32 Photos - Jan 10, 2014
Photo: Disclosure: I am associated with Pillsbury through this amazing event. Pillsbury paid for my expenses and provided me with Pillsbury Dough Products to use while at General Mills. All opinions are 100% my own.

Last month, I had the pleasure of visiting the General Mills International Headquarters with a group of fellow foodie bloggers. Half of our day was spent in the Pillsbury Test Kitchens. Here are the amazing bloggers that I got to do some baking with. (photo courtesy of Jocelyn from Grandbaby Cakes)Photo: When we entered the kitchen, this cute little chalkboard was set up on one of the counters to welcome us.Photo: This beautiful woman, Karen, was as sweet and lovely as she appears to be in this photo. She was the main person who directed and helped us while we were in the kitchen. You can tell that she truly loves her job in the Pillsbury Test Kitchens!Photo: Karen had 4 easy appetizer recipes for us to make. We split into groups of two and headed for one of the kitchen spaces.Photo: My partner was Jocelyn from Grandbaby Cakes. This was our first time meeting and she was such a fun partner to work with! We spent a lot of our time together laughing.Photo: We got to make Loaded Potato Pinwheels which were created by Glori Spriggs who won the Pillsbury Bake Off for 2013! We did it just like her...without the million dollars.Photo: Shawn from I Wash, You Dry and Jocelyn from Inside BruCrew Life worked together to make Chipotle Meatball Appetizers.Photo: Julie from Julie's Eats and Treats worked with Lisa from Wine and Glue made Kickin' Spinach Cheese Bites while chatting with another one of the lovely kitchen employees.Photo: Emily from Sweet Bella Roos and Gerry from Foodness Gracious made Bacon Cheddar Pinwheels.Photo: Loaded Potato Pinwheels  (http://www.pillsbury.com/recipes/loaded-potato-pinwheels/08754751-ac0e-4d46-9d76-64f5a2e2b1d2?src=SH)Photo: Bacon Cheddar Pinwheels  (http://www.pillsbury.com/recipes/bacon-cheddar-pinwheels/075a1c9c-b343-431f-a12b-d5d98c2a4001?src=SH)Photo: Chipotle Meatball Appetizers  (http://www.pillsbury.com/recipes/chipotle-meatball-appetizers/9b0d464f-d412-490b-bb64-8d6189ea5700?src=SH)Photo: Kickin' Spinach Cheese Bites  (http://www.pillsbury.com/recipes/kickin-spinach-cheese-bites/03066e38-efdb-4355-aef1-23dbe340042d?src=SH)Photo: Once we finished with the appetizers, it was time to starting baking cookies. Our first cookies we made as teams and they were called Gingerbread-Turtle Thumbprint Cookies. Shawn and Jocelyn rolled their gingerbread cookie dough balls in chopped walnuts.Photo: We left the walnuts off of our cookies because of a tree nut allergy. After baking the cookies, Jocelyn added dulce de leche to the thumbprints in our cookies.Photo: After adding the dulce de leche, drizzle melted chocolate over the tops of the cookies. This is how they look with the walnuts.Photo: This is how they looked without the walnuts. Both versions were delicious!Photo: Jess Wangsness (http://www.pillsbury.com/our-makers/contributorslist/jess-wangsness) is the person who set the whole experience up for us. She is such a pleasure to work with and her enthusiasm is contagious!Photo: Once we finished with our thumbprint cookies, Karen told us about how we were each going to create our own cookie using one of these Pillsbury cookie doughs.Photo: We could use and of the ingredients and supplies on this table to make our cookies. Plus, if there was something that we needed and it wasn't on this table they would try to get it for us!Photo: I decided to use the Pillsbury Peppermint Sugar Cookie dough to make Peppermint Hot Chocolate Cookie Cups. I started by putting the cookie dough into a mini muffin tin.Photo: While the cookies were baking, I made some chocolate ganache. I brought whipping cream to a boil and then melted chocolate chips into the hot cream.Photo: Here is how the cookies looked after baking. They made a little cup shape all on their own. After letting them cool, I gently removed the cookie cups from the muffin tin.Photo: I broke the loops off the tops of mini pretzels and attached them to the cookie cups with melted white chocolate chips.Photo: Then, I filled the cups with chocolate ganache.Photo: I couldn't find any of these mini marshmallows on the table but one of our kitchen helpers went and searched for some in the storeroom and she found them! The final step was to put the hot chocolate cookie cups on a tray and put them out to sample.Photo: These chocolate chips cookies by Gerry have a caramel surprise in them!Photo: Jocelyn made these cute cookie cups topped with coconut and Hershey's Kisses.Photo: The other Jocelyn made these delicious cookies.Photo: Shawn made these amazing peanut butter cookie cups.Photo: These white chocolate gingerbread thumbprint cookies were made by Lisa.Photo: I didn't get pictures of the rest of the bloggers cookies because we had to leave the kitchens for a tour and then head back to the hotel! We had such an amazing day and I would love to do it again. Stop by my blog for the full Hot Chocolate Cookie Cups recipe: http://www.thegunnysack.com/2014/01/hot-chocolate-cookie-cups.html