Braised Beef Bolognese (#3), Bush's Country Style Baked Beans (#5).

Menu Description: "Quickly-cooked steak with scallions and garlic."

Beef lovers go crazy over this one at the restaurant. Flank steak is cut into bite-sized chunks against the grain, then it's lightly dusted with potato starch (in our case we'll use cornstarch), flash-fried in oil, and doused with an amazing sweet soy garlic sauce. The beef comes out tender as can be, and the simple sauce sings to your taste buds. I designed this recipe to use a wok, but if you don't have one a saute pan will suffice (you may need to add more oil to the pan to cover the beef in the flash-frying step). P. F. Chang's secret sauce is what makes this dish so good, and it's versatile. If you don't dig beef, you can substitute with chicken. Or you can brush it on grilled salmon.

I've cloned a lot of the best dishes from P.F. Chang's. Click here to see if I coped your favorite.

Even though this clone recipe duplicates the tiny bite-size versions of the candy, you're free to make yours any size you like. The technique here is a tweaking of the previous secret formula that was featured in Low-Fat Top Secret Recipes, and it includes several upgrades. I found that more cocoa, plus the addition of salt and butter to the mix improved the flavor. I also found that bringing your sweet bubbling mixture to the firm ball stage 250 degrees F (you do have a candy thermometer, right?), and then stretching and pulling the candy like taffy (fun!) as it cools, will give you a finished product more like the real deal.

“Don’t call them fries,” says KFC about its popular side made with sliced, skin-on russet potatoes. What sets these potatoes apart from all the others is the secret breading made with a similar seasoning blend to the one used for Colonel's Original Recipe Fried Chicken. To achieve the proper crispiness, the potatoes are par-fried, frozen, then fried again until golden brown.

One important ingredient that completes the flavor is MSG. Monosodium glutamate is a food additive derived from glutamic acid, which is an important amino acid found in abundance in nature, food, and in you right now. Over the last 60 years of study and use, MSG has not only been found harmless in normal amounts, but tests have shown glutamate to be a chemical messenger that benefits gut health, immunity, and brain functions such as memory and learning. In addition to all of that, it imparts a unique savoriness that enhances flavors in other ingredients and makes your food taste amazing. Using MSG in your food is, literally, smart cooking.

Another important ingredient is ground Tellicherry black pepper, a select black pepper from India. Winston Shelton, a friend of Harland Sanders who invented the first high-volume pressure fryers for KFC, confirmed this. Shelton recalled seeing the ingredient when Sanders showed him the secret formula for the fried chicken seasoning he had scribbled on a piece of paper.

While we were shooting the first episode of my TV Show, Top Secret Recipe, Winston pulled me aside and whispered to me that Tellicherry pepper is crucial to creating the unique KFC aftertaste. It was a great tip, and fortunately, we caught that moment on camera and you can see it in the show. Later, I conducted a side-by-side taste test with common black pepper and Tellicherry black pepper and discovered Winston was right. If you want the best taste for your clone you'll need Tellicherry pepper, which you can find online and in some food stores. Be sure to grind it fine before using it.

For this recipe, just two russet potatoes are all it takes to make the equivalent of a large serving of fried potato wedges, which will be enough for at least four people.

In 1991 Kentucky Fried Chicken bigwigs decided to improve the image of America's third-largest fast-food chain. As a more health-conscious society began to affect sales of fried chicken, the company changed its name to KFC and introduced a lighter fare of skinless chicken.

In the last forty years KFC has experienced extraordinary growth. Five years after first franchising the business, Colonel Harland Sanders had 400 outlets in the United States and Canada. Four years later there were more than 600 franchises, including one in England, the first overseas outlet. In 1964 John Y. Brown, Jr., a young Louisville lawyer, and Jack Massey, a Nashville financier, bought the Colonel's business for $2 million. Only seven years later, in 1971 Heublein, Inc., bought the KFC Corporation for $275 million. Then in 1986, for a whopping $840 million, PepsiCo added KFC to its conglomerate, which now includes Pizza Hut and Taco Bell. That means PepsiCo owns more fast food outlets than any other company including McDonald's.

At each KFC restaurant, workers blend real buttermilk with a dry blend to create the well-known KFC buttermilk biscuits recipe that have made a popular menu item since their introduction in 1982. Pair these buttermilk biscuits with KFC's mac and cheese recipe and the famous KFC Original Recipe Chicken, and skip the drive-thru tonight!

Along with your meal at this huge national steakhouse chain, comes a freshly baked loaf of dark, sweet bread, served on its own cutting board with soft whipped butter. One distinctive feature of the bread is its color. How does the bread get so dark? Even though this recipe includes molasses and cocoa, these ingredients alone will not give the bread its dark chocolate brown color. Commercially produced breads that are this dark—such as pumpernickel or dark bran muffins–often contain caramel color, an ingredient used to darken foods. Since your local supermarket will not likely have this mostly commercial ingredient, we'll create the brown coloring from a mixture of three easy-to-find food colorings—red, yellow and blue. If you decide to leave the color out, just add an additional 1 tablespoon of warm water to the recipe. If you have a bread machine, you can use it for kneading the bread (you'll find the order in which to add the ingredients to your machine in "Tidbits"). Then, to finish the bread, divide and roll the dough in cornmeal, and bake.

