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How Stovetop Baking Makes Entertaining Easy


There are few venues more welcoming than your own home. Entertaining at home is a great way to make your guests feel at ease while creating lifelong memories. While visions of throwing the “perfect” event may paralyze some people, it’s best to simply be genuine in your efforts and don’t overthink it.

Choosing a theme and developing a corresponding décor is fun, especially if it’s a special occasion. However, the menu will always take center stage and the more you create, the better! Sweet treats are a welcomed addition to any party and believe it or not, you don’t have to outsource (sorry, grocery store bakery). You can bake delicious delights without even turning on your oven!

If you’ve never tried stovetop baking, you are in for a treat. Stovetop baking has been around since, well, forever, but it’s fallen by the wayside. The reasons are not known but considering the benefits, it’s well worth it to bring it back to life. Less energy is used and in many cases, the recipe can be completed in a fraction of the time. You can create moist cakes, mouthwatering cobblers, and cheesecakes that will increase your kitchen credibility!

Not all cookware is constructed in a way that will allow you to bake on the stovetop. You’ll need a quality pan, with claded metals and consistent thickness from the bottom to the lip. Even heating and the ability to cook at moderate temperatures is also a plus.

This stovetop cheesecake recipe is an intermediate-level project for stovetop baking. Homemade cheesecake can be a little intimidating. If you’ve ever baked a homemade cheesecake with mediocre results, these two words are going to make you want to give stovetop baking a try: No cracks. That’s right. No cracks in this cheesecake. You wanna try it, don’t you?

When you prepare this cheesecake for your next home party, consider designing a toppings bar where your guests can top their slices with their favorite toppings: fruit, nuts, cookies, chocolate candy bars, fudge, etc. How fun is that?

Whether you are a box-cake-cook or an everything-from-scratch-chef, stovetop baking can accommodate you. For more great stovetop baking recipes, visit 360Cookware.com.


Exactly How to Make Chocolate Chip Cookies in a Skillet

You know the cook-and-flip method that works so well for pancakes? We'll show you how to tweak it to make the perfect cookie on your stovetop.

As I continue to shelter in place, social media has become my go-to spot for finding new and creative baking tips. Most recently, I discovered a TikTok video that shows how to make chocolate chip cookies in a skillet. And no, not the version where you bake one giant cookie in the oven. In the video, user @iankewks uses the same cook-and-flip method you&aposd follow for you making pancakes but with chocolate chip cookie dough. While it appeared flatter than your average cookie, the final shot shows a perfectly crispy-meets-gooey treat getting dipped in milk. I was intrigued and had to find out whether this actually works. Spoiler alert: it does, but the process is a bit trickier than the video makes it look. After several attempts, I finally got some delicious results. Here&aposs how to make chocolate chip cookies in a skillet and a few tips to keep in mind if you decide to give it a try.


Stovetop Popcorn Step 1: Preheat the Oil

To get your oil ready to add the popcorn kernels:

  • In a 4- to 5-quart saucepan or Dutch oven heat 3 tablespoons vegetable oil over medium-high heat.
  • Add 2 to 3 popcorn kernels to the oil.
  • When the test kernels pop, you&aposre ready to add the rest of your kernels.

Tip: Use an oil that can withstand high temperatures without smoking or breaking down, such as canola oil or peanut oil. Do not use olive oil or butter.

Stovetop Popcorn Math: ½ cup popcorn kernels will make about 10 cups of popped popcorn.


Easy baking recipes ready in under an hour

Baking at home is one of the ultimate treats. Try our easy recipes for comforting classics and showstopping twists. From our easiest ever chocolate fudge cake to cheat's custard tarts and quick brownies

Published: February 15, 2019 at 10:23 am

Looking for quick and easy baking recipes to try at home? Need an easy cake ready in under an hour? Try one of our quick and easy baking recipes, including easy cupcakes, cheerful traybakes and indulgent chocolate cakes.

Ask for tips and share your creations on social media #olivemagrecipes.

Ingredients

Easy chocolate brownies

A classic, gooey chocolate brownie recipe ready in forty five minutes that can be ramped up with added ingredients. We’ve included three suggestions of additional ingredients for more opportunities (excuses) to bake this wonder.

White chocolate, tahini and pretzel cookies

Tahini gives a lovely sweet/salty kick to these crisp, grown-up cookies, while pretzels add extra crunch.

Rock cakes

A rustic version of scones, have a go at baking these easy-to-make rock cakes for a sweet treat to enjoy at the weekend.

Classic Swiss roll

Enjoy a light and airy sponge, coated in crunchy sugar and bursting with fruity jam for a vintage teatime treat.

Classic millionaire's shortbread

This is the perfect trio of buttery shortbread, gooey caramel and thick, sweet chocolate. Ideal for enjoying with an afternoon cup of tea, keep you biscuit tin filled to the brim with these moreish beauties.

Classic vegan carrot cake

Invite your vegan friends for afternoon tea and bake this British classic, ready in just 1 hour! Our frosted carrot cake is made with a surprising (vegan) ingredient that guarantees a moist sponge every time.

Quick and easy chocolate fudge cake

Need to bake a last-minute birthday cake? Our chocolate fudge cake recipe is super quick and easy to make so it is perfect for a simple yet decadent cake for a special occasion. You don't need to use a chocolate with a high % for this, just standard dark chocolate is fine.

Biscoff cookies

Chewy, golden cookies with crunchy biscuit crumbs and a melting Biscoff middle. These mouth-watering cookies will disappear in a flash.

