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- Nonstick vegetable oil spray
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons instant espresso powder or coffee powder
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
- 8 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 2 (3 3/4-inch) square sheets edible gold leaf (optional)*
Preheat oven to 325°F. Spray 10-inch-diameter tart pan with removable bottom with nonstick spray. Sift flour, unsweetened cocoa powder, espresso powder and salt into medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat butter and brown sugar in large bowl until well blended. Add dry ingredients and beat just until dough clumps together. Using fingertips, press dough evenly onto bottom of prepared tart pan.
Bake shortbread until firm around edges and baked through but slightly soft in center, about 35 minutes. Cool 10 minutes. Gently remove pan sides. Using large sharp knife, cut warm shortbread into 16 wedges. Cool completely on pan bottom on rack.
Bring cream to simmer in medium saucepan. Remove from heat. Add chocolate; stir until melted and smooth. Let stand until glaze begins to thicken but is still pourable, about 10 minutes. Place shortbread wedges on rack set over large baking sheet. Spoon glaze over shortbread, allowing some of glaze to run down sides and spreading over sides with small spatula. Chill just until chocolate is firm, about 45 minutes.
If desired, press tip of small sharp knife into gold leaf; gently peel off 1/2-inch free-form pieces. Using knife as aid, carefully press gold leaf pieces onto cookies. DO AHEAD Can be prepared 5 days ahead. Store in single layer in airtight container at room temperature.
Chocolate Buttermilk Pound Cake
Super easy to make, this is a One Bowl Scratch Cake. That&rsquos right! Just. One. Bowl.
And one bite of this richly dark Chocolate Buttermilk Bundt Cake and you will be in chocolate heaven! This recipe combines the richness of chocolate and buttermilk to create a cake that will provide lasting memories. It could easily be called a Chocolate Buttermilk Pound Cake!
If you have chocolate cake fans in your family, they will be forever sold on this amazing Buttermilk Chocolate Cake! And just look at the hot water frosting!
If you follow my recipe exactly, you will be able to create this amazing cake yourself. You will become the Chocolate Cake Whisperer. Well maybe not, but it sounds cool right? 🙂
You will need: a Bundt Pan, white flour, white sugar, eggs, oil, unsweetened cocoa powder, corn starch, vanilla, baking soda & butter.
I love Bundt Cake recipes, so moist and dense with flavour and they look amazing too! Our Orange Cranberry Bundt Cake, and Chocolate Mayan Bundt Cake are delicious recipes for you to try!
Chocolate Cake like you&rsquove never had before.All that Chocolate Frosting adds to the yummy moistness of this Chocolate Buttermilk Bundt Cake!
BIG Chocolate Flavor.
This Chocolate Buttermilk
Bundt Cake is so moist it melts in your mouth.
An easy recipe that bakes up with a delicious crumb, as they say on the Great British Baking Show!
Getting ready to bake this amazing chocolate cake at the trailer.
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.
Menu Description: "Our appetizing cheese dip with seasoned beef. Served with warm tostada chips."
Take your chips for a dip in this top-secret Chili's skillet queso copycat recipe that comes to your table in a small cast iron skillet along with a big bowl of tortilla chips. A popular recipe that's been circulating calls for combining Velveeta with Hormel no-bean chili. Sure, it's a good start, but there's more to Chili's spicy cheese dip than that. Toss a few other ingredients into the saucepan and after about 20 minutes you'll have a great dip for picnic, party, or game time.
Now, what's for dinner? Check out my other Chili's copycat recipes here.
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.
If you like soup that's packed with veggies, that's low in fat, and has some Southwestern punch to it, this is the soup for you. Just toss all the ingredients in a pot and simmer. Garnish with some shredded cheese and crumbled tortillas, and warm up your insides.
When you sit down for Italian-style grub at one of the more than 168 nationwide Carrabba's restaurants, you're first served a small plate with a little pile of herbs and spices in the middle to which the waiter adds olive oil. Now you're set up to dip your sliced bread in the freshly flavored oil. To craft a version of this Carrabba's olive oil bread dip recipe, you'll need a coffee bean grinder or a small food processor to finely chop the ingredients.
Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 2 by Todd Wilbur.
Menu Description: "Lean shaved Philly steak folded into a grilled tortilla roll with Monterey Jack and Cheddar, sauteed mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, bacon and jalapenos."
With the acquisition of 13 Rio Bravo cantinas in 1994, Applebee's made its move into the competitive "Mexican casual dining sector." Perhaps it's the company's interest in Mexican food that inspired this Philadelphia-Tijuana hybrid sandwich. The steak, cheese, mushrooms, and onions give the sandwich a Philly taste, while the tomatoes, bacon, jalapenos, and the tortilla take you across the border.
I really like this newer addition to the menu, probably because I'm a big cheesesteak fan who also loves Mexican food. As you can see from this dish, Applebee's has a knack for breathing new life into old sandwich concepts. I hope you'll find this one worth a try.
If you want to make a "lite" version, refer to the Tidbits at the bottom of the recipe.
