Thursday, November 10, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cookies - The Workhorse of the Cookie Jar

Chocolate Chip -- people love them. Yet this cookie has a fairly recent origin, compared to its sweet brothers and sisters. In the mid-20th century, the manager at the Toll House Hotel was making cookies -- but had nothing to put in them but chocolate bars. Rather than melt the chocolate, she chopped the bars up into little bits and stirred them into the cookie dough. Voila: a new classic. This is her original recipe:


  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
  • 1 cup chopped nuts


PREHEAT oven to 375° F.

COMBINE flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels and nuts. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.

BAKE for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

PAN COOKIE VARIATION: Grease 15 x 10-inch jelly-roll pan. Prepare dough as above. Spread into prepared pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool in pan on wire rack. Makes 4 dozen bars.

dough as above. Divide in half; wrap in waxed paper. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until firm. Shape each half into 15-inch log; wrap in wax paper. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.* Preheat oven to 375° F. Cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices; place on ungreased baking sheets. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely. Makes about 5 dozen cookies.

* May be stored in refrigerator for up to 1 week or in freezer for up to 8 weeks.

FOR HIGH ALTITUDE BAKING (5,200 feet): Increase flour to 2 1/2 cups. Add 2 teaspoons water with flour and reduce both granulated sugar and brown sugar to 2/3 cup each. Bake drop cookies for 8 to 10 minutes and pan cookie for 17 to 19 minutes.

     Editor's note:   I live at 6250 feet, and don't make these adjustments -- but I DO use heaping measurements of flour, which seems to solve the problem. Also, cooling the dough in the refrigerator for a few hours before baking keeps the cookies from spreading too much. 

For more tips and tricks on making this terrific cookie, check out Stephanie Vardovas's "secrets of really good chocolate chip cookies."

A nice plate of chocolate chip cookies is nothing to be sneezed at. (The recipe for the Snickerdoodles accompanying their choc chip buddies is coming soon.)

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