Taste of Home Field Editor, Meredith Beesing, shares her thoughts on Cookies Across America Day
With all of the excitement and chaos of preparing for the holidays, often I lose sight of what is most important during this time – spending time with my loved ones and giving back to the community. Baking offers me a chance to do both, especially with the “Cookies Across America” campaign, hosted by Taste of Home, Nestle, and All Recipes. I was given the opportunity to test two recipes, both featuring Nestle’s new dark chocolate chips. My favorite baking assistants, my four-year old son, David, and my two-year old son, Cameron, helped in both the “testing” and the preparation.
You can find the recipes at the following links:
We began with the Jumbo Dark Chocolate Cookies. The ingredients are standard and the directions are easy to follow, perfect for my little bakers-in-training. Our only problem was that the rich, delicious chocolate cookie batter was extremely tempting for little (and big!) fingers. One batch makes a dozen cookies, but each cookie is HUGE! The dark chocolate adds tremendous depth and richness to an already outstanding cookie. We froze half of the cookies to ensure that we didn’t eat them all and ensured that we will have plenty left for the holidays.
Our next batch was the Original Nestle Toll House Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies. Again, with a basic cookie, I don’t have to worry about using techniques that are too advanced for my sons. Chocolate chip cookies are David’s favorite and he was excited to get these baked. While the ingredients are standard and the cookie was easy to prepare, the final product was phenomenal! The dark chocolate chips were a perfect balance to the sweet cookie and they were a hit with the whole family. This is a recipe that can be used for any occasion and can be whipped up in under an hour.
The “Cookies Across America” campaign will be a wonderful way to give back to our community and also a way to teach my children that Christmas is not just about the gifts Santa brings. I am hosting a Cookie Exchange on December 10, where friends will bring two dozen of their favorite cookies, which will be boxed and sent to soldiers overseas during the holidays. Because I live in a town that has a high military population, this is a cause that many in our area feel deeply about. For those who do not bake, cookie ingredients, such as flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, etc., can be donated and will be delivered to our local Ronald McDonald House. I look forward to baking the cookies for this event with my sons, teaching them that we can give something to those in need while still doing something together that we love.
Visit Cookies Across America for more information on the Cookies Across America campaign, and visit Taste of Home for more information about hosting your own cookie exchange, organizing a food drive, or where you can donate cookies in your area.
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