Growing up, any bad day could be cured by my mom's mouthwatering, fresh-out-of-the-oven chocolate chip cookies. The memory of walking through the front door and being enveloped in wisps of chocolate and butter, my mother greeting me from the kitchen with a spatula in hand and baker's flour on her cheek, gives me a touch of homesickness and a craving for the cookie so close to my heart.
As delightful as my mom's cookies were (and still are when she mails them to me in a large tub) her life-long recipe was actually taken from the back of a Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip bag and was written by the creator of the worlds first chocolate chip cookie, Ruth Wakefield.
Wakefield's story is similar to those of many early food inventors: she did it by accident. Here's an except of Wakefield's story, published on the Famous Women Inventors website:
"In 1930, Wakefield was mixing a batch of cookies for her roadside inn guests when she discovered that she was out of baker's chocolate. She substituted broken pieces of Nestlé's semi-sweet chocolate, expecting it to melt and absorb into the dough to create chocolate cookies. That didn't happen, but the surprising result helped to make Ruth Wakefield one of the 20th century's most famous women inventors. When she removed the pan from the oven, Wakefield realized that she had accidentally invented 'chocolate chip cookies.'"
Wakefield's "Toll House Crunch Cookies," as she dubbed them, became a popular hit locally and the recipe was soon published in a Boston newspaper, according to the Women Inventor's website. When Andrew Nestle heard that his chocolate sales increased because of the recipe, he made a deal with