Check out more of my copycat Outback Steakhouse recipes here.

In the Bush’s Beans commercials, Duke, the family golden retriever, wants to sell the secret family recipe, but the Bush family always stops him. The dog is based on the Bush family’s real-life golden retriever, and the campaign, which began in 1995, made Bush’s the big dog of the canned baked beans market practically overnight. Their confidential baked beans formula is considered one of the top 10 biggest recipe secrets in the U.S.

Bush Brothers & Company had been canning a variety of fruits and vegetables for over 60 years when, in 1969, the company created canned baked beans using a cherished recipe from a family matriarch. Sales jumped from 10 thousand cases in the first year to over 100 thousand cases in 1970. And just one year later sales hit a million cases. Today Bush’s makes over 80 percent of the canned baked beans sold in the U.S., and the secret family recipe remains a top food secret, despite Duke’s attempts. A replica of the original recipe book—without the original recipe in it (drat!)—is on display at the company's visitor center in Chestnut Hill, Tennessee.

I chose to hack the “Country Style” version of Bush’s Beans because I don’t think the Original flavor has enough, uh, flavor. Country Style is similar to Original, but richer, with more brown sugar. The recipe starts by soaking dry small white beans in a brine overnight. The salt in the water helps to soften the skins, but don’t soak them for more than 14 hours or the skins may begin to fall off.

My first versions tasted great but lacked the deep brown color of the real Bush’s beans, which include caramel coloring—an ingredient that can be hard to find on its own. I eventually discovered that the “browning” sauce, Kitchen Bouquet, will add the dark caramel color needed to our home version of the beans so that they’ll look just like the real thing.

This recipe was our #5 most popular in 2019. Check out the other four most unlocked recipes of the year: Texas Roadhouse Rolls (#1) KFC Extra Crispy Fried Chicken (#2), Olive Garden Braised Beef Bolognese (#3), Pizzeria Uno Chicago Deep Dish Pizza (#4).

Order an entree from America's largest seafood restaurant chain and you'll get a basket of some of the planet's tastiest garlic-cheese biscuits served up on the side. For many years this recipe has been the most-searched-for clone recipe on the Internet, according to Red Lobster. As a result, several versions are floating around, including one that was at one time printed right on the box of Bisquick baking mix.

The problem with making biscuits using Bisquick is that if you follow the directions from the box you don't end up with a very fluffy or flakey finished product, since most of the fat in the recipe comes from the shortening that's included in the mix. On its own, room temperature shortening does a poor job creating the light, airy texture you want from good biscuits, and it contributes little in the way of flavor. So, we'll invite some cold butter along on the trip -- with grated Cheddar cheese and a little garlic powder. Now you'll be well on your way to delicious Cheddar Bay. Wherever that is.

This 220-unit downscaled version of P.F. Chang’s China Bistro targets the lunch crowd with a smaller menu that features bento boxes, bowls, and small plates. The bestseller on the menu is this orange chicken, which I have to say is pretty damn good orange chicken. Obviously, a clone is needed for this one, stat.

The name “Wei Better Orange Chicken” is a competitive callout to Panda Express's signature orange chicken, which is made with pre-breaded and frozen chicken. Pei Wei claims its orange chicken is prepared each day from scratch with chicken that is never frozen, so we’ll craft our clone the same way. But rather than assemble the dish in a wok over a high-flame fast stove like they do at the restaurant, we’ll prepare the sauce and chicken separately, then toss them with fresh orange wedges just before serving.

By the way, this dish goes very well with white or brown rice, so don’t forget to make some.

Popeyes Famous Fried Chicken and Biscuits has become the third-largest quick-service chicken chain in the world in the twenty-two years since its first store opened in New Orleans in 1972. (KFC has the number-one slot, followed by Church's Chicken). Since then, the chain has grown to 813 units, with many of them overseas in Germany, Japan, Jamaica, Honduras, Guam, and Korea.

Cayenne pepper and white pepper bring the heat to this crispy fried chicken hack.

Did you like this recipe? Get your hands on my secret recipe for Popeyes Chicken Sandwich and other Popeyes dishes here.

Menu Description: "Our creamy cheesecake with chunks of white chocolate and swirls of imported seedless raspberries throughout. Baked in a chocolate crust and finished with white chocolate shavings and whipped cream."

Heres how to recreate a home version of the cheesecake that many claim is the best they've ever had. Raspberry preserves are the secret ingredient that is swirled into the cream cheese that's poured into a crumbled chocolate cookie crust. Yum. No wonder this cheesecake is the number one pick from the chain's massive list of cheesecake choices.

You've got a hankerin' for pancakes or biscuits, but the recipe calls for Bisquick, and you're plum out. Not to worry. Now you can make a clone of the popular baking mix at home with just four simple ingredients. Store-bought Bisquick includes shortening, salt, flour, and leavening, so that's exactly what we need to duplicate it perfectly at home. This recipe makes about 6 cups of the stuff, which, just like the real thing, you can keep sealed up in a container in your pantry until it's flapjack time. When that time comes, just add milk and eggs for pancakes or waffles, or only milk if it's biscuits you want. You'll find all those recipes below in the "Tidbits."