Vegan lemon loaf cake

A delicate, zingy vegan lemon cake made without eggs, milk or butter! The key to that lemony tang is a decent lemon extract (we use Nielsen-Massey), ready in just 1 hour!

Quick Victoria sponge

A classic, simple Victoria sponge is one of the recipes that you should have in your repertoire as it's ready in under an hour. This traditional sponge cake uses an all-in-one method making it quick, easy and the perfect party cake. Once you master this, bake sales and afternoon tea will no longer be daunting, and making variations will be easy. Try our easy cake recipes here.

Chocolate muffins

Is there anything better than a soft, spongy, oven-warm chocolate muffin with melting milk chocolate chunks? Our foolproof recipe shows you how to make them in just 35 minutes.

Portuguese custard tarts

Portuguese custard tarts made easy with with step-by-step help from the olive test kitchen. Use ready-made puff pastry to make this recipe ready in under an hour. Dusting the pastry with icing sugar gives the tarts a golden, caramelised crust when cooked.

Ultimate chocolate fudge cake

Enjoy a slice of heaven in under an hour! Our decadent chocolate cake is covered in silky smooth frosting and we teach you how to create dark chocolate curls for an artisan finish.

Cheat’s ginger, salted caramel and rum cake

Transform simple ginger loaf into this boozy cake in just 25 minutes by soaking in rum and caramel then layering with boozy caramel cream.

Quick cinnamon buns

Check out our easiest ever cinnamon buns that are quick to make because they use ready made puff pastry. Bake and enjoy now or save for a weekend breakfast – just make sure to eat them warm from the oven.

Apricot and white chocolate cookies

These apricot and white chocolate cookies are really quick and easy to make but taste delicious. They are ideal for a bit of baking and only take 40 minutes. Try our biscuit recipes here.

Salted caramel and pear blondies

Check out these moreish blondies with salted caramel and pears. Whip these up in under an hour for an easy treat to serve friends or family.

Cherry bakewell tart

Our cherry bakewell tart is an exceedingly good tart – serve with a cup of builder’s tea for a proper English teatime treat, perfect to serve when guests come for tea last minute.

Quick coffee cake

Classic coffee cake is one of our all-time favourite afternoon treats. In this recipe, we've given it a modern twist to include deliciously crunchy pecan brittle. It makes a quick baking recipe that's really impressive.

Croissant cinnamon buns

Check out these easy-to-make, moreish cinnamon buns. This simple cinnamon bun recipe uses Jus-Rol croissant dough making them extra flaky and extra crispy.

Jammie Dodger blondies

Check out these super easy super fun blondies using a children's classic biscuit, Jammie Dodgers. These fudgy moreish white chocolate blondies are a great alternative to a traditional chocolate brownie, and will go perfectly with your afternoon cuppa.

Chocolate chip cookie pizza

This chocolate chip cookie pizza is super easy to make and great fun with all the family. Crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside, this giant cookie makes for a great alternative to a birthday cake that's quick to make.

Salted caramel shortbread

Sweet and salty flavours are an ongoing trend and this shortbread recipe is the perfect way to blend these flavours. It's quick and easy baking and will please a crowd. Find our quick and easy traybake recipes here.

Quick apricot and hazelnut pastries

Check out these flaky apricot pastries with creamy fresh custard and sweet apricots, the perfect weekend breakfast treat ready in 35 minutes.

Texas sheet cake

Our birthday traybake works brilliantly as a base for any kid's birthday cake. It's actually a 'sheet cake', a standard baking treat in Texas. We've added a chocolate topping here, but you could it personalise it any way you like. Try our epic birthday cake recipes for everyone here.

Jaffa cupcakes

Check out these fun and easy orange cupcakes with silky smooth chocolate frosting and old school Jaffa cakes. Make these cupcakes for an impressive alternative to a showstopping birthday cake.

Easy white chocolate fudge cake

Our white chocolate fudge cake is easy to make, looks fantastic and is guaranteed to be a crowd-pleaser.

Peanut butter and jelly scones

Peanut butter and jelly is a classic American flavour combination. This combined with an English classic to make peanut butter and jelly scones is sure to be a new favourite.

Sticky honey cakes

This recipe for sticky honey cakes is really easy to make and they look great. The combination of honey, lemon and ginger works really well together and they're surprisingly low-cal.

Ginger shortbreads

Try our easy shortbread recipe for triple ginger biscuits. These crumbly ginger shortbreads are perfect for elevenses with a hot cup of tea or alternatively with strawberries and cream for dessert.

Salted maple brownies

How do you make brownies even better? Add sea salt and maple of course! This recipe is really easy to make but looks impressive and delivers big flavours. Our top brownie recipes are here

Jam tarts

This is a perfect tea-time recipe for the whole family. Recruit the kids to help you dolloping jam into the delicate pastry cases and use different jams to get a multicoloured plateful.

Piña colada tarts

Add a Caribbean twist to your baking with pineapple, coconut and rum flavours of piña colada. Use ready-baked tarts if you want to make this dessert even easier.

Peanut butter thumbprint cookies

These peanut butter thumbprint cookies use the classic peanut butter and jam (or jelly) combination in a fun new way. They're best eaten the day they're made.

Bourbon biscuit brownies

What's better than a chocolate Bourbon biscuit? Chocolate Bourbon brownies! This is one of our favourite recipes of 2016 - trust us, you'll need to make a double batch.

