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Admit it — you love a good cheeseburger. Or a steaming cinnamon bun drizzled in frosting. Or a miniature breakfast sandwich. Or all three. But maybe you feel a little shy about walking into a McDonald's or a Burger King or a Denny's because the market today is flooded with so many sustainably harvested, seasonal, macrobiotic food options, and everyone's on board with the trend. Or maybe you don't feel that way, but the craving for something stacked, juicy, and, chances are, overwhelmingly cheesy, strikes at the most inconvenient of times — say, when you're in your pajamas cuddled up on the couch and about to turn in for the evening. Suddenly, fast food doesn't seem so fast.
Whichever camp you belong to, we have the answer. To sate your appetite, we spoke with the experts — some of the major fast-food chains as well as those who are replicating (and occasionally putting a twist on) their recipes — about how to interpret the meals that have worked their way into our country's collective subconscious. Maybe you'll tweak one of these recipes to be a bit healthier, maybe you'll go the other way and decide to add your own creamy dressing as a topping, or maybe you'll stick with the tried-and-true original. After all, it's a proven recipe for success. Just ask your taste buds.
McDonald's Big Mac
Ah yes, the one that started it all — the iconic Big Mac. Chef Devin Alexander, author of various cookbooks, including The Biggest Loser cookbook series, shares with us her version of the famous burger from her cookbook, Fast Food Fix.
Cinnabon's Classic Cinnamon Roll
It's hard to not to sidle up to a Cinnabon counter once the scent of those warm and sticky buns is wafting through the air. Chef Devin Alexander wrote a cookbook dedicated to fast-food makeovers called Fast Food Fix; try her somewhat intimidating but oh-so-worth-it version.
Denny's Bacon Slamburger
What's in a name? Not much, but the Bacon Slamburger's sure is catchy. It also overflows with meat, hash browns, bacon, egg, and cheese. A winning (albeit artery-clogging) combination.
Cheesecake Factory's Fresh Banana Cream Cheesecake
Todd Wilbur spent decades perfecting cheesecake recipes, and this one, topped with Bavarian cream and sliced bananas, is one of the best. Not surprisingly, he has a few pointers for how to make the ideal slice. One involves adding just a tiny bit of water to the pan, which helps prevent the top of the cake from cracking as it bakes. For equally unexpected tips, check out the recipe.
Red Lobster's Cheddar Bay Biscuits
Todd Wilbur knows his Red Lobster biscuit history — first, he explains, they were touted as the most searched-for clone on the Web, and then a recipe wound up on Bisquick boxes. Here's his expert take on how to get a batch of the satisfying confection as if you'd ordered an entrée.
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