In the early 90's Boston Chicken was rockin' it. The home meal replacement chain's stock was soaring and the lines were filled with hungry customers waiting to sink their teeth into a serving of the chain's delicious rotisserie chicken. So successful was the chain with chicken, that the company quickly decided it was time to introduce other entree selections, the first of which was a delicious barbecue sauce-covered ground sirloin meatloaf. But offering the other entrees presented the company with a dilemma: what to do about the name. The bigwigs decided it was time to change the name to Boston Market, to reflect a wider menu. That meant replacing signs on hundreds of units and retooling the marketing campaigns. That name change, plus rapid expansion of the chain and growth of other similar home-style meal concepts sent the company into a tailspin. By 1988, Boston Market's goose was cooked, and the company filed for bankruptcy. Soon McDonald's stepped in to purchase the company, with the idea of closing many of the stores for good, and slapping Golden Arches on the rest. But that plan was scrapped when, after selling many of the under-performing Boston Markets, the chain began to fly once again. Within a year of the acquisition Boston Market was profitable, and those meals with the home-cooked taste are still being served at over 700 Boston Market restaurants across the country.

How about some of those famous Boston Market side-dishes to go with your copycat meatloaf recipe? I've cloned all the best ones here.

Two friendly Atlanta, Georgia neighbors built the first Waffle House in 1955. With the dimpled breakfast hotcake as a signature item, the privately held chain grew into 20 Southern U.S. states. Today tasty food at rock-bottom prices, plus 24-hours-a-day service, makes Waffle House a regular stop for devoted customers any time of the day or night. And don't even think about referring to your server as a waitress—they're called "associates."

For the best clone of the 50-year-old secret waffle recipe you should chill the batter overnight in the fridge, just as they do in each of the restaurants. But sometimes you can't wait. If you need instant gratification, the recipe still works if you make the waffles the same day. Wait for at least 15 to 20 minutes before using the batter so that it can thicken a bit. That'll give you time to dust off the waffle iron and heat it up.

How about some homemade Jimmy Dean Breakfast Sausage to go with those waffles? Check out all of my famous breakfast copycat recipes here.

A popular staple of any Chinese chain is the fried rice so it better be good, and the version served at Panda Express most certainly is. Here's an easy hack when you need a stress-free, low-cost side for your entrées. But I do suggest that you cook the white rice several hours or even a day or two before you plan to make the finished dish. I found that the cooked rice called for in this recipe works best when it's cold.

As for a shortcut, bagged frozen peas and carrots will save you from the hassle of petite-dicing carrots since the carrots in those bags are the perfect size to produce an identical clone. And they're already cooked.

Now, how about some Honey Walnut Shrimp, or Beijing Beef to go with that rice? Find all my Panda Express copycat recipes here.

Braised and shredded pork shoulder is a staple of Mexican cuisine that Chipotle prepares with a simple blend of flavors, and a surprising ingredient you may not have expected: juniper berries. Once you track those down (they’re easy to find online), the berries are combined with thyme and bay leaves in a braising liquid that will transform your own pork roast into an easily shreddable thing of beauty in under 3 hours. Then you can use your freshly cloned carnitas on tacos, in burritos, or in a bowl over rice and beans just like they do in the restaurant.

When picking your pork roast, try to find one without too much fat. If your roast has a thick cap of fat on it, trim off the excess. You want some fat in your braising liquid, but if the cap of fat is too thick, it may not fully render down and you’ll get chunks of fat in the shred.

It’s often assumed that the pork butt is from the rear end of the pig, even though cuts from the back region already have a name: ham. The pork butt, also known as a Boston butt, is cut from the other end, the upper shoulder of the pig. It’s called a “butt” because in pre-Revolutionary War New England the roasts were stored and transported in barrels called “butts”, and the confusing name stuck.

GrandMa's Cookie Company was founded back in 1914 by Foster Wheeler, but it wasn't until 1977 that the company introduced the popular Big Cookie. This large, soft cookie comes two to a pack and is offered in several varieties, including oatmeal raisin. Now you can bake up a couple batches of your own with this GrandMa's oatmeal raisin cookies copycat. Just be sure not to over bake these. You want the cookies soft and chewy when cool—just like a happy grandma would make. Be sure to take the cookies out of the oven when they are just beginning to turn light brown around the edges.

You might also like my copycat for GrandMa's Peanut Butter Big Cookies.

Update 1/13/17: For an improved GrandMa's Big Cookies recipe, replace the 1/2 cup shortening with 3/4 cup softened unsalted butter. Also, reduce baking soda to 1 1/2 teaspoons and cinnamon to 1/2 teaspoon. Raising the oven temperature a little—to 300 degrees F—will help with browning and still keep the cookies chewy. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes.

A good chicken pot pie has perfectly flakey crust and the right ratio of light and dark meat chicken and vegetables swimming in a deliciously creamy white sauce. KFC serves up a pie that totally fits the bill, and now I'm going to show you how to make the same thing at home from scratch. You'll want to start this recipe a couple hours before you plan to bake the pies, since the dough for the crust should chill awhile and the chicken needs to soak in the brine. When it comes time for baking, use small pie tins, ramekins, or Pyrex baking dishes (custard dishes) that hold 1 1/2 cups. The recipe will then yield exactly 4 pot pies. If your baking dishes are smaller, there should still be enough dough here to make crust for up to 6 pot pies. And don't forget to brush egg whites over the top of the pies before you pop them into the oven to get the same shiny crust as the original.

