Archive for: nestle
When you think of Nestle Toll House, you probably think of their chocolate chips and classic chocolate chip cookies. The company makes a wide variety of chocolate chips, including seasonal Mint Chocolate Chips and fancy-looking Peanut Butter Swirled Chips. Due to the ever-increasing popularity of dark chocolate (and to more consumers interested in quality chocolate), Dark Chocolate Morsels with 53% cacao content were introduced to the Toll House family. They’ve followed this up with a Nestle Toll House Dark Chocolate Baking Bar.
The baking bar is made with 62% cacao and, while its wrapping matches the signature chocolate chips of the brand, it has the exact same ingredient list as many higher end chocolates. The bar is relatively thin and is divided into eight half-ounce squares that break up easily when you need a portion of the bar for a recipe. The chocolate itself is very smooth, with fruity notes and a rich cocoa flavor. It is slightly sweeter and has fewer bitter notes than some similar dark chocolates, but it is definitely a tasty bar and worth eating on its own as well as using in a recipe.
This chocolate bar can be used in most recipes that call for dark chocolate, including chocolate mousses and chocolate puddings, as well as cookies, brownies and cakes that use dark chocolate. The thin bar chops up easily and melts down quickly. If you prefer, you can even cut it into chunks and add them to your chocolate chip cookies, though you might want to stick with the dark chocolate chips for convenience (and price, since this bar is only 4-oz and you would need a couple to replace the chips in most chocolate chip cookie recipes) and save the bar for other occasions.
The standard chocolate chip for a chocolate chip cookie is semisweet chocolate, but over the past few years chocolate chip cookie-lovers have been looking for ways to improve on their favorite by chopping up other types of chocolate and adding them to their cookies. You can grab just about any kind of chocolate bar you like, with any cacao percentage, chop it up and add it to a batch of cookies to customize them to your personal tastes. I think that there is still something to be said for having that classic chocolate chip shape in my chocolate chip cookies, though, so I am always willing to try a new chocolate chip flavor if I spot one. Lately, I’ve been seeing new Nestle Tollhouse Dark Chocolate Morsels on store shelves and picked up a bag to try.
This dark chocolate version of the classic Tollhouse chip boasts a 53% cacao content and that it is a natural source of antioxidants on the front of the package, and it is a little bit more affordable than some of the premium dark chocolate chip brands out there. The chocolate chips do have a distinct dark chocolate flavor, with a distinct cocoa flavor and some fruity notes to back it up. Unlike a bar of dark chocolate, where you want the chocolate to have a sharp snap to it, these have a very smooth texture and melt easily in your mouth. This makes for a great melt in a still-warm chocolate chip cookie and actually produces a much more satisfying result than many other dark chocolates would. I’ll keep darker chocolate bars for snacking, but these dark chocolate chips are definitely a great choice for getting some dark chocolate into your baking.
A couple of years ago, Nestle released some limited edition chocolate chips for the holidays called Tollhouse Swirled Holiday Morsels. They were white chocolate chips that had been swirled with bright streaks of green and red. Saying that they were festive was an understatement, and they added a great Christmas flare to any batch of cookies you put them into.
One of the most popular recipes using these swirled chips was for Swirled Holiday Snowball Cookies, which were ultra-tender cookies that had a bright holiday look to them thanks to the chips. Since that recipe was so popular, but you can’t get the chips anymore, I decided to work some red and green into the recipe in a different way so you can enjoy the festive (and very tasty) cookies whether you can find special swirled chips or not.
I mixed a lot of red and green sprinkles into the cookie dough to infuse them with Christmas colors. Sprinkles, unlike colored sugars, hold their shape when baking and don’t lose any of their color while they’re in the oven. You can’t taste them in the finished cookies, but you get a lot of color. The cookie dough is made with plenty of butter and some ground walnuts, which enhance the cookies buttery flavor. They’re not too sweet on their own, but vanilla-flavored white chocolate chips lend plenty of sweetness to the finished cookies, and you end up with a flavorful and festive melt-in-your-mouth cookie.
I always like seeing a bag of limited edition chocolate chips pop up on grocer store shelves around the holidays, and seeing Nestle’s seasonal Tollhouse Dark Chocolate & Mint Morsels was no exception. Flavored chips promise a little departure from standard chocolate chips in a form that is just as easy to incorporate into a cake or cookie dough. The problem is that not all of them live up to these expectations, often having artificial flavors that make them taste slightly off. That is not the case with these at all.
The Tollhouse Dark Chocolate & Mint Morsels are a mixture of about 2/3 dark chocolate chips and 1/3 mint chips. It is an incredibly good mix of flavors that can be eaten straight out of the bag or incorporated into a recipe. The mint pieces are creamy and taste strongly of fresh mint on their own. The dark chocolate is smooth, with great cocoa notes, and isn’t too sweet. They balance each other beautifully and their combined flavor is like that of an Andes chocolate after dinner mint. The chips melt well and their flavors hold up after baking. These are definitely tasty (even on their own straight from the bag) and, if you’re a mint fan or just want to do a little mint-infused brownie, cookie or cupcake baking, definitely keep an eye out for these on the baking aisle.
I used food coloring to put a swirl into my candy cane cupcakes. Nestle clearly had the same idea when they came up with their Swirled Holiday Morsels – a.k.a. red, white and green white baking chips. Their chips have broader applications than my cupcakes do and are an interesting way to help us infuse a little color into our holiday baking.
The chips are the same white morsels that Nestle puts out in an uncolored form year-round. Technically, they’re “baking morsels” and not chocolate chips because they’re not made with cocoa butter at all. They’re quite creamy and have a good vanilla flavor to them. The red and green swirls actually go all the way through the chips and are not just painted onto the outside. This means that they’re not a great choice if you need to melt some white chocolate for a recipe, but it does mean that you’ll get a good, consistent color with them every time you bake. The chips hold their shape well and can be used in any recipe that calls for chocolate chips.
The only caveat with these is that you might have to warn some of your tasters that (a) the red and green colors are supposed to be there and (b) no, they shouldn’t expect these to taste like peppermint in spite of the fact that they’re popular candy cane colors, too. Minor details for a bit of holiday fun.
Update: These chips are discontinued, but if you still want to make the delicious Swirled Holiday Morsel Cookies, I made a variation on the recipe that gives you the same red and green look without them! Recipe here.