Nestlé Is So Over Chocolate Chips, Moves On To Mix-Ins

In my humble opinion as a food writer, there is no finer cookie, especially for making at home, than chocolate chip. I am stating this opinion on the internet, so I'm sure someone will find it controversial, but let's look at the evidence: is there any other cookie that has been fiddled with so many times by bakers in search of perfection? You can make a chocolate chip cookie with two different types of flour. You can rest it in the refrigerator overnight. You can brown the butter. You can scoop out cookies that are roughly the size of hockey pucks. You can taste and rank to your heart's content—but really, as long as it's baked well, there is no such thing as a bad chocolate chip cookie (as long as you leave out walnuts, because those spoil everything).

Still, that hasn't stopped the quest for innovation, and now Nestlé, the company that takes credit for inventing chocolate chips and introducing the most iconic chocolate chip cookie recipe to the world, has decided to jump on the bandwagon by introducing Morsels & More. Or maybe that's off the bandwagon, technically, because Morsels & More abandon chocolate chips altogether in favor of three alternate types of fun.

There are two varieties, which Nestlé announced in a press release: Strawberries & Cream Flavor (graham cracker pieces, white morsels, and strawberry-flavored chunks) and Spring Easter Basket (colorful egg candies, pretzel sticks, and peanut butter-flavored morsels). Shortly after the announcement, they sent me sample packs to preview. I dutifully whipped up a batch of cookie dough (Stella Parks' takeoff of the classic Toll House recipe from her book Bravetart: Classic American Recipes), divided it in half—a true hardship, I will have you know—and mixed in the Morsels & More.

I took my testing duties seriously. I tasted the cookies fresh out of the oven, then again once they'd had a chance to cool, and finally dunked in milk. The flavors of the Morsels & More are most apparent if your cookie is cool—a contrast to chocolate chips, which really dominate a warm cookie.

It was a great disappointment to me that the graham cracker in Strawberries & Cream Flavor did not come through very well. Neither did the white morsels. The strawberry-flavored chunks are gummy, like Fruit Roll-Ups or fruit snacks, and they had a strong flavor, sweet and a bit tangy. They didn't quite blend with the cookie, which tended toward buttery and toffee-flavored.

I much preferred Spring Easter Basket, which was a surprise to me, since in general, I resent Easter basket-themed anything, mostly because, until last year, I never received one. But the peanut butter morsels mix nicely with the butterscotch of the cookie dough; for some odd reason, the combination tasted to me like coffee, but I didn't mind that at all. The pretzels were subtle, but they added some saltiness. The "colorful egg candies"—they are essentially tiny M&Ms—added a little pop of chocolate and some crunch from the candy shell.

My partner tried them, too. He couldn't identify any specific flavors besides the chocolate from Spring Easter Basket, but in the end, he preferred that one, also. It could be that we are sheeple and have succumbed to the trend for salty-sweet cookies and candy. Or it could be that a chocolate chip cookie really does need some extra contrast to the sweet dough—maybe that's why bittersweet and semisweet chocolate have always had the edge when it comes to chocolate chips.

Morsels & More will not inspire me to give up chocolate chips, or chopped chocolate. But I may be tempted to mix a little bit Spring Easter Basket with the chocolate next time.

Both varieties will begin appearing on store shelves in February.

Strawberries & Cream Flavor Morsels & More

Serving: 1 ½ Tbsp.Calories: 70Saturated Fat: 2.5 gSodium: 25 mgTotal Sugars: 9 g

Grade: C

Spring Easter Basket Morsels & More

Serving: 1 ½ Tbsp.Calories: 80Saturated Fat: 1 gSodium: 90 mgTotal Sugars: 6 g

Grade: A-