The ‘90s were the height of the prepackaged junk food era, and although you’re eating whole grains and kale these days, there’s no shame in looking back fondly on some of the snacks you used to love. Here are some homemade takes on the best snacks that are a guilt-free way to settle your snack-attack while watching an episode of Salute Your Shorts.
Header image from Food52.
1. Teddy Grahams
Chocolate teddy grahams are just as good as you remember, especially when you whip up this healthy interpretation that includes chia seeds, coconut oil, and raw cacao powder. Serve with a glass of milk and be sure to use a bear-shaped cookie cutter. Get the recipe.
Solve the age-old problem of too many cookies and not enough frosting with this homemade Dunkaroo dip recipe. Combine Funfetti cake mix, plain yogurt, and Cool Whip and whisk together until it’s no longer lumpy. Garnish with extra sprinkles and you’re all set. Get the recipe.
3. Nilla Wafers
This recipe for vanilla wafers is so easy that you won’t even be tempted to buy the Nilla wafers you remember. Mix together the vanilla, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Then add in the melted butter, whisk in 2 egg yolks and add some flour and you’re set. Roll the dough into balls in your hands to make small, round wafers. Get the recipe.
4. Rice Krispie Treats
Yes, rice krispie treats were the height of 90s’ lunchbox hits, but they’re still as gooey and delicious as you remember. Make these extra special with a thorough coating of sprinkles and brown the butter to bring out the flavor. Get the recipe.
5. Kudos Bar
This recipe for peanut butter and M&Ms kudos bars makes for exactly the same after-school treat you remember. Use mini M&Ms and drizzle the top of the bars with melted chocolate to replicate the original. Get the recipe.
6. Fruit Snacks
You can use any kind of frozen fruit puree here to make your favorite kind of fruit snacks. Add lemon juice, honey, and gelatin to create the right sweetness and texture – pour into candy molds and you’re all set. Get the recipe.
7. Ritz Bits
These ritz bits put the original to shame. Coincidentally gluten-free, these ritz bits are flavored with smoked Spanish paprika and the cheese filling is made from Asiago, evaporated milk, cornstarch, and butter. Vary the cheese type to change the flavor profile and try not to eat them all in one sitting. Get the recipe.
8. Cheese Dip
If you loved the Handi-Snacks cracker and cheese combination, then you should check out this upgrade for homemade pimento cheese dip. Mix together yellow cheddar, white cheddar, pimentos, and mayonnaise for a creamy and delicious pimento cheese combination that spreads smoothly and tastes 1000 times better than the processed cheese you’d get in the container. Get the recipe.
9. Bagel Bites
The ultimate freezer food, bagel bites are so easy to make and endless variable. This version has mini bagels cut in half, spread with tomato paste and mozzarella, and topped with diced green pepper and pepperoni. You can add any toppings you like and have a full meal in only a few minutes in the toaster oven. Get the recipe.
10. Bagel Dogs
These mini pretzel dogs are so good you’ll need to plan to eat about at least three. You can also double wrap them in plastic wrap and store them in the freezer. To reheat, wrap in tinfoil and put in the oven for about 10-12 minutes. You can also easily make full size bagel dogs from this recipe for a dinner rendition. Get the recipe.
11. Homemade Pizza Rolls
If you loved the frozen pizza rolls growing up, you’ll love this homemade version with sausage and mozzarella filling. Roll the dough out with a pasta roller (if you have one) and then put a spoonful of the filling, combined with some pizza sauce, or marinara if you’re in a rush. Fry the rolls in a Dutch oven in peanut or canola oil and try to wait a few minutes before taking a bite. Pure pizza roll bliss. Get the recipe.
Caitlin M. O'Shaughnessy is a New York City–based food writer and editor at Penguin who has worked on and recipe-tested several cookbooks. She is currently in search of NYC's best ramen, and is one of the few people who admit to disliking brunch.