“I don't watch every episode because sometimes living that episode was enough,” says Claire Saffitz, star of Bon Appétit's hit YouTube Series "Gourmet Makes."

When her job calls for moments like hollowing out a centimeter-wide, hexagonal candy using only a straw, once (or rather, four days of recipe testing to achieve the final result) is enough.

In this week’s episode of Milk Street Radio, Saffitz takes us behind the scenes of her show, which has become veritable YouTube phenomenon. Despite frequent protests and the out-of-body moments that come from doing things like making Gushers from scratch, one thing that keeps her steadfast is the real cooking and technique that’s involved in every episode. As she puts it, “There are lessons that I take back with me into my normal job as a recipe developer. That's the part of 'Gourmet Makes' I enjoy because otherwise, why would you spend three days making a Twinkie? There's truly no point.”

Get a taste of the meticulous verging on maniacal amount of labor that goes into recreating famous snacks like Hot Pockets, Cheetos and Oreos in the interview excerpts below, accompanied by clips from her show. Then head over to Milk Street Radio to listen to the full conversation with Christopher Kimball.

On Gushers: “I haven't once mastered gummy candies. I'll let you know what the secret is because I'm still, after however many episodes it's been, stumped.”

On Hot Pockets: “They're not my favorite food we've ever had on 'Gourmet Makes' but a homemade version is incredibly delicious.”

On Oreos: “It's the most gratifying when the homemade version actually makes you question the original. That doesn't happen very often.”

On Lucky Charms: “The marshmallows were incredibly easy, but the cereal is impossible. I ended up making what essentially looked like dog food.”

On Cheetos: “It looked more like a Cheeto than it tasted like a Cheeto.”

On Pop Rocks: “I almost stayed home in protest and refused to do it. I said to myself, ‘This is going to be so boring.’”

Quotes have been edited for clarity.

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