In 1995 pediatric nurse Lindsay Frucci discovered a way to make chewy, fudgy brownies without any of fat. Today you can find her brownie mix boxes in thousands of grocery stores and specialty markets throughout the country. All you have to do is add some nonfat vanilla yogurt to the dry mix and bake. The brownies that emerge from your oven are good, but the mix can be pricey. One box of No Pudge! Fat Free Fudge Brownie Mix will set you back around four bucks, which seems like a lot when you consider that boxes of regular brownie mix from larger brands such as Pillsbury or Duncan Hines contain similar ingredients but sell for roughly half that. So I spent a week burning through gobs of cocoa, sugar, and flour in hopes of discovering an easy way to re-create that tasty mix at a fraction of the cost of even the cheapest brownie mix on the market. After much trial and error I finally nailed it.
I tried many batches with Hershey's and Nestle's cocoa, but eventually decided the best widely available unsweetened cocoa powder for the task is the stuff made by Ghirardelli. Before you assemble this clone recipe, you'll also want to track down baker's sugar, which is a superfine sugar, and some powdered egg whites (health foods stores or cake decorating suppliers carry this). Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl, and when you're ready to make the brownies, simply mix in 2/3 cup of nonfat vanilla yogurt, just like with the real thing. In 34 baking minutes (same as regular minutes, but they seem much longer) you'll have one plate of amazing fat-free chocolate brownies ready to eat.
Click here for more famous cookie and brownie copycat recipes.
Since the candy maker’s first milk chocolate bar debuted in 1900, just three other candy bars have carried the Hershey’s name. Hershey’s Special Dark came out in 1939 and Hershey’s Cookies and Crème was introduced in 1995. The third one—and the first to be made without any chocolate in it—is the new Hershey’s Gold Peanuts & Pretzels, which hit the shelves in late 2017.
The base of the bar is “caramelized crème” that Hershey’s claims is made by browning the sugar in white crème. I recalled a recipe for caramelizing white chocolate by slowly cooking it in the oven, stirring often, until it becomes golden brown. By mixing in a little creamy peanut butter and salt with the white chocolate before it goes in the oven, I created a perfect golden base to which crushed peanuts and pretzels could be added.
I poured the golden crème into candy bar molds and let them set in the fridge for 30 minutes. When I removed the candy from the molds it looked like it was made in a real candy bar factory, and it tasted like it too. I wrapped each in gold foil and felt like Willy Wonka.
If you don’t have candy bar molds for your candy bars, you can make the candy in a more old-fashioned, homemade style by pouring the cooked candy onto parchment paper or wax paper on a baking sheet and allowing it to cool. When it’s firm, break up the candy and store it in a covered container or a resealable bag.
Find more cool candy copycat recipes here.
Menu Description: "Two cheeses, bacon, tomatoes, onion, jalapenos grilled between tortillas with guacamole, sour cream and salsa."
When Bill and T.J. Palmer opened their first restaurant in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1980, they realized their dream of building a full-service, reasonably-priced restaurant in a neighborhood setting. They called their first place T.J. Applebee's Edibles and Elixirs, and soon began franchising the concept. In 1988 some franchisees bought the rights to the name and changed it to Applebee's Neighborhood Grill and Bar. By that time, there were over 650 outlets, making Applebee's one of the fastest-growing restaurant chains in the world.
According to waiters at the restaurant, the easy-to-make and slightly spicy quesadillas are one of the most popular appetizers on the Applebee's menu. The recipe calls for 10-inch or "burrito-size" flour tortillas, which can be found in most supermarkets, but any size can be used in a pinch. Look for the jalapeno "nacho slices" in the ethnic or Mexican food section of the supermarket. You'll find these in jars or cans.
Find more of your favorite Applebee's copycat recipes here.
Menu Description: "Slices of turkey breast with bacon, tomato, lettuce, mayonnaise, stacked on toasted bread. Served with coleslaw."
When Bob Wian invented the first Big Boy double-decker hamburger in 1937, his restaurant business went through the roof. Soon a slew of imitators hit the market with their own giant-sized burgers: Bun Boy, Brawney Boy, Super Boy, Yumi Boy, Country Boy, Husky Boy, Hi-Boy, Beefy Boy, Lucky Boy, and many other "Boys" across the burger-crazed country.
By 1985 the Big Boy statues had become a common sight in front of hundreds of Bob's restaurants around the country. This was also the year the Marriott Corporation, which had purchased Bob's from retiring Bob Wian in 1967, created a national ballot to decide whether the Big Boy character would stay or go. Thousands of voters elected to keep the tubby little tike, but his days were numbered. In 1992, Marriott chose to sell all of the Bob's Big Boys to an investment group. Those mostly West Coast Big Boys were later converted to Coco's or Carrows restaurants, and there the Big Boy went bye-bye. The Elias Brothers, a Michigan-area franchiser for many years, purchased the Big Boy name from Marriott in 1987, and today is the sole Big Boy franchiser worldwide.
The Club Sandwich is one of Big Boy's signature sandwiches, and remains one of the most popular items on the menu since it was introduced in the mid-70s.
