When I was a kid, it was a given that Nestlés made the very best choc-olate. If you're over a certain age, you're totally singing that in your head, aren't you? You are. It's true. Embrace it.
Imagine my delight to be invited to spend an entire day in the Nestlé Kitchens!
They invited me and a few other Latina Bloggers for an amazing lunch. To read the recap from Nestlé's point of view, click on this link from the Meals: from Nestlé Kitchens.
We were given a menu listing the following:
- Strawberry and Arugula Salad with Cocoa-Spiced Pecans
- Shrimp Ceviche
- Moroccan Quinoa
- Nestlé Abuelita® Enmoladas
- Marinated Flank Steak with Avocado and Tomato Salsa
- Original Nestlé® Toll House® Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies*
- Berry Delicious Fruit Snacks
- Wonka® Chocolate-filled Strawberries
- Lemon and Berry Parfaits
And were then invited to put on some aprons and join Chefs Chris Garboski and Ani Simón in the legendary Nestlé Kitchens to help create this delectable feast.
* I volunteered to help bake the cookies. Recipe and details of how I ended up on Cookie Detail follows. =D
I'm sure they didn't know what to expect when they met us. "Us" included myself, Liz from Thoughts of a Mommy, Dariela from Mami Talks, Ericka from Nibbles and Feasts, and Catalina from Greenery in Mommyhood. But, when you get bloggers and mothers and foodie-types in a kitchen working side-by-side to put a meal on the table there's an instant familiarity that's formed.
But, hello?! I have been baking Nestle Toll House C0okies since I first learned how to read in English and I laid eyes on the recipe on the back of that famously familiar yellow and brown bag.
Besides, there was also an iconic RED Kitchenaid Stand Mixer involved in this process.....I could barely help myself. ;-)
What was so cool about baking with Chris, whom I will from now on refer to as the Goddess of Nestlé Kitchens (or GNK), is that she gave me some great tips for getting the BEST cookies.
Thing 1) Use an old-school uncoated flat cookie sheet. Nothing with a lip or dark coating. The cookies will not turn out right. In fact, they will burn! To illustrate this point, she made me bake a few on a one of those dark, coated cookie sheets and they were burned to a crisp. After I got over the trauma this caused me, (I burned cookies in the Nestlé Kitchens!) I was glad she taught me that lesson.
Thing 2) Although the original recipe calls for 2 sticks of butter, Chris explained that using just one will make the cookies rise just enough to give them the perfect texture and it wouldn't hurt the taste at all. (She was totally right.)
Thing 3) Using a mini scooper device (not as big as an ice cream scoop) makes cookies that are just the right size.
Thing 4) Reserve a quarter cup of the chocolate chips and add them to the cookies once they're already on the baking sheet in a food-stylist way. Gently push a few of the chips morsels into the cookies just before baking.
Perfect. I know.
Okay, so here's me making the classic Nestlé Toll House® Cookies in the Nestlé® Kitchens. I know. Shut up.
And here's the recipe for the BEST Nestle® Toll House® Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened (This is different from the recipe on the package, remember.)
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 2 cups (12 oz. pkg.) Nestle Toll House Semi-sweet (or Dark, if you can find them) Chocolate Morsels
- 1 cup chopped nuts (optional)
- Preheat oven to 375º F.
- Combine flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy.
- Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Gradually beat in flour mixture.
- Stir in chocolate morsels (and nuts if desired).
- Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.
- Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown.
- Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes.
- Remove to wire racks to cool completely.
I loved everyone at Nestlé. I loved baking in their kitchens and sharing the day with my fellow bloggers and the knowledgeable Ani and Chris.
If that wasn't enough, they sent us home with a fabulous gift basket full of all kinds of Nestlé goodies. (There's some La Lechera products in there that are not visible here, but which, just trust me, I got into right away.)
So, what does this mean to you?
Well, The folks at Nestlé have generously offered to send one of these Amazing Baskets of Nestlé Fabulousness to one lucky MBFCF reader. (Yay!)
So, for a chance to win a basket like the one pictured above, please leave a comment on this post and answer one or both of the following questions:
- Do you like to bake?
- What's your specialty?
I'll choose a winner on Wednesday, June 1st at 6 pm Pacific Time.
(I'm going to suggest that you "like" Meals: from Nestlé Kitchen on Facebook. I promise that they have the best recipes EVAH!)
Disclaimer: I received a basket of goodies and got to cook in the Nestlé Kitchens, plus a basket to offer as a giveaway. The opinions about Nestlé and their products are my own.