Frosted lemon fairy cakes

These cute little lemon cupcakes would work equally well for a kids party, baby shower or just a treat to serve with afternoon tea. If you are short of time make the sponges ahead and store in an airtight box then ice on the day.

Cobnut and chocolate shortbreads

Chocolate shortbreads, our favourite biscuit already, but add cobnuts (part of the hazelnut family) and your teatime treat just got a whole lot better.

Coffee and walnut cupcakes

Coffee and walnut cake is a teatime favourite. With this recipe, we've given it a modern makeover by giving it the cupcake treatment. Pipe the icing sky-high for maximum cake drama.

Custard cream blondies

Ever thought of adding custard creams to your blondie mixture? It's genius! Have a go this weekend and let us know how you get on (@olivemagazine).

Salted peanut and honeycomb rocky road

These salted peanut and honeycomb rocky road squares are a great twist on a classic and will please everyone. Plus, they're really easy and only take 15 minutes of work.

Classic banana bread

Okay, so this perhaps takes a tiny bit longer than an hour, but it's super simple and requires just six ingredients. A real classic, and perfect for a teatime treat or breakfast snack.

Olive magazine podcast ep77 - giant cookie pizzas, Christmas drinks and wild adventures in Sweden

This week on the olive magazine podcast, the cookery team talk about next-generation food gifts, including gin and tonic dip dabs and giant pizza cookies.


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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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.

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.

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).

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.

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).

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.

“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.

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).

One of two pasta dishes currently on the pizza giant’s menu, the Meaty Marinara Pasta was first introduced in a 2008 April Fool’s publicity stunt when Pizza Hut claimed it was changing its name to “Pasta Hut.” No one fell for the prank but they did fall for the pasta, and that's why the Tuscani Creamy Chicken Alfredo Pasta and Meaty Marinara Pasta have been on the menu ever since. The sauce is the big secret here it's simple and classic, but customized to produce a marinara with that distinct Pizza Hut taste. And the recipe will make more than enough pasta to go around.

The hack is an easy one. After browning the seasoned beef you add it to the sauce, simmer the sauce until thick, then spread it over one pound of rotini pasta in a baking dish in two layers so that every bite is filled with flavor. Sprinkle shredded mozzarella over the top and melt it until golden brown under your broiler. Boom! No one can resist. You rule.

This simple and inexpensive meal will feed eight, and leftovers keep well in the fridge for a couple of days.

Also check out my clone recipe for Pizza Hut Tuscani Creamy Chicken Alfredo Pasta.

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.

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."

By sneaking around to the back of a HoneyBaked Ham store I witnessed the glazing process through an open door. The hams are delivered to each of the 300 HoneyBaked outlets already smoked, but without the glaze. It is only when the ham gets to your local HoneyBaked store that a special machine thin-slices the tender meat in a spiral fashion around the bone. Then, one at a time, each ham is then coated with the glaze—a blend that is similar to what might be used to make pumpkin pie. This sweet coating is then caramelized with a blowtorch by hand until the glaze bubbles and melts, turning golden brown. If needed, more of the coating is added, and the blowtorch is fired up until the glaze is just right. It's this careful process that turns the same size ham that costs 20 dollars in a supermarket into one that customers gladly shell out 3 to 4 times as much to share during the holiday season.

For this HoneyBaked Ham glaze copycat recipe, we will re-create the glaze that you can apply to a smoked/cooked bone-in ham of your choice. Look for a ham that is pre-sliced. Otherwise you'll have to slice it yourself with a sharp knife, then the glaze will be applied. To get the coating just right you must use a blowtorch. Get the kind that is used for creme brulee from almost any kitchen supply store. They're usually pretty cheap. And don't worry—I didn't leave out an ingredient. No honey is necessary to re-create this flavorful glaze.

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.

Menu Description: “Creamy marsala wine sauce with mushrooms over grilled chicken breasts, stuffed with Italian cheeses and sundried tomatoes. Served with garlic mashed potatoes.”

This recipe includes a marsala sauce that even marsala sauce haters will like. My wife is one of those haters, but when she tried this sauce, her eyes lit up and she begged for more. That’s great, now I won’t have to eat alone.

Not only is Olive Garden's delicious marsala sauce hacked here (and it’s easy to make), you’ll also get the copycat hack for the chain's awesome Italian cheese stuffing that goes between the two pan-cooked chicken fillets. Build it, sauce it, serve it. The presentation is awesome, and the flavor will soothe your soul.

Try this dish paired with my recent clone of Olive Garden’s Garlic Mashed Potatoes for the complete O.G. Stuffed Chicken Marsala experience.

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.

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.

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).

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.

For many years this entree has been a top menu choice at Maggiano's, the 54-unit Italian chain from Brinker, the same company that operates Chili’s Grill & Bar. The $30 restaurant dish consists of three 2½-ounce tenderloin steaks, swimming in a fantastic balsamic cream sauce with sliced portobello mushrooms—but a home version of the signature dish is only seven easy steps away, and it won't hit you in the wallet as hard as the pricey original.

Cracking this dish required a perfect hack of the sauce, and that came quickly after obtaining some very reliable information from my incredibly helpful server/informant at a Las Vegas Maggiano’s. Let’s call him Skippy.