Menu Description: "Chicken breast tenderloins sauteed with bell peppers, roasted garlic and onions in a garlic cream sauce over angel hair."

This dish is a big favorite of Olive Garden regulars. Chicken tenderloins are lightly breaded and sauteed along with colorful bell peppers and chopped red onion. Angel hair pasta is tossed into the pan along with a healthy dose of fresh scampi sauce. The sauce is really the star, so you might think about doubling the recipe. If you're cooking for two, you can prepare this dish for the table in one large skillet, saving the remaining ingredients for another meal. If you're making all four servings at once, you need two skillets. If you can't find fresh chicken tenderloins (the tender part of the chicken breast), you can usually find bags of them in the freezer section.

Find more delicious recipes for Olive Garden's most famous dishes here.

Menu Description: “Two lightly fried parmesan-breaded chicken breasts are smothered with Olive Garden’s homemade marinara sauce and melted Italian cheeses. We serve our Chicken Parmigiana with a side of spaghetti for dinner.”

Chicken parmigiana is a forever favorite, and it’s not a difficult dish to whip up at home. But for it to taste like the Olive Garden signature entree, we’ll need to take some very specific steps.

Olive Garden’s chicken is salty and moist all the way through, so we must first start by brining the chicken. Give yourself an extra hour for this important marinating step. The marinara sauce used on the chicken is an Olive Garden specialty and no bottled sauce compares, so we’ll make our own from scratch using canned crushed tomatoes and the formula below.

While the sauce cooks, filling your house with its intoxicating aroma, the chicken is breaded and browned. When the marinara is done, top the chicken with the sauce and mozzarella and stick it under your hot broiler until bubbling.

Hopefully, everyone at your house is hungry, because the Olive Garden dinner portion is two chicken fillets, and this recipe will yield a total of four 2-piece servings. Add a small serving of spaghetti on the side, topped with more of the delicious sauce, and you'll have a perfect match to the restaurant plate.

Can't get enough Olive Garden? Click here for more of my copycat recipes.

I’m not sure why Einstein Bros. claims there are just four cheeses in the new Twice-Baked Hash Brown when the ingredients clearly list six kinds of cheese, plus cream cheese. Regardless, the shredded Asiago, Romano, Parmesan, provolone, and mozzarella listed there can be found combined in an “Italian Blend” at many supermarkets, making for an easy start to our home clone. And don’t just be thinking about breakfast for these cheesy potatoes. They work great as a side for any meal.

In the detailed description of the new item, Einstein Bros. claims the hash browns contain two kinds of schmears, which is true, but a little misleading because one of them is just plain cream cheese. The other is onion-and-chive cream cheese, which we can make from scratch. We’ll combine those two shmears into one blend by doubling the cream cheese added to our onion-and-chive schmear formula.

Mix everything together and load the ingredients into a standard 12-cup muffin pan with circles of parchment paper cut out to fit into the bottom of the 12 cups. Without these parchment circles, the hash browns may stick and break when they’re released. You can also use paper muffin cups, if you don’t mind the less crispy, ridged sides.

Bake them the first time for 30 minutes, then cool and store. Now you have a dozen servings of cheesy hash brown potatoes that are easy to finish off by baking them a second time until crispy. They are great served with breakfast, or for dinner as your starchy side alongside beef, chicken, lamb, and many other savory entrees.

You can also make homemade Einstein Bros bagels, sandwiches, and shmears. See if I hacked your favorites here.

Imagine a giant soft sugar cookie with sweetened cream cheese on top and served warm as if it just came out of the oven and you have California Pizza Kitchen's Butter Cake, a delectable dessert described on the menu with five simple words: “Trust us…just try it.”

This dessert is an easy one to prep in the restaurant since the cakes are made ahead of time and chilled until ordered. Once an order comes in the cake is zapped for a minute in the microwave, then topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and surrounded by dollops of whipped cream. You can prepare yours this way at home as well—make your cakes in advance, then chill them until dessert time. Or, you can serve the cakes right after they come out of the oven. Either way works.

The construction is an easy one—you’ll need four 4-inch cake pans, or ramekins, or anything you can bake in that is 4-inches across. To make the batter I used a stand mixer with the paddle attachment and it worked great, but a hand-held granny mixer also works.

I think you're gonna love this one. Trust me. just hack it.

Find more amazing CPK copycat recipes here.

Menu Description: "Here they are in all their lip-smacking, award-winning glory: Buffalo, New York-style chicken wings spun in your favorite signature sauce."