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.
Menu Description: "1/4 pound of 100% pure beef in two patties with American cheese, crisp lettuce and our special sauce on a sesame seed bun."
Bob Wian's little ten-stool diner, Bob's Pantry, was in business only a short time in Glendale, California, before establishing a following of regular customers—among them the band members from Chuck Fosters Orchestra. One February night in 1937, the band came by after a gig as they often did to order a round of burgers. In a playful mood, bass player Stewie Strange sat down on a stool and uttered, "How about something different for a change, Bob?" Bob thought it might be funny to play along and serve up Stewie a burger he could barely get his mouth around. So Bob cut a bun into three slices, rather than the usual two, and stacked on two hamburger patties along with lettuce, cheese, and his special sauce. When Stewie tasted the huge sandwich and loved it, every band member wanted his own!
Just a few days later, a plump little six-year old named Richard Woodruff came into the diner and charmed Bob into letting him do odd jobs in exchange for a burger or two. He often wore baggie overalls and had an appetite that forced the affectionate nickname "Fat Boy". Bob thought it was the perfect name for his new burger, except the name was already being used as a trademark for another product. So the name of the new burger, along with Bob's booming chain of restaurants, was changed to "Big Boy." The company's tradename Big Boy character is from a cartoonists napkin sketch of "fat boy," little Richard Woodruff.
The Big Boy hamburger was the first of the double-decker hamburgers. McDonald's Big Mac, the world's best-known burger that came more than 30 years later, was inspired by Bob Wian's original creation. See if you can get your mouth around it.
Check out my other Big Boy copycat recipes here.
Here's a great one for the holidays, or anytime you want, really. It's a mint chocolate brownie with peppermint buttercream frosting on top and creamy chocolate frosting on top of that. And to simplify the cloning process, we start with a common fudge brownie mix. By changing the required ingredients listed on the brownie mix box and modifying some steps, we can improve on the finished product. Rather than oil, use a stick of melted butter in your brownies for a richer, better flavor. And cook the brownies at a slightly lower temperature so that they come out moist and chewy. Since this recipe is for peppermint brownies, add just a bit of peppermint extract to the batter. The peppermint brownies from Starbucks have red and white frosting drizzled lightly across the top. To duplicate this easily you can buy premade red and white colored frostings that come in little cans with tips included.
Check out my other Starbucks copycat recipes here.
Menu Description: "Broiled and served with sweet ginger soy, baby corn and spinach."
Grab a couple half-pound sea bass fillets (not too thick), whip up a simple marinade and you're on your way to cloning one of the most beloved dishes at America's fastest growing Chinese bistro chain. The marinade is made with only six ingredients so you'll have that done in no time. If you can't find oolong tea, you can use green tea. Loose tea is best, but if you can only find bags, that's okay. One teabag contains 1 teaspoon of tea, so you'll just need half of a teabag for this recipe (in fact, the recipe still works even without the tea). You will need to plan ahead for this P.F. Chang's oolong marinated sea bass recipe, however, since the fish must marinate for 5 to 7 hours. Once the fish is marinated, fire up the oven to bake it, then finish it off under the broiler. Saute some spinach, garlic, and tiny corn for an optional bed that makes the dish indistinguishable from the real thing.
You'll find a lot more P.F. Chang's copycat recipes over here.
Menu Description: "Spicy, shredded beef, braised with our own chipotle adobo, cumin, cloves, garlic and oregano."
The original Mexican dish barbacoa was traditionally prepared by cooking almost any kind of meat goat, fish, chicken, or cow cheek meat, to name just a few, in a pit covered with leaves over low heat for many hours, until tender. When the dish made its way into the United States via Texas the word transformed into "barbecue" and the preparation changed to incorporate above-ground techniques such as smoking and grilling. The good news is that we can recreate the beef barbacoa that Chipotle has made popular on its ginormous burritos without digging any holes in our backyard or tracking down a local source for fresh cow faces. After braising about 30 pounds of chuck roasts, I finally discovered the perfect clone with a taste-alike adobo sauce that fills your roast with flavor as it slowly cooks to a fork-tender delicacy on your stovetop over 5 to 6 hours. Part of the secret for great adobo sauce is toasting whole cumin seeds and cloves and then grinding them in a coffee grinder (measure the spices after grinding them). Since the braising process takes so long, start early in the day and get ready for a big dinner, because I've also included clones here for Chipotle's pico de gallo, pinto beans, and delicious cilantro-lime rice to make your burritos complete. You can add your choice of cheese, plus guacamole and sour cream for a super-deluxe clone version.
Menu Description: "Breaded boneless chicken breast is delicately spiced and covered in a spicy-sweet orange glaze. Served in a big bowl over almond rice pilaf and a flavorful mixture of mushrooms, broccoli, red pepper, sugar snap peas, and shredded carrots. Topped with toasted almonds and crispy noodles."
