I grew up with Toll House chocolate chip cookies. Until today, I didn’t know that the Toll House recipe is supposedly the original chocolate chip cookie recipe.
The chocolate chip cookie was invented by American chef Ruth Graves Wakefield. She and her husband owned the Toll House Inn, a tourist lodge in Whitman, Massachusetts. Ruth cooked all of the food served to the guests, including cookies packed with bars of Nestlé semi-sweet chocolate chopped in to chunks. These became very popular and according to legend, Nestlé offered to print her recipe on their semi-sweet chocolate packaging in return for a lifetime supply of chocolate and one US dollar bill. Over the years, Toll House became so synonymous with chocolate chip cookies that Nestlé lost their trademark for the phrase “Toll House” in 1983.
I wouldn’t usually post others’ recipes here, but the Toll House recipe is so ubiquitous that it seems fair. The recipe below is written to my own preference, with identical quantities and a very similar method to the original recipe. Look elsewhere online for the verbatim recipe.
Every time I make these, I find that they spread just a little more than I would prefer. I think I might need to reduce the temperature and cook them for a little longer, my oven might just run a little hot. The lower temperature would allow the cookie to “set” a bit more as it spreads.
The image at the top is the chocolate chip cookie page from my mom’s recipe notebook.
Toll House chocolate chip cookie recipe
Makes about 5 dozen cookies.
Preheat the oven to 375F (190C).
In a medium bowl, combine 2¼ c (280 g) all purpose flour, 1 t baking soda, and 1 t salt.
In a large bowl, beat together 1 c (220 g) softened butter, ¾ c (150 g) brown sugar, ¾ c (150 g) granulated sugar, and 1 t vanilla extract until creamy. Add 2 large (~60 g each weighed w/ shell on) eggs gradually, beating well.
Gradually beat the flour mix in to the wet ingredients, then stir in 2 c (340 g) semi-sweet (50–60%) chocolate chunks and 1 c (~125 g) chopped nuts (optional).
Drop by the rounded tablespoon onto room-temperature baking sheets lined with baking paper and then bake one batch at a time on the middle rack for 9–11 minutes. Allow to cool on the baking sheets for two minutes and then place on cooling racks.
Variation #1: Pan cookie
Makes about 4 dozen bars.
Preheat oven to 350F (175C). Grease a 15×10″ (38×25cm) room-temperature jelly-roll pan. Prepare the dough as above and then spread it into the greased pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes on the middle rack until golden brown. Allow to cool completely in the pan on a wire rack before cutting in to bars.
Variation #2: Slice-and-bake
Makes about 5 dozen cookies. This is my favourite version since you can make a lot and bake them whenever.
Prepare the dough as above, then divide and half and wrap in waxed paper. Put in freezer for 10–20 minutes until firm, then shape each half in to a 15″ (38 cm) log and wrap in waxed paper. Put in freezer for a further 10–20 minutes until firm. The dough may be stored in refrigerator for up to 1 week or in freezer for up to 8 weeks.
When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375F (190C) and line one or more room-temperature baking sheets with baking parchment. Cut ½” (1.25cm) slices and place on prepared sheets. Bake for 8–10 minutes one batch at a time on the middle rack until golden brown. Allow to cool on the baking sheets for two minutes and then place on cooling racks.
For high altitude baking (> 5,200 ft or 1,600 m)
Increase the quantity of flour to 2½ c (312 g). Add 2 t water with the flour and reduce both the granulated sugar and brown sugar to ⅔ c each. Bake drop cookies and slice-and-bake cookies for 8–10 minutes, and bake the pan cookie for 17–19 minutes.