Since Buffalo, New York was too far away, Jim Disbrow and Scott Lowery satisfied their overwhelming craving in 1981 by opening a spicy chicken wing restaurant close to home in Kent, Ohio. With signature sauces and a festive atmosphere, the chain has now evolved from a college campus sports bar with wings to a family restaurant with over 300 units. While frying chicken wings is no real secret—simply drop them in hot shortening for about 10 minutes—the delicious spicy sauces make the wings special. There are 12 varieties of sauce available to coat your crispy chicken parts at the chain, and I'm presenting clones for the more traditional flavors. These sauces are very thick, almost like dressing or dip, so we'll use an emulsifying technique that will ensure a creamy final product where the oil won't separate from the other ingredients. Here is the chicken wing cooking and coating technique, followed by clones for the most popular sauces: Spicy Garlic, Medium and Hot. The sauce recipes might look the same at first, but each has slight variations make your sauce hotter or milder by adjusting the level of cayenne pepper. You can find Frank's pepper sauce by the other hot sauces in your market. If you can't find that brand, you can also use Crystal Louisiana hot sauce.

This delicious crispy chicken in a citrusy sweet-and-sour chicken is the most popular dish at the huge Chinese take-out chain. Panda Express cooks all of its food in woks. If you don't have one of those, you can use a heavy skillet or a large saute pan.

If you start making black bean soup in the morning using other recipes out there, you're lucky to be slurping soup by lunchtime. That's because most recipes require dry beans that have to re-hydrate for at least a couple hours, and many recipes say "overnight." But, you know, tomorrow is just too far away when you're craving soup right now. So, for this often requested clone recipe, I sped up the process by incorporating canned black beans, rather than the dry ones. That way, once you get all the veggies chopped, you'll be souped up in just about an hour. Friday's version of this soup has a slightly smoky flavor that's easily duplicated here with just a little bit of concentrated liquid smoke flavoring found in most supermarkets. Just be sure to get the kind that says "hickory flavor."

With spice grinder in hand, Gustav Brunn traveled to America from Germany, and settled down in Baltimore on the Chesapeake Bay, where steamed crabs are a staple. Gustav began grinding. In 1939, after trying many different combinations, Gustav found just the right mix for a top secret blend of spices that would be the most-used seasoning on steamed crabs, shrimp, lobster, and other tasty seafood dishes for generations to come. But McCormick & Co., which purchased Old Bay in 1990, insists that the celery salt based blend is not just for seafood. You can also use the seasoning on chicken, French fries, popcorn, baked potatoes, deviled eggs, hamburgers, and even pizza.

Source: Top Secret Recipes Unlocked by Todd Wilbur.

At the 2018 Salvation Army National Doughnut Day World Doughnut Eating Contest, held every June 1 st , 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 doughnuts 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.

There’s one copycat recipe for these famous biscuits that’s posted and shared more than any other, and it’s downright awful. The dough is formulated with self-rising flour, baking powder, powdered sugar, shortening, and buttermilk, and many complain that the recipe creates dough that’s much too loose and the resulting biscuits are a complete disaster. Yet there the recipe remains on blogs and boards all over the interweb for unsuspecting home cloners such as yourself to waste time on. But that won’t happen anymore, because I have made a good copycat Bojangles' buttermilk biscuits recipe that works the way it should, guaranteeing you’ll get amazing golden buttermilk biscuits that look and taste just like a trained Bojangles’ pro made them.

In addition to the obvious overuse of buttermilk, the popular recipe I found online has many problems. The author gets it right when calling for self-rising flour, which is flour containing salt and a leavening agent (aka baking powder), but why would the copycat Bojangles biscuit recipe be designed to use self-rising flour and then add additional leaving? Well, it probably wouldn’t. Biscuits are job number 1 for self-rising flour, and the leavening in there is measured for that use, so there’s no need to add more. If you were planning to add your own leavening, you’d probably start with all-purpose flour, which has no leavening in it. And let's just be clear: baking powder tastes gross, so we want to add as little as possible, not more than necessary.

It’s also important to handle the dough the same way that workers at Bojangles’ do. They make biscuits there every 20 minutes and there are plenty of YouTube videos showing the preparation technique. In a nutshell, the dough is mixed by hand (in the restaurant they use their hands because the quantity is so large, but for this recipe use a mixing spoon), then it’s folded over a few times on a floured countertop before it’s rolled out. This gentle handling of the dough prevents the gluten in the flour from toughening and adds layers, so your biscuits come out of the oven tender and flakey.

For the best results, find White Lily flour. This self-rising flour is low in gluten and makes unbelievably fluffy biscuits. If you use another self-rising brand, you’ll still get great biscuits, but the gluten level will likely be higher, the biscuits will be tougher, and you’ll probably need more buttermilk. Head down to the Tidbits below for details on that.

And I noticed another thing most copycat Bojangles biscuit recipes get wrong. For biscuits that are beautifully golden brown on the top and bottom, you’ll want to bake them on a silicone baking mat (or parchment paper) at 500 degrees F. Yes, 500 degrees. That may seem hot, but this high temp works well with self-rising flour, and in 12 to 15 minutes the biscuits will be perfectly browned.

Counterintuitively, it’s the lower temperatures that end up burning the biscuits, while the higher temperature cooks them just right. At lower temps the biscuits must stay in the oven longer to cook through, which exposes the surfaces to more heat, and they end up too dark on the outside, especially the bottom. For even better results, if you have a convection setting on your oven, use that and set the temp to 475 degrees F. Your biscuits will look like they came straight from the drive-thru.


High Altitude Raisin Bran Muffins — Super delicious!

I have posted other muffin recipes [here and here] and I still love them but every time I would make my muffins, I would be staring at my Raisin Bran cereal just sitting there, completely un-loved, on the shelf.