According to Skippy, the balsamic cream sauce is as simple as mixing a sweet balsamic glaze with the chain’s creamy alfredo sauce. So, I first got a sample of Maggiano’s alfredo sauce and figured out how to replicate it. Once that was done, I measured increments of balsamic glaze into the alfredo sauce until the color and flavor matched the original. The rest of the recipe was easy.

This recipe will make two servings of the dish and includes preparation for the tenderloins and sauce. If you’d like to complete the dish the way it’s served at the restaurant (as in the photo), add some garlic mashed potatoes on the side, using my hack for Olive Garden Garlic Mashed Potatoes.

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.

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.

Braised Beef Pasta Menu Description: “Slow-simmered meat sauce with tender braised beef and Italian sausage, tossed with ruffled pappardelle pasta and a touch of alfredo sauce—just like Nonna’s recipe.”

It’s a mistake to assume that a recipe posted to a restaurant chain’s website is the real recipe for the food served there. I’ve found this to be the case with many Olive Garden recipes, and this one is no exception. A widely circulated recipe that claims to duplicate the chain’s classic Bolognese actually originated on Olive Garden’s own website, and if you make that recipe you’ll be disappointed when the final product doesn’t even come close to the real deal. I won’t get into all the specifics of the things wrong with that recipe (too much wine, save some of that for drinking!), but at first glance it’s easy to see that a few important ingredients found in traditional Bolognese sauces are conspicuously missing, including milk, basil, lemon, and nutmeg.

I incorporated all those missing ingredients into this new hack recipe, tweaked a few other things, and then tested several methods of braising the beef so that it comes out perfectly tender: covered, uncovered, and a combo. The technique I settled on was cooking the sauce covered for 2 hours, then uncovered for 1 additional hour so that the sauce reduces and the beef transforms into a fork-flakeable flavor bomb. Yes, it comes from Olive Garden, but this Bolognese is better than any I’ve had at restaurants that charge twice as much, like Rao’s where the meat is ground, not braised, and they hit you up for $30.

As a side note, Olive Garden’s menu says the dish comes with ruffled pappardelle pasta, but it’s actually mafaldine, a narrower noodle with curly edges (shown in the top right corner of the photo). Pappardelle, which is the traditional pasta to serve with Bolognese, is a very wide noodle with straight edges, and it’s more familiar than mafaldine, so perhaps that’s why the menu fudges this fact. In the end, it doesn’t really matter which pasta you choose. Just know that a wide noodle works best. Even fettuccine is good here.

For the little bit of alfredo sauce spooned into the middle of the dish I went with a premade bottled sauce to save time. You can also make this from scratch if you like (I’ve got a great hack for Olive Garden’s Alfredo Sauce), but it’s such a small amount that premade sauce in either a chilled tub from the deli section or in a bottle off the shelf works great here.

This recipe was our #3 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), Pizzeria Uno Chicago Deep Dish Pizza (#4), Bush's Country Style Baked Beans (#5).

And browse my other Olive Garden clone recipes here.

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: “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.

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.

Over a century ago, Detroit, Michigan became the Coney Island chili dog capital of the world, even though Coney Island is nowhere near there. Greek immigrants who entered the U.S. through Ellis Island adapted a recipe for the hot dogs they ate while visiting Coney Island, New York, on their way to the Midwest. When they settled in southern Michigan, many opened restaurants to sell their clones of the food they ate when they first got to America, turning New York-style Coney Dogs into a Midwest phenomenon.

Two of the most famous Coney Island restaurants in Detroit are Lafayette Coney Island and its next-door neighbor, American Coney Island. The two buildings were originally one building with a single restaurant inside, built by brothers Gus and Bill Keros in 1915. But somewhere along the way the brothers had a falling out and split the restaurant in half, right down the middle, and it stayed that way. Today, the two Coney Island restaurants are under different ownership, but they still remain next-door rivals.

I decided the best Coney dog to hack is from American Coney Island, not only because of the restaurant’s deep history, but also because I was able to order the chili dogs shipped to my house in a kit. That’s always good news, since shipped foods must list ingredients, and I get to see exactly what’s in the chili. Built the traditional way, a typical Detroit Coney Island chili dog features a natural-casing hot dog in a soft white bun, smothered in chili sauce, drizzled with mustard, and topped with a pile of diced sweet onion. The kit came with everything I needed, including the tub of chili with clearly-labeled ingredients that I was counting on.

With the help of that information, I was able to create a thick, flavorful chili sauce that you can use on your favorite hot dogs to make a delicious clone. Crushed soda crackers thicken the chili, and extra beef fat adds a smooth quality that mimics the famous 100-year-old recipe.

The chili must simmer for four hours to properly tenderize the meat, so plan your Coney dog cloning adventure accordingly.

And now if you're craving French fries, try my Mcdonald's Fries copycat recipe here.

The talented chefs at Benihana cook food on hibachi grills with flair and charisma, treating the preparation like a tiny stage show. They juggle salt and pepper shakers, trim food with lightning speed, and flip the shrimp and mushrooms perfectly onto serving plates or into their tall chef's hat.

One of the side dishes that everyone seems to love is the fried rice. At Benihana this dish is prepared by chefs with precooked rice on open hibachi grills, and is ordered a la cart to complement any Benihana entree, including Hibachi Steak and Chicken. I like when the rice is thrown onto the hot hibachi grill and seems to come alive as it sizzles and dances around like a bunch of little jumping beans. Okay, so I'm easily amused.

This Benihana Japanese fried rice recipe will go well with just about any Japanese entree and can be partially prepared ahead of time and kept in the refrigerator until the rest of the meal is close to done.

