The story of the chocolate cookie began at Massachusett's Toll House Inn. The official version of the near-legendary tale is that Mrs Wakefield had run out of Baker's Chocolate2 and added fragments of Nestle chocolate squares to the batter expecting the chocolate to melt. Instead it resulted in a butter/vanilla dough with solid chocolate pieces that she called Toll House Crunch Cookie.
Toll House Chocolate Crunch Cookies
Cream 1 cup butter
Add ¾ cup brown sugar, ¾ cup white sugar, 2 eggs, beaten
Dissolve 1 teaspoon baking soda in 1 teaspoon hot water
Add alternately with 2 ¼ cups flour sifted with 1 teaspoon salt
Add 1 cup chopped nuts, 2 bars Nestle’s Semi-Sweet Chocolate broken into pieces
Add 1 teaspoon vanilla
Drop by half teaspoonfuls onto greased cooky sheet. Bake in moderate oven, 375 degrees, for 10 to 12 minutes. Makes 100 cookies
At Toll House, we chill overnight. When mixture is ready for baking, we roll a teaspoon of dough between palms of hands and place balls 2 inches apart on greased baking sheet. Then we press balls with finger tips to form flat rounds. This way cookies do not spread as much in the baking and they keep uniformly round. They should be brown through, and crispy, not white and hard as I have sometimes seen them.
Chilling the dough overnight or even for a couple of days dries out and cools the batter. This makes for a thicker, chewy cookie instead of a flat, crisp one.
The story of the cookie has a happy result for all. Mrs. Wakefield received free Nestle's chocolate for the rest of her life and Nestle had the rights to the recipe for their own promotion.3 Ultimately the best cookie is whatever you prefer.
By Joel Willems,
Curator, Chudnow Museum of Yesteryear