For the eight glorious months, I ate cereal about every day. Right before I went back to work in the IT field, Raisin Bran went on sale and I had a coupon so I bought quite a few boxes of them. However, since I have to leave by 7am to make it to work on time and I’m not generally hungry that early in the morning, I had been taking a lot of muffin in to work.

Not wanting to neglect the delicious Raisin Bran cereal I figured why not turn those into muffin. I have to say, its been one of my better ideas!

So, without further ado… here is the recipe!

Kristie’s High Altitude Raisin Bran Muffins

Super Yummy and Very Healthy High Altitude Raisin Bran Muffins

  • 5 cups Raisin Bran cereal
  • 3 1/2 c milk
  • 2 bananas, mashed
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 5 tsp cinnamon
  • 6 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spray your muffin tins.
  2. In the largest bowl you have, combine the cereal and milk. Let it sit for a few minutes to allow the cereal to break down a bit.
  3. While the cereal is soaking, combine the bananas, eggs, apple sauce and oil in a small bowl. Add the banana mixture to the cereal. Stir to combine.
  4. In another large bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking powder and salt. Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture and stir to combine.
  5. Fold in the chopped walnuts.
  6. Fill the muffin tins to the top. At least at 8,000 feet these muffins do not rise a ton so I don’t have to worry about getting the huge ‘muffin top.’ Bake at 400 degrees F for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

This is a huge recipe that makes about 30 muffins. After they are cooled, I do my breakfast muffin hack and have muffins for work every day for a little over a month!


Gotta Have S’More On Shark Tank

When Carmen appeared in the Shark Tank she was looking for a $75,000 investment in exchange for 25% equity in the Gotta Have S’More company.

She began her pitch by asking for a quick show of hands to find out who liked S’Mores. All the Sharks dutifully raised their hands, after all, who doesn’t like S’Mores?

Carmen admitted that she personally was addicted to the sweet treats, however she wasn’t quite as keen on camping, so she had ‘revolutionized the dessert industry’ by creating a S’More and combining it with a muffin, to create the S’Muffin.

‘A moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips’ observed Kevin O’Leary, ‘I bet it has a million calories’. Carmen was quick to correct his estimate, informing him her product only contained 200 calories.

Carmen had learned of the true power of her S’Muffins during her application process, and she was ready with those tried and trusted bribes in the tank. She handed out a selection of samples to the Sharks and waited for the positive reaction she knew would be coming soon.

As the sharks tasted the treats, and made generally positive noises, Carmen assured them that her customers always came back for more once they had tasted the unique taste created by her secret recipe. The sharks certainly seemed to be enjoying the S’Muffins, but they weren’t getting delirious with joy, and Carmen seemed a little disappointed about that.

Robert Herjavec loved the taste of the muffins, and congratulated Carmen on a ‘great’ taste, he wanted to know what sales had been for the company to date.

Carmen revealed that in the two years since she had launched the business, total sales had been $250,000, which impressed all the sharks. Kevin O’Leary probed a little deeper and inquired what sales for the current year were likely to be. Carmen confirmed that she projected the current years sales would be in excess of $165,000 and even Mr Wonderful nodded his head in approval at that.

Barbara Corcoran asked Carmen how her sales were made. Carmen informed her that historically 75% of the companies sales had been made online, with the rest through a few retail stores in the Los Angeles area. Daymond John asked what sort of retail stores stocked Gotta Have S’More products, and Carmen told him that she was stocked in some local speciality bakeries and a few high-end stores that stocked cakes and luxury treats.

Up to this point Carmen had been doing quite well in her Shark Tank appearance, the S’Muffins had sweetened up the Sharks initially, and her fairly impressive sales figures had even impressed the hard-headed Kevin O’Leary, but things were about to get a lot less friendly in the tank for the Los Angeles Local with the sweet business plan.

Mark Cuban inquired what the cost of the S’Muffins was, Carmen disclosed that a dozen units cost $9.34 per dozen, but sold for $29.94 per dozen. It was an impressive profit margin and Mark seemed fairly happy with the answer, but Carmen elaborated a little more. She explained that the company delivered anywhere in Los Angeles, and had recently begun shipping S’Muffins nationwide.

Barbara Corcoran was quick to pick up on that point, she queried the delivery method with Carmen, asking if the product was shipped frozen. Carmen confirmed that the S’Muffins were frozen before being shipped, and as soon as she heard that Barbara asked what the cost of shipping would be for a dozen units. Carmen seemed a little uncomfortable when she admitted that the cost to ship a dozen S’Muffins was $54 dollars, she began to explain about her plans to reduce the shipping costs, but didn’t get very far before Kevin O’Leary interrupted.

‘Wow, Stop the madness Carmen’ Kevin suddenly urged, ‘That’s ten bucks a S’Muffin, who would pay that?’ he asked.

Daymond John never gave the entrepreneur a chance to answer Kevin, he quickly asked if there were any products on the market that were comparable to the S’Muffins, and Carmen dealt with the easy question first. She told the Sharks that her product was unique, the brand name was trademarked, and the recipe was her own top-secret invention, she told the sharks that her product was ‘Much more than a S’More, it was a S’Muffin’.