The Southern-themed chain famous for its gift shops filled with made-in-America products and delicious homestyle food is also known to have a particularly good meatloaf. This dish ranks high in popularity, right up there with the Chicken ‘n Dumplins and the Hash Brown Casserole, so a good hack is long overdue.

Making meatloaf is easy. What’s hard is making it taste like the meatloaf at Cracker Barrel which is tender and juicy, and flavored with onion, green pepper, and tomato. I sought to turn out a moist and tender loaf of meat, and one that’s not dry and tough, but my first attempts were much too dense. I wasn’t happy about that, but my dog was thrilled.

After playing around with the eggs-to-breadcrumbs-to-milk ratios and being careful to use gentle hands when combining everything and pressing it into the loaf pan, the final batch was a winner and I get to pass it along to you.

It's best to use a meatloaf pan here which has an insert that lets the fat drip to the bottom, away from the meat. A regular loaf pan will still work, but you’ll want to pour off the fat in the pan before slicing.

Satisfy your Cracker Barrel cravings with more of my copycat recipes here.

Three things make Costco Blueberry Muffins special: they’re huge, they’re moist, and berries are bursting out of the top of each one. Now your home muffins can be just as special using a similar recipe and freshly unlocked tricks from our favorite big-box store.

Obviously, you get huge muffins by using a huge muffin pan, so you’ll need a jumbo or “Texas-size” muffin pan if you want your muffins the same size as the originals. You can certainly make standard muffins with this batter in a standard-size muffin pan, but in this case, bigger is definitely better.

To get muffins that are moist you’ll need oil. I noticed many muffin recipes use butter, but I found it made the muffins taste more like butter cake or pound cake than true muffins. Looking at the ingredients listed on the package of Kirkland muffins, you won’t find any butter in there. Just oil. For this hack, some of that oil comes from margarine (for a mild butter flavor and thicker batter), and the rest is vegetable oil.

As for the blueberries, if you add them straight into the batter the juice frozen on the outside of the berries will streak your batter blue, so be sure to rinse the berries before you add them. And to make your muffins look as irresistible as those at Costco, we’ll use another one of their tasty tricks: press 4 blueberries into the batter in each cup just before the pan goes into the oven so that every baked muffin is sure to have several tantalizing berries popping out of the top.

Like at Wendy’s, where unsold and broken burger patties provide the beef for their famous chili, Chick-fil-A gets the chicken for this delicious noodle soup by chopping up the leftover chicken used on their grilled chicken sandwiches. But grilling isn’t the first step to take when whipping up a home hack of this famous soup. First, you must brine the chicken to fill it with flavor and keep it juicy like the real thing. A couple of hours later, when the brining is done, it’s grilling go-time.

The pasta shape Chick-fil-A uses in their soup is an uncommon one, and you might have a hard time finding it at your local market. It’s called mafalda corta (upper right in the photo), which is a miniature version of the ruffled-edge malfadine pasta used in my hack for Olive Garden Beef Bolognese. It also goes by the name “mini lasagna.” If you can’t find mafalda corta (I found it online), you can instead use your favorite small fancy pasta here, such as farfalle, rotini, fusilli, or whatever looks good at the store.

Looking to make the popular Chick-fil-A Chicken Sandwich or their Mac & Cheese? Click here for more of my Chick-fil-A clone recipes.

The barbecue at Jim N' Nick's is good food. But it's the irresistible mini cheese biscuits served with every meal that have become the signature specialty of this 40-store chain. The sweet little biscuits are made from scratch every day at each restaurant using the same wholesome ingredients I'm including here.

A bag of dry mix can be purchased at the restaurant, but you’re still required to add eggs, butter, cheese, and milk, so why not just make the whole thing from scratch? It's much cheaper than buying the bag of mix, and the biscuits come out better when you use fresh buttermilk rather than relying on the powdered buttermilk included in the dry mix.

Use a mini muffin pan here to make your biscuits the same size as the originals or use a standard muffin pan, if that's all you've got, for bigger muffins. It will take a little longer to cook the larger biscuits (instructions are below), but they will still turn out as addictively delicious as the famous tiny restaurant originals.

Now, what's for dinner? Find recipes your favorite entrees here.

One of the most protected, discussed, and sought-after secret recipes in the food world is KFC's Original Recipe Fried Chicken. Long ago I published my first hack of the famous formula, but the recipe, which was based on research from "Big Secrets" author William Poundstone, includes only salt, pepper, MSG, and flour in the breading, and not the blend of eleven herbs and spices we have all heard about. The fried chicken made with my first recipe is good in a pinch, but it really needs several more ingredients to be a true clone. That is why, over twenty years later, I was happy to get another crack at the secret when we shot the pilot episode for my CMT TV series Top Secret Recipe. In the show, I visited KFC headquarters, talked to friends of Harlan Sanders who had seen the actual recipe, and even checked out the Corbin, Kentucky, kitchen where Harland Sanders first developed his chicken recipe. During that four-day shoot I was able to gather enough clues about the secret eleven herbs and spices to craft this new recipe—one that I believe is the closest match to the Colonel's secret fried chicken that anyone has ever revealed.