In a dish like this, it's important to get the sauce tasting just right or the whole hack will be off. Simmering a secret blend of orange juice, brown sugar, marmalade, and few other ingredients will give you a sauce that's sweet, tangy, spicy and really, really freakin' good. Rather than going to the trouble of breading and frying the chicken from scratch, I've cut time off your prep by including frozen breaded chicken fingers that you simply bake in the oven when you're ready to assemble the dish. I used Claim Jumper brand chicken tenderloins for this recipe since one 20-ounce box was perfect for the two servings this recipe yields. However, these are mongo-huge restaurant-size portions, so you'll be able to divide this recipe up into four more modest servings if you like.
Make more of your favorite dishes from Applebee's.
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.
15 Things You Had No Idea Your Favorite Fast-Food Chains Served
Fast-food orders like the Big Mac and the Whopper are classics for a reason. They've stood the test of time and pleased countless hungry customers. But if you're looking for something that isn't the same old fast-food order, we have you covered.
Did you know, for instance, that Dunkin' serves stuffed mini bagel bites, or that you can get a brownie at Chick-fil-A? From new offerings to under-the-radar hidden gems, here are some underrated fast-food menu items to try ASAP.
Desserts for Pre-Order
Due to limited staffing amidst the Coronavirus pandemic we have limited the variety of custom dessert options we’re offering. These dessert flavors are based on some of our customer and employee favorites. Decoration at this time is limited to simple writing and sprinkles. Visit our Pre-Order website with at least 72 hours advance notice, and be sure to edit your pickup time during the checkout process to pick your preferred pickup date.
We hope to resume fulfilling custom decoration orders as soon as our hardworking staff is able to. Thank you for your patience and understanding.
We're doing our best with social distancing, especially for “high-risk” folks. If you need contactless pickup simply call once you arrive to pickup your pre-order. Our staff will gather the items, bag them, and place it on a table in front of our door.
Popular SEASONAL Cake and Cupcake Flavors:
Chocolate Salted Caramel Cake: A three layer chocolate cake filled with a rich chocolate ganache, decorated with salted caramel swiss meringue buttercream.
Vegan Passion Fruit Coconut Cake: A three layer vegan coconut cake filled with creamy homemade passion fruit curd and decorated with creamy coconut frosting.
Tiramisu Cake: Three layers of vanilla cake are soaked in cold brew coffee, filled with sweet mascarpone, and dusted with a traditional cocoa powder. This cake is extra moist and decadent!
Raspberry Vanilla Cupcakes: Fluffy vanilla cupcakes filled with a bright raspberry jam, decorated with tart raspberry buttercream.
Vegan Chocolate Caramel Cupcakes: Rich and fluffy vegan chocolate cupcakes filled with our perfect house-made coconut-milk based carmael and decorated with a rich chocolate frosting.
“Build your own” custom cake options:
Cake Flavors (Choose One):
Chocolate, Carrot (Dairy Free), Lemon, Vanilla, Vegan Chocolate, Vegan Coconut, Vegan Lemon, Vegan Strawberry
Cake Fillings (Choose One):
Chocolate Ganache, Vegan Coconut-Milk Caramel, Cream Cheese Mousse, Mascarpone Mousse, Raspberry Cream Cheese Mousse, Vegan Vanilla Pastry Cream, Vegan Chocolate Ganache, Vegan Passion Fruit Curd, Vegan Marionberry Jam, Vegan Raspberry Jam, Vegan Strawberry Jam, or any Frosting/Buttercream.
Cake Frostings (Choose One):
Chocolate Buttercream, Caramel Buttercream, Vanilla Buttercream, Raspberry Buttercream, Strawberry Buttercream, Vegan Chocolate Frosting, Vegan Coconut Frosting, Vegan Vanilla Frosting, Vegan Strawberry Frosting
Pandemic Restrictions:Gem fans will notice we've reduced the variety of custom cake options and pastries that we offer. We've done this to help reduce the workload on our smaller-than-normal staff. We apologize if there's something you always love to eat that you don't see here anymore, but appreciate your patience and understanding as we try to provide a safe and stress-free work environment for our hardworking bakers.
Due to staffing limitations we are unable to take orders larger than 9” Round Cakes. custom decoration is limited to simple writing, flowers, balloons, and sprinkles.
All Pre-Orders require at least 72 hours notice.
We appreciate your patience with our COVID-19 precautions and keeping our staff healthy and stress free.
We also make wedding and special occasion cakes, visit our Weddings page for more details.
Due to the Coronavirus pandemic we are working with a limited staff to ensure the safety of our staff and customers. At this time our wedding coordinator is only in a few times a week, so communication is also limited. If you are looking for a small Single-Tier wedding cake, we are definitely able to accommodate.
We are taking a limited number of large (multi tier) cake orders, as state guidelines for gatherings permit.
At this time we are not able to offer delivery. All orders would be required to pickup at our retail location in Portland on NE Broadway and 2nd.
A 50% non-refundable deposit is due upon placing your order.
The remaining 50% and delivery fee are due 2 weeks before the event.
Take home tastings available for $30 on a limited case-by-case basis. Take home tastings require payment at time of order.