Kevin, who had clearly enjoyed the taste of the product understood where Carmen was coming from, ‘I get it’ her told her, ‘It’s a S’Muffin, but the cost is freaking me out, It costs ten bucks a smuffer’ he concluded. Daymond was momentarily reduced to a fit of giggles by Kevin’s use of the work ‘Smuffer’, but Carmen cut through his muffled hysterics to defend the cost of her product.

She asserted that her S’Muffins were aimed towards high-end customers, who were prepared to pay a premium price for a premium product. Robert Herjavec tended to agree with her, he remarked to Kevin that the business had achieved sales of $165,000 in the last year.

Kevin wasn’t convinced by Robert’s point, he asked Carmen if she sold many ‘Smuffers’ for ten dollars each, Carmen was quick to confirm that she did sell plenty of units that were shipped around the country.

Kevin O’Leary found that revelation surprising, and it seemed to offend his love of good value, ‘That’s Crazy!’ he exclaimed, ‘Am I the only person that thinks that’s insane, you Fedex this across the country, or you send your children to college’, he continued, and the Sharks dissolved into laughter, enjoying the Kevin O’Leary comedy show.

But Carmen wasn’t laughing, she fixed Mr Wonderful with a slightly crazed eye and told him that he wouldn’t believe the frenzy that her S’Muffins created, she asserted that her product was destined to be the ‘next dessert craze’.

Unfortunately for the Gotta Have S’More entrepreneur, Kevin wasn’t sharing her vision of a successful S’Muffin future. He wasted little more time and told Carmen ‘I’m not going to invest in your ‘smickels’, I’m out’, which for Kevin, was about as sweet as a rejection gets.

Mark Cuban, Robert Herjavec and Daymond all followed Kevin in rejecting the Gotta Have S’Mores business. They all stated Carmen’s strategy of promoting national sales was flawed, and unlikely to lead to any real company growth, only further problems, eventually only Barbara Corcoran was left.

Barbara, alone amongst all the Sharks, announced that she didn’t actually like the product, she admitted to feeling bad admitting that to Carmen, but for that reason she was out too. Barbara wished a stunned looking Carmen good luck for the future and as Carmen left the tank she looked slightly dazed, not at her failure to strike a deal in the tank, but amazed that Barbara had failed to taste that S’Muffin magic.


Muffins are a mainstay around our house. They are as nourishing as they are good to eat. They are quicker and easier to make than cookies and usually contain much less sugar and fat. We usually eat them for breakfast but like them with any meal. (For Easter, we served cranberry nut muffins with a ham dinner.) They work well for snacks and desserts as well. Extras can be frozen and heated in the microwave for hot muffins anytime.

Today we will make muffins using the “muffin method”. (Just as there are two major makeup methods for quick breads, there are two methods for muffins—the muffin method and the creaming method.) In the muffin method, the liquids and the dry ingredients are mixed separately and then stirred together until just combined. We will include tips and instructions to make the perfect muffin and some streusel and topping recipes to crown your creations with.

To make muffins using the muffin method, choose a favorite muffin recipe that does not call for the creaming of sugar into the fat. (Look for a recipe that calls for oil or melted butter or, if you prefer, you can use one of our muffin mixes.)

In preparation, grease the muffin tins. We like spray oil from an aerosol can or the spray genie we sell on our site to reach the corners of the tins. Be sure to cover the top edges where the muffins will flow when baking. (You can use paper liners but since the batter adheres slightly to the paper, you will have slightly less volume to the muffins.)

Set the oven to preheat. Temperature is one of the secrets to those nicely domed muffins that you find in the better bake shops. Commercial ovens use precise heat settings and timers. In the kitchen, we can approximate those results by:

Making sure that the oven is completely heated before baking. We like to let the oven sit at full temperature for at least ten minutes before baking so that the heat is well-absorbed into the structure of the oven.

Closing the door as quickly as possible to keep the heat trapped.

Setting the temperature at a higher initial setting and lowering the temperature later. We almost always start out at 425 degrees. The higher heat creates a burst of steam that lifts the batter. (We have experimented with turning the heat down immediately and waiting as long as six or eight minutes before turning it down. It doesn’t seem to matter. Just test your muffins to make sure they are done.)

Placing the muffins in the upper third of the oven where it tends to be hotter and the heat more constant.

Always measure flour precisely using a scale if you have one. Muffin recipes are sensitive to the ratio of flour to liquid. Too much flour and the muffin will not rise properly and will be dry. Too little flour and the muffin will flow over the edges of the muffin cup rather than dome nicely. If you need to fine tune your favorite recipe, change the flour by a tablespoon or two.

To make cake-like muffins, use a lower protein flour—cake or pastry flour. Higher protein all purpose or bread flours will make a muffin that is chewier and more bread-like.

To use the muffin method, whisk the dry ingredients together in a large bowl to make sure that the baking powder and other ingredients are well combined. Set aside.

Whisk the egg in a separate bowl with a French whip or fork. Add the other liquids and whisk again. (Some recipes will instruct you to stir the sugar and salt into the liquids, rather than add them to the dry ingredients, to make sure that they dissolve completely and are evenly dispersed. We prefer to do this with most of our muffin recipes.)