I’m not sure when it happened, but it appears Taco Bell recently changed its seasoned beef recipe. I hacked the recipe several years ago for the book TSR Step-by-Step, and I recall the recipe had much more oat filler, so that’s how I cloned it. Taco Bell came under fire in 2011 for the significant amount of oats in the recipe that the chain was listing as “spices,” and after that, Taco Bell was more transparent about ingredients. But somewhere along the way it appears the company tweaked the recipe to include less filler and more flavor, so I decided I had to create a new Top Secret Recipe for the beef.

This recipe makes a duplicate of the beef currently served at Taco Bell. If you want to turn it into a Chalupa—which the restaurant makes by deep frying the flatbread used for Gorditas—the instructions are here. But you can also use this new, improved beef hack for anything you’re copying, whether it's tacos, burritos, Enchiritos, Mexican Pizzas, or a big pile of nachos.

The secret ingredient in our hack is Knorr tomato bouillon. This flavor powder adds many ingredients found in the original recipe and provides the umami savoriness that’s required for a spot-on clone of the famous seasoned ground beef. To get the right flavor, you need to find "Knorr Tomato Bouillon with Chicken Flavor" powder, in a jar. Not the bouillon cubes.

Smother your creation in mild, hot or diablo sauce. Try all my Taco Bell copycat recipes here.

It’s been nearly 100 years since Walter and Cordelia Knott first started selling berries, preserves, and pies from their roadside produce stand in Buena Park, California. Walter Knott’s berry stand and farm was a popular stop throughout the 1920s for travelers heading to the Southern California beaches.

But Walter’s big claim to fame came in 1932 when he cultivated and sold the world’s first boysenberries—a hybrid of raspberry, blackberry, loganberry, and dewberry. This new berry brought so many people to the farm that they added a restaurant, featuring Cordelia’s secret fried chicken recipe, and the Knotts struck gold again.

The fried chicken was a huge hit, and the restaurant got so crowded the Knotts added rides and attractions to the farm to keep customers occupied while they waited for a table. Over the years the real berry farm transformed into an amusement park called Knott’s Berry Farm—one of my favorites as a kid—which is now ranked as the tenth most visited theme park in North America.

Knott’s Berry Farm is also a brand of delicious preserves, jams, and other foods, including these fantastic little jam-filled shortbread cookies that everyone seems to love. The shortbread dough is piped into closed “c” shapes with a pastry bag onto baking sheets, then a little bit of jam is spooned into the center. You’ll need a pastry bag and a 1M open star tip, plus your favorite seedless jam. Once you’ve got all that, the rest is pretty easy.

Follow this link for more copycat cookies, brownies and treats.

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.

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.

The Wingstop menu offers nearly a dozen flavor variations of fried chicken wings, including original hot buffalo-style, parmesan garlic, and mango habanero, but it’s the lemon pepper wings that get the most raves. And even though they’re referred to as “dry rub” wings on the menu, the secret to a perfect hack of the chain’s lemon pepper wings is in the wet baste that goes on first.

The lemon pepper won’t stick to the wings without making them wet, and that’s where the sauce, or baste, comes in. The baste is easy to make by clarifying butter and combining it with oil to prevent the butter from solidifying, then adding lemon pepper and salt.

I obtained a sample of Wingstop’s lemon pepper seasoning and took a few stabs at cloning the blend from scratch, but ultimately decided the task was a time-waster when pre-blended lemon pepper is so easy to find. I compared Wingstop’s lemon pepper with the blends from McCormick and Lawry’s—each is slightly different than what Wingstop uses. McCormick’s is lemonier than Wingstop’s blend, and Lawry’s version is chunkier and less lemony, but either blend is close enough to deliver a satisfying clone.

After the wings are fried, baste them with the sauce below and sprinkle them with your favorite lemon pepper. Now you’ve made wings like a Wingstop pro.

Popeyes offers two sides with rice: the ultra-popular Red Beans and Rice, which I previously cloned here, and this rice made Cajun-style with ground beef and spices.

The real recipe at the chain most likely includes chicken gizzard, but that ingredient is not always easy to find outside of buying a whole uncooked chicken that includes a bag of giblets tucked inside. So I set out to design a recipe without that ingredient and the results were great.

The secret to the fabulous taste, after all, is not found in the gizzard, but in the flavors contributed by the “holy trinity” of green pepper, onion, and celery salt accentuated by the ground thyme and oregano.

If you’re making rice tonight, bump it up to something special with just a little extra work for delicious results.

Can't get enough Popeyes? Find all of my recipes here.

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.


Step#3: Filling the Shells

Then comes the fun part filling them and dipping them in chocolate!

Pierce bottom of éclairs with ¼” serrated tip, screwing the tip into the éclair to form a hole. Make 3 holes, equidistant.

Transfer pastry cream to a pastry bag fitted with the same tip and fill each hole with the cream until éclair feels full and heavy.


Sure you can buy stovetop stuffing in a box, but it will never be as good as when you make it homemade with your own herbs, spices, and flavorings. This traditional version is tasty and reasonably easy to make. This makes four to six servings.

Ingredients

  • 6 cups cubed bread
  • 2 tablespoons fat (duck fat, bacon grease, lard, chicken fat, or avocado oil)
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 celery stalk, peeled and diced
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1½ cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon chopped, fresh sage
  • 1 tablespoon chopped, fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon chopped, fresh thyme
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped, fresh parsley

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Spread the bread cubes in a single layer on two baking sheets. Bake in the preheated oven until the bread is golden brown, about five minutes. Cool completely before proceeding.
  3. In a large pot, heat the fat on medium-high until it shimmers.
  4. Add the onion, carrots, and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to brown, about five minutes.
  5. Add the butter and cook until melted, just a minute or two.
  6. Add the bread and cook, stirring, until the bread is coated with the fat.
  7. Add the broth, sage, rosemary, and thyme. Cook for one minute, stirring, to allow the bread to be coated with the stock. Remove from the heat, cover, and allow to stand for ten minutes.
  8. Season to taste with salt and pepper and add the parsley just before serving.