Placing an Order
Fill out the form below or contact the bakery to speak with our Wedding coordinator regarding the details of your order.
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.
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!
Here's a clone for the instant dressing mix you buy in the .7-ounce packets. When added to vinegar, water, and oil, you get one of the best-tasting instant salad dressings around. But what if you can't find the stuff, or it is no longer sold in your area, as I've heard is the case in some cities? Or maybe you just want to save a little money by making your own? Use the recipe below to make as much dry mix as you want, and save it for when you need instant salad satisfaction. I've used McCormick lemon pepper in the recipe here because it contains lemon juice solids that help duplicate the taste of the sodium citrate and citric acid in the real thing. The dry pectin, which can be found near the canning supplies in your supermarket, is used as a thickener, much like the xanthan gum in the original product.
Find more of my delicious salad dressing copycat recipes here.
One day in France in 1756, when Duke de Richelieu's chef couldn't find any cream for a sauce made with eggs and cream, he substituted oil. The thick emulsion that formed after a vigorous beating became one of the basic sauces for our modern cuisine. A version of this simple culinary breakthrough was an important ingredient for Richard Hellmann's salads in the deli he opened in New York City in 1905. When Richard started selling his mayonnaise by the jar at the deli, the bottles flew out the door. Before long Hellmann's creamy mayonnaise dominated in the eastern United States, while another company, Best Foods, was having incredible sales success with mayonnaise west of the Rockies. In 1932 Best Foods bought Hellmann's, and today the two brands split the country: Best Foods is sold west of the Rockies and Hellmann's can be found to the east. Nowadays the two mayonnaise recipes are nearly identical, although some people claim that Best Foods mayonnaise is a little tangier.
In this clone recipe you'll be creating an emulsion by whisking a stream of oil into a beaten egg yolk. The solution will begin to magically thicken and change color, and before you know it you'll be looking at a bowl of beautiful, off-white, fresh mayonnaise. I've found the best way to add the oil to the egg yolk a little bit at a time while whisking is to pour the oil into a plastic squirt bottle like the kind used for ketchup or mustard. This will allow you to whisk continuously with one hand while squirting oil with the other. You can also use a measuring cup with a spout and pour the oil in a thin stream.
This quickly growing chicken wing chain sells each of its 12 signature sauces in the restaurant because many of them work great as a baste or side sauce for a variety of home cooked masterpieces. This Buffalo Wild Wings Caribbean Jerk sauce recipe is a favorite for that reason (ranking at the top of the list with Spicy Garlic as the chain's best-seller), so I thought it would be a useful clone that doesn't require you to fill up the fryer to make chicken wings. You can use this sauce on grilled chicken, pork, ribs, salmon or anything you can think of that would benefit from the sweet, sour and spicy flavors that come from an island-style baste.
One of the tastiest dipping sauces that you can choose with your order of Chicken McNuggets is this sweet-and-sour creamy Dijon mustard. No longer shall you find it necessary to beg for extra packets of this sauce with your next box of cluck chunks. Now, with just four ingredients, you can from this day forward mix up the stuff at home anytime you want to use it as a spread on savory sandwiches (great with ham!) or as a dipping sauce for your own home-cooked nuggets or chicken strips.
Menu Description: "Parmesan, Romano and mozzarella cheese, clams and herb breadcrumbs baked in mushroom caps."
Breadcrumbs, clams and three types of cheese are baked into white mushroom caps in this clone of a top pick from Olive Garden's appetizer menu. Mix all the stuffing ingredients together in a bowl, fill the mushroom caps, sprinkle on some minced red bell pepper, cover the mushrooms with a blanket of mozzarella cheese slices, and bake. After 15 minutes you'll have a great appetizer or hors d'oeuvre for 4 to 6 people—that's twice the serving size of the dish from the restaurant.
Did you love this copycat Olive Garden stuffed mushrooms recipe? Check out more of my clone recipes here.
Menu Description: "Layers of rich chocolate cake and sweet buttercream icing."
The cake mix has cherry flavoring mixed in and the buttercream frosting between the layers is made from scratch, but the real secret to this Top Secret Recipe is how we put it all together. You've got to make two slices through the edge of the baked cake to create the three thin layers, so you'll want to use a long serrated knife. Lay down some wax paper under the cake to help you turn the cake while you slice. Slide the whole thing over near the edge of the counter so that you can more easily keep the knife parallel to the countertop. You can use your favorite chocolate cake mix for the recipe, but be sure not to use one with pudding in it or one that is "extra moist" (Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe is one such brand). These mixes make slicing and layering difficult because the baked cake falls apart so easily.
Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 2 by Todd Wilbur.
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.
Here's a technique for making flavorful butternut squash that's crazy easy. Most of your time will be spent cutting the squash into 1-inch cubes so that you can steam it. Use a sharp peeler to remove the tough skin, then skip on over to the chopping block (but please, no skipping with a sharp knife). You can alternately use a microwave to cook the squash whole (see Tidbits), although I prefer the texture from good old-fashioned steaming. After the squash is cooked, mash it up, mix in the other ingredients, and you've got a great side that fits right in with many meals, especially spicy dishes. Since this squash comes in varying sizes, you may want to start with just 1/4 teaspoon of salt, give it a taste, then add more as needed.