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Add the liquid all at once. Stir with a spatula until mixed well and moistened—some lumps will remain. Do not over stir—stirring too much will develop the gluten in the flour and the muffin will not be tender and crumbly. To avoid over stirring, we prefer a spatula or a large spoon to an electric mixer.

If you are using fruit in your muffins, fold them in gently at the end of your mixing with a minimum number of folds. Fruit crushes easily in the thick batter and the juice will stain the batter.

For the creaming method, cream the butter or shortening and sugars together. (The sugar crystals will cut through the fat creating tiny pockets of air. In the heat of the oven, the pockets will expand and help lift the muffins.) After creaming, add the eggs and beat until the mixture turns a lighter color and is soft. Then add the flour followed by the liquids in three or four additions mixing after each. You always start with the flour. Oil and water don’t mix and adding the liquid to the creamed mixture will often create an unattractive, curdled mess. The flour will act as a buffer between the oils and water in the liquids

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Fill the muffin tins with a large spoon or ice cream scoop. Make sure that the muffin tins are evenly filled so that they bake evenly. Most recipes direct that the muffin tins be filled 2/3’s full to allow room for expansion. If you want high-domed muffins where the domes are higher than the body of the muffins, fill them fuller than that. (Our mixes are designed for full tins.)

Bake the muffins until they are a light golden brown. The muffin top should spring back when gently pressed with the finger and a toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean. Over-baked muffins will be dry and tough. Under baked muffins may be moist and heavy with a doughy center.
It is easy to tear apart hot muffins trying to lift them from the tins. Instead, let the muffins sit for a few minutes and you should be able to easily lift them out intact. Place them on wire racks to continue cooling.

Muffins are best served hot and do not keep well beyond the first day. Freeze any extras.

Now for those streusel recipes that we promised:

Brown Sugar and Nut Streusel Topping

1/2 cup walnut pieces
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon cold butter

1. Chop the walnuts into small pieces.
2. Stir the walnuts, brown sugar, and cinnamon together.
3. Cut in the cold butter with a pastry knife or two table knives.
4. Spoon the streusel mixture over the muffin batter evenly before baking.

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon good quality cinnamon
6 tablespoons butter, melted

Mix the cinnamon and sugar together in a bowl. When you remove the muffins from the tins, dip the still hot muffins in the butter and then roll the tops in the cinnamon sugar mixture.

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Always place your muffin tin in the center of an oven rack positioned in the center of the oven. Muffins closer to the oven wall will cook more quickly than those in the center. You may wish to flip the muffin tin half way during cooking but its best not to disturb the cooking process.

With recipes that don’t have heavy or juicy add-ins, soggy bottoms are often caused by leaving muffins to cool in their pans for too long. This is problematic, as it traps steam. When baked goods come out of the oven they’re naturally very hot, and internal steam needs to escape while they cool.


To store muffins up to 4 days, line an airtight container or zip-lock bag with paper towel and store the muffins in a single layer. Place another layer of paper towel on top of the muffins as well. They can be stored in a container without paper towel, but are more likely to become soggy the longer they’re in there.

Line an airtight container with paper towels and place the muffins on top in a single layer. And don’t forget to add a few saltines to absorb moisture! Place paper towels above the muffins to soak up every bit of moisture. Seal with an airtight lid.


How To Store

Fridge: Store the leftover matcha cupcakes in the refrigerator for up to five days.

Freeze: You can freeze the plain (not frosted) matcha muffins and transfer them to an airtight freezer-safe bag or wrap them in plastic wrap. Freeze for up to 3 months.

Alternatively, the frosted cupcakes can be transferred to a freezer-safe container and stored for up to 1 month.

Thaw in the refrigerator or defrost/warm in the microwave.


Colds, Baking Fails, and Christmas!

I’ve had a terrible cold/ cough situation since the day after Thanksgiving, so that’s been a fun start to the Christmas festivities. I feel like I always say work has been busy in these posts, but work has been busy. Challenging and great. And busy.

Matt and I are barreling towards a two week vacation at my parent’s place in Alabama that will include attending a Menorah lighting at the University of Alabama and becoming certified in handgun safety! The party truly never stops.

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I was planning to post a recipe after I did some baking for my office Christmas party. Funny story. I was planning to make these Dirty Chai Donut Muffins but when I went to the store to get ingredients, they were OUT OF BAKING POWDER. Turns out, it’s a very crucial ingredient when making baked goods, and without it, your muffins will more closely resemble hockey pucks than fluffy muffins. After Sunday night panic set in, I was able to improvise and churn out some chai sugar cookies. They turned out okay!

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground cardamom

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

1/4 teaspoon finely ground black pepper

1 cup unsalted butter, softened

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In a medium bowl combine sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, allspice and black pepper.

Remove 1/4 cup of the sugar-spice mixture, set aside to reserve for rolling the cookies.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar-spice mixture until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

Beat in egg and vanilla extract, combine until fully incorporated. Slowly blend in dry ingredients mixing until just combined. Using a small scoop (2 teaspoons) roll dough into balls and then into the reserved sugar-spice mixture. Place dough balls on prepared baking sheet about 1 1/2 inches apart.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Let stand on baking sheet two minutes before removing to cool on wire racks.