Variations and Tips

  • Using a combination of white, sourdough, and whole grain breads adds texture and flavor.
  • You can also use an equal amount of cornbread cubes. Or, combine cornbread with white and/or wheat breads for variations in taste and texture.
  • Add 1 peeled, cored, and chopped apple when you add the vegetables.
  • Before adding the vegetables, cook ½ pound chopped bacon in the pan, omitting the 2 tablespoons of fat. Remove the bacon from the fat in the pan with a slotted spoon and set it aside on a platter. Proceed with the recipe as written using the bacon. Return the bacon to the pot just before serving or serve the stuffing sprinkled with the bacon.
  • Add ½ cup of toasted pecans to the stuffing just before serving.
  • Keep a little extra unsalted butter and/or broth on hand and use it to adjust the moisture of the finished stuffing by adding it after the final step to get stuffing that meets your requirements for moisture.
  • If you love mushrooms, then try a simple variation to add great mushroom flavor to your stuffing. Before you begin cooking, bring the chicken broth to a boil and remove from the heat. Stir in one 1-ounce package of dried porcini mushrooms, cover, and allow to sit for 20 minutes. Remove the mushrooms from the broth and chop them. Add the chopped mushrooms with the vegetables in step 4, and then add the mushroom broth in step 6.
  • Add ½ cup of dried cranberries to the pot in step 7 when you add the broth.
  • Fresh herbs add the best flavors, but you can also use dried herbs. Reduce each to 1 teaspoon and add them in step 4 when you add the vegetables.
  • Like spice? Add chopped andouille sausage and red bell peppers. Cook the andouille in the fat in step 3 before you cook the vegetables and cook the veggies. Remove it from the fat with a slotted spoon and set it aside tented with foil to keep warm. Add 1 seeded, chopped, red bell pepper to the vegetables in step 4. Return the andouille to the pan in step 7 just before you allow it to rest. This is especially good with cornbread stuffing.

Low-Carb or Keto Stovetop Stuffing Variation

If you have a favorite keto bread, then you can replace the bread in this recipe with a commercial keto bread or make your own. You'll also need 1 pound of sage breakfast sausage.

  1. Omit the fat (second ingredient).
  2. Instead, in the large pot, cook the sausage, crumbling with a spoon, until it is well-browned, about five minutes.
  3. Remove the sausage from the fat with a slotted spoon and set it aside on a plate, tented with foil to keep warm.
  4. Continue the recipe from step 4 above using the fat from the sausage to cook the vegetables.
  5. Put the sausage back into the stuffing after you take it off the stove and before you cover and rest it.

Gluten-Free Stovetop Stuffing Variation

It's easy to make the stuffing gluten-free by using your favorite gluten-free sandwich bread. All other steps and ingredients are the same.

Dairy-Free Stovetop Stuffing Variation

If you're allergic or intolerant to dairy, then you can replace the butter with a dairy-free butter alternative, such as a vegan butter like Earth Balance vegan butter. Other than this simple substitution, follow the recipe above as written.

Vegan Stovetop Stuffing

It's easy to adjust this stuffing to make it vegan, as well.

  • Use avocado or coconut oil as the first ingredient.
  • Choose a vegan bread, such as Dave's Killer Bread to make the bread cubes.
  • Use low-sodium vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.
  • Replace the butter with a vegan butter alternative, such as Earth Balance.

How to Cook Bacon Perfectly & 4 Easy Ways to Use It in Healthy Recipes

Get perfectly cooked bacon every time whether you fry it on the stove, bake it in the oven or cook it in the microwave with these easy instructions. Plus, find ideas for using bacon while still keeping meals healthy.

It&aposs hard to deny that bacon possesses magical qualities. It gets people out of bed in the morning, it turns basic dishes into flavorful favorites, and it gives new life to classic recipes.

Everything about bacon-its smoky perfume, its salty yet subtly sweet bite-screams "Eat me! Eat lots of me!" But here&aposs where the fairy tale ends: If you sit down to a plate full of bacon regularly, you will probably face some consequences.

That&aposs because, though bacon does have its virtues, being a health food isn&apost one of them. Downing a 3-ounce portion of bacon will set you back 460 calories and 36 grams of fat.

Like so many good things in life, it&aposs important to use bacon in moderation. Lucky for us, bacon is so powerful that using just a little bit goes a long way.

Here, we share three ways to cook bacon, delicious recipes with bacon, and a few tips on how to enjoy bacon responsibly.

How to Cook Bacon

The classic approach consistently yields perfectly crispy strips. Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until browned and as crisp as desired, 5 to 7 minutes. Flip halfway through. Remove with a slotted spoon and soak up extra fat on a paper towel-lined plate.

Cooking bacon in the oven allows you to cook more of it at a time, plus you&aposll produce no grease stains or burns on your stovetop. Place an oven rack in the center position, and preheat the oven to 400ଏ. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper, and lay the bacon down in a single layer. (For extra-crispy bacon, place a metal cooling rack over the baking sheet, then place the bacon on the rack.) Bake until golden brown and crispy, about 15 to 25 minutes. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate to absorb extra fat before serving.

In a rush? Put two layers of paper towels on a microwave-safe plate, then place up to eight slices of bacon on the paper towels, making sure the strips don&apost overlap. Cover the bacon with two more layers of paper towels, and cook on high for 4 to 6 minutes. (Microwave cooking times may vary.) Transfer the bacon to a fresh paper towel-lined plate to absorb extra fat.


We’ve been cooking hard boiled eggs this way for years. I love to keep a batch of hard boiled eggs in the fridge for snacks throughout the week. I also use them to make classic egg salad, deviled eggs, and my favorite potato salad.

You won’t believe how simple it is to cook hard boiled eggs. Follow my tips and you’ll be making the perfect boiled egg in no time!

By the way, since posting this stovetop hard boiled eggs recipe, we’ve added a full tutorial for how to cook eggs in a pressure cooker (like an Instant Pot). The eggs turn out perfectly and are easy to peel. If you have a pressure cooker, I highly recommend taking a look.

Four Easy Steps For Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs

Step 1: Place eggs in a single layer on the bottom of a saucepan. You don’t want to pile them on top of each other. Keeping them in one layer, reduces the risk of cracking the shells when they come to a boil.

Step 2: Pour in water and cover by about two inches. Some hard boiled egg recipes have you bring water to a simmer and then tell you to add the eggs. I don’t like doing this since adding a cold egg to very hot water risks cracking the egg.

Cover the eggs with about two inches of room temperature or cold water.

Step 3: Bring the water to a boil. The moment the water begins to boil, cover the pan with a lid and cook for 30 seconds. After 30 seconds, move the pan off of the heat then set a timer for 10 to 12 minutes (I talk about cook time below).

After boiling for 30 seconds, I move the pan off of the heat, and then set a timer for 10 to 12 minutes (depending on how large my eggs are).

Step 4: Transfer the cooked eggs to an ice bath so they stop cooking. I use a slotted spoon to remove each egg from the hot water and then carefully drop them into a big bowl filled with cold water and ice. When the eggs are cool enough to handle, you can peel them.

How Long To Cook Hard Boiled Eggs

The cook time for hard boiled eggs will vary depending on how large the eggs are, your altitude, and how done you want the yolk to be. After cooking lots (and lots) of hard boiled eggs in our own kitchen, here’s a list of cook times that we’ve found to be the most accurate:

  • Medium eggs = 9 to 10 minutes
  • Large eggs = 11 to 12 minutes
  • Extra large eggs = 13 to 14 minutes

If you live at a higher altitude, you may need to cook the eggs slightly longer than what we’ve mention above (I’d start with three to four additional minutes of cook time).

When I am making a large batch of eggs, I like to “sacrifice” one egg at around the 10 minute mark and check for doneness. If it’s a little underdone, I’ll keep the eggs in the water a bit longer.

My Tips For Easy Peel Hard Boiled Eggs

If you’ve made hard boiled eggs before, you’ve probably experienced the occasional stubborn egg that just doesn’t want to peel nicely. There are lots of tricks out there for easy peel eggs. We’ve tried a few, but have found the following tricks to work best for us:

  • Try not to use the freshest eggs. Fresher eggs don’t peel as easily so if you have the chance, buy eggs for deviled eggs a week in advance.
  • Cool the eggs completely before peeling. We find this helps a lot, but if you’re still having trouble, crack the cooled egg and place it back into the ice bath. The water sneaks underneath the shell where you cracked it and makes it easier to peel after 5 minutes or so.

Recipe updated, originally posted December 2011. Since posting this in 2011, we have tweaked the recipe to be more clear. – Adam and Joanne


Skillet Flatbreads

Using a basic ratio of five pantry staples, you can have fresh, hot bread on the table in less than an hour AND no need to turn on the oven. Add and change ingredients to your taste, and you'll have an endless array of tasty flatbreads to accompany any meal.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups (361g) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 tablespoons (35g) olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 1 cup (227g) ice water
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons (25g to 35g) vegetable oil, additional for frying

Instructions

Place the flour, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl and stir to combine.

Add the oil and ice water, and mix to make a soft, cohesive dough. Adjust with flour or water as needed. The dough should be moist but not sticky. Cover with plastic wrap, and let rest for 10 minutes.

Preheat a heavy-bottomed skillet on the stovetop. Add 1 tablespoon oil and heat until the oil starts to shimmer in the pan.

Divide the dough into 10 to 12 equal pieces. Each piece should weigh about 1 1/2 to 2 ounces, about the size of a large egg. Dredge each piece in flour, and roll to a rough circle or oval, about 1/4" thick. OR hand shape the pieces by flattening between your palms.

Perfect your technique

Skillet Flatbreads

In batches, fry the flatbreads in the hot oil for 2 to 3 minutes, or until golden brown. Flip and fry on the second side for another 2 minutes. Transfer from the pan to a rack to cool slightly before serving. Add more oil as needed for frying successive batches.

Tips from our Bakers

Rye variation: Replace 1 cup of the all-purpose flour with 1 cup Perfect Rye Flour Blend and 2 teaspoons Deli Rye Flavor. All other ingredients remain the same. Serve with cream cheese, chives, tomato, thinly sliced onion and capers.

Join King Arthur baking instructor, Libby Treadway and her son as they make Skillet Flatbreads together from start to finish. Watch Making Skillet Flatbreads with Kids now.