This popular pick from Boston Market may be called a side dish, but it tastes more like dessert. With the brown sugar, cinnamon, and butter in there, and the oatmeal streusel on top, you will be reminded of sweet potato pie yet the dish goes great alongside meals as varied as low-key chicken dinners or bigger-key holiday banquets. And the great part is, if you're planning to use this for entertaining, you can make everything but the streusel a day ahead so you won't be stressed at crunch time. Just cover the filled baking dish and pop it in the fridge. Take it out a few hours before you plan to bake it so the casserole can come close to room temperature, then you simply top it off with your streusel and pop the whole thing in the oven.
Check out my other clone recipes for Boston Market favorites here.
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.
The automated process for creating Krispy Kreme doughnuts, developed in the 1950's, took the company many years to perfect. When you drive by your local Krispy Kreme store between 5:00 and 11:00 each day (both a.m. and p.m.) and see the "Hot Doughnuts Now" sign lit up, inside the store custom-made stainless steel machines are rolling. Doughnut batter is extruded into little doughnut shapes that ride up and down through a temperature and humidity controlled booth to activate the yeast. This creates the perfect amount of air in the dough that will yield a tender and fluffy finished product. When the doughnuts are perfectly puffed up, they're gently dumped into a moat of hot vegetable shortening where they float on one side until golden brown, and then the machine flips them over to cook the other side. When the doughnuts finish frying, they ride up a mesh conveyor belt and through a ribbon of white sugar glaze. If you're lucky enough to taste one of these doughnuts just as it comes around the corner from the glazing, you're in for a real treat—the warm circle of sweet doughy goodness practically melts in your mouth. It's this secret process that helped Krispy Kreme become the fastest-growing doughnut chain in the country.
As you can guess, the main ingredient in a Krispy Kreme doughnut is wheat flour, but there is also some added gluten, soy flour, malted barley flour, and modified food starch plus egg yolk, non-fat milk, flavoring, and yeast. I suspect a low-gluten flour, like cake flour, is probably used in the original mix to make the doughnuts tender, and then the manufacturer adds the additional gluten to give the doughnuts the perfect framework for rising. I tested many combinations of cake flour and wheat gluten, but found that the best texture resulted from cake flour combined with all-purpose flour. I also tried adding a little soy flour to the mix, but the soy gave the dough a strange taste and it didn't benefit the texture of the dough in any way. I excluded the malted barley flour and modified food starch from the Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut recipe since these are difficult ingredients to find. These exclusions didn't seem to matter because the real secret in making these doughnuts look and taste like the original lies primarily in careful handling of the dough.
The Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut recipe dough will be very sticky when first mixed together, and you should be careful not to over mix it or you will build up some tough gluten strands, and that will result in chewy doughnuts. You don't even need to touch the dough until it is finished with the first rising stage. After the dough rises for 30 to 45 minutes it will become easier to handle, but you will still need to flour your hands. Also, be sure to generously flour the surface you are working on when you gently roll out the dough for cutting. When each doughnut shape is cut from the dough, place it onto a small square of wax paper that has been lightly dusted with flour. Using wax paper will allow you to easily transport the doughnuts (after they rise) from the baking sheet to the hot shortening without deflating the dough. As long as you don't fry them too long—1 minute per side should be enough—you will have tender homemade doughnuts that will satisfy even the biggest Krispy Kreme fanatics.
MASSACHUSETTS: Boston Cream Donut at Donut Shack in Lowell
In true Massachusetts fashion, The Donut Shack's Boston Cream donut is a favorite among customers. One Yelp customer says, "Donut Shack's Boston cream is, without a doubt, the best doughnut I have ever had in my life." With a rich layer of chocolate frosting and a thick custard filling, what's not to love?
America’s 50 Best Donuts
Photographs by BarbaraRies©2012
America’s 50 Best Donuts Josée Bisaillo/Morgan Gaynin
America’s great donuts are fragile and heavyweight, old-fashioned and artisanal. Aside from the fact that a warm one is taste-buds heaven, we’re always on the lookout for donuts because the search leads to the kind of joints we love best, where eaters of every stripe enjoy a pastry so unfussy that it flouts utensils and rarely even comes on a plate. A good donut in hand with a steaming cup of coffee is democracy for breakfast. Here are 50 of our favorites. —Jane and Michael Stern
CaliforniaDoughnut Hut [Pictured] Orange glaze holds bits of zest, making this spot’s eggy Frenchie (aka cruller) downright aristocratic.
2025 West Magnolia Boulevard, Burbank 818/840-8718 Earl’s Donuts The devil’s food old-fashioned from this unlikely strip-mall source is gnarled and knobby, all the better to hold the spill of frosting.
20429 Devonshire Street, Chatsworth 818/341-2869 Marie’s Donuts This minimalist cinderblock shop offers substantial cinnamon “butterflies,” whose wingspan provides maximum donut surface.
2950 Freeport Boulevard, Sacramento 916/444-5245 Stan’s Doughnuts You don’t have to be Elvis to love the peanut butter and banana donut topped with chocolate chips sold at this cute little corner store.
10948 Weyburn Avenue, Westwood Village 310/208-8660 or stansdoughnuts.com
6528 Washington Street, Yountville 707/944-22531 or bouchonbakery.com Bob’s Donut & Pastry Shop The right place for cake dunkers and glazed featherweights under fluorescent lights 24/7.
1621 Polk Street, San Francisco 415/776-3141 Donut Man You almost want a knife and fork to attack summertime’s fruit-loaded fresh peach donut at this always-open coffee shop.
915 E. Route 66, Glendora 626/335-9111 or thedonutmanca.com Dynamo Donuts Sidewalk noshers line up at this 21st-century fry shack, helmed by a trained pastry chef, for the organic whole-breakfast donut topped with bacon, apples, and maple glaze.
2760 24th Street, San Francisco 415/920-1978 or dynamodonut.com
ConnecticutDottie’s Diner Deeply tanned cake donuts, made from a decades-old recipe at this country-road diner, are topped with cinnamon sugar or chocolate frosting.
740 Main Street South, Woodbury 203/263-2545 or dottiesdiner.com Neil’s Donuts and Bake Shop [Pictured] The raspberry jelly donut is a tsunami of sweetness enrobed in a fragile sugar glaze. No seats here. Fans just stand and eat.
83 N. Turnpike Road, Wallingford 203/269-4255 or neilsdonuts.com Orangeside Luncheonette At this family diner, the winner among the distinctive square-shaped donuts is the almond-spiked buttercrunch.
135 Orange Street, New Haven 203/773-1000
2808 Philadelphia Avenue, Ocean City 410/289-1134 or fracturedprunenj.com
GeorgiaSublime Doughnuts The berries are big and fresh in the strawberry ‘n’ cream donut at this cheeky bakery whose motto is “Eat One That’s Worth It.”
535 10th Street Northwest, Atlanta 404/897-1801 or sublimedoughnuts.com Missouri Donut Stop It may look like a gas station, but regulars know this St. Louis standby for its holeless “cinnamon globs,” which deliver butter and spice richness in a generous coat of sugar.
1101 Lemay Ferry Road, St. Louis 314/631-3333 or thedonutstopinc.net
IllinoisThe Doughnut Vault [Pictured] In this new-wave donut nook, Chicagoans wait patiently for their mini spiced donuts and full-size chocolate-almond beauties before inventory runs out (usually by noon).
400-1/2 North Franklin Street, Chicago thedoughnutvault.tumblr.com Old Fashioned Donuts Though this shop discourages loiterers, it’s still a must-visit for the mighty fritter, crusted with apple nuggets in cinnamon goo.
11248 S. Michigan Avenue, Chicago 773/995-7420 Dat Donut The gargantuan glazed Big Dat at this Southside staple is fine and fluffy, while the Boston cream heaves with vanilla pudding.
8249 S. Cottage Grove Avenue, Chicago 773/723-1002
3325 Severn Avenue, Metairie 504/885-4068 or morningcallcoffeestand.com Cafe du Monde Hot nuggets of fried dough called beignets, served three to an order and smothered with powdered sugar, are an unforgettable New Orleans experience.
813 Decatur Street, New Orleans 504/587-0831 or cafedumonde.com Meche’s Donut King Known for regional specialties such as king’s cake, this bakery excels at Cajun-country beignets, yeast-risen triangles rolled in cinnamon sugar.
125 Courthouse Street, Breaux Bridge 337/332-3577
MassachusettsKane’s Donuts Standouts at this homey, sun-filled spot include caramel frosted with buttercrunch and cartoonishly large coffee rolls.
120 Lincoln Avenue, Saugus 781/233-8499 or kanesdonuts.com Betty Ann Food Shop Lemon curd-filled donuts set the bar at this salty joint with famously brusque service.
565 Bennington Street, East Boston 617/567-1479 Donut Dip Grab a seat at the horseshoe counter to enjoy donuts that are studies in texture, such as crisp-skinned sour cream sinkers and ultralight crullers.
648 N. Main Street, East Longmeadow 413/736-2224 Marty’s Donut Land The creme-filled Long Johns are outstanding at this vintage breakfast counter.
8 Central Street, Ipswich 978/356-4580
TexasGourdough’s [Pictured] Donuts are fried to order at this shop inside a converted Airstream. Best donut: grilled banana with cream cheese icing.
1503 S. First Street, Austin 512/707-1050 or gourdoughs.com Round Rock Donuts Sunny orange-glazed raised donuts, light enough that four to six are a reasonable breakfast, have made this a place for a donut lover’s pilgrimage.
106 W. Liberty Street, Round Rock 512/255-3629 or roundrockdonuts.com
521 N. McEwan Street, Clare 989/386-2241 or copsdoughnuts.com Friske Orchards The main business here is apples and cider, but cherry donuts made with local fruit are sweet-tart marvels.
10743 N. U.S. 31, Atwood 231/599-2604 or friske.com Sweetwater’s Donut Mill This 24-hour drive-through wonder sells the fluffiest crullers and craveable chocolate clouds: chocolate-glazed raised donuts filled with creme.
Multiple locations sweetwatersdonuts.com Ohio Bill’s Donut Shop This low-slung, swivel-stooled favorite makes a twisted and glazed pretzel donut that packs maximum cake satisfaction.
268 N. Main Street, Centerville 937/433-0002 or billsdonutshop.com
MinnesotaBloedow Bakery At the place everyone goes after church on Sunday, the hefty yet fine-textured cake donuts and Long Johns are well nigh perfect.
451 Sixth Street, Winona 507/452-3682 Lindstrom Bakery The moist and eggy Scandinavian donuts–plain, glazed, chocolate-drizzled, or cinnamon–are coffee’s best friend at this humble wood-paneled bakery.
12830 Lake Boulevard, Lindstrom 651/257-1374
379 Grand Street, New York City 212/505-3700 or doughnutplant.com Cupcake Cafe Ornate cupcakes get top billing at this midtown legend, but the whole wheat orange donuts are among New York’s best.
545 Ninth Avenue, New York City 212/465-1530 or cupcakecafe-nyc.com Peter Pan Donut & Pastry Shop The summer special at this old-school lunch counter is vanilla ice cream sandwiched between a halved red velvet donut.
_ 727 Manhattan Avenue, Brooklyn 718/389-3676 or peterpan-donuts.com_
MaineFrosty’s Donuts Come early! Toasted coconut and other favorites at this quaint barnyard-red bakery often sell out before 9 a.m.
_ 54 Maine Street, Brunswick 207/729-4258 or frostysdonuts.com_ Congdon’s Doughnuts In a state better known for muffins, locals gather here to chat and enjoy textbook-perfect honey-dipped donuts that have earned legions of devotees.
_ 1090 Post Road, Wells 207/646-4219 or congdons.com_
OregonVoodoo Doughnuts The pride of this over-the-top goth bakery is the maple-glazed Long John ribboned with bacon strips.
22 SW Third Avenue, Portland 503/241-4704 or voodoodoughnut.com Annie’s Donut Shop The old-fashioned sinkers are a duet of crispness and softness with a fluffy center at this pre-Portlandia relic.
3449 NE 72nd Avenue, Portland 503/284-2752
PennsylvaniaFederal Donuts The donuts at this ambitious newcomer include the Appollonia, served hot and rolled in cocoa and orange blossom powder. The other specialty? Fried chicken.
Multiple locations federaldonuts.com
374 Depot Street, Manchester Center 802/362-1874 P & H Truck Stop Truckers and tourists visit this roadside stop for barely sweet plain donuts that are as substantial as pound cake.
2886 U.S. 302, Newbury 802/429-2141
KentuckyNord’s Bakery At this homespun bakery, the generous cream puffs don’t skimp on the filling.
2118 S. Preston Street, Louisville 502/634-0931 or nordsbakery.biz North Carolina Britt’s Donuts Fragile-skinned, tender glazed donuts are all this shop makes. A seasonal spot right on the boardwalk, it’s open May to September.
11 N. Carolina Beach Avenue, Carolina Beach carolinabeach.net/britts1 Virginia Do-Nut Dinette [Pictured] By noon the ethereal glazed donuts at this diminutive diner are gone, and the place reverts to a good old greasy spoon.
1917 Colley Avenue, Norfolk 757/625-0061
Rhode IslandAllie’s Donuts Crunch-crusted raspberry jelly sticks star at this take-out-only destination.
3661 Quaker Lane, North Kingstown 401-295-8036
ArizonaLe Cave’s This specialty donut shop has been making fritters since 1935. Though they’re vegan and gluten free, the lemon-filled Bismarcks are still pure indulgence.
1219 S. Sixth Avenue, Tucson 520/624-2561 Vantastic Donuts & Bagels Iced buttermilk bars from this hole-in-the-wall diner have a tang that makes their sweetness glow.
4729 West Olive Avenue, Glendale 623/435-2024
4600 W. Spring Mountain Road, Las Vegas 702/873-1032
9 Double Chocolate
Chocolate lovers, unite! A chocolate glazed donut isn't enough, no siree. A donut is not complete without the addition of an extra layer of chocolate frosting on top of the already chocolatey donut. In the words of one of the voters from Ranker, "Chocolate + Chocolate = sinfully delicious." This person definitely has the right idea. When you bite into a double chocolate donut, it will definitely feel like a sin. While I can't say I've ever eaten a bad double chocolate donut, if you want to step up your game, I have a suggestion. Rather than making the glaze with a typical chocolate icing, turn it into a dark chocolate ganache. The added bitterness will honestly change your life. 439 Americans voted for these beauties. If you're a fan of the double chocolate chip cookie, this one's for you.
12 Green Pasta Dinner Recipes Ready in Under 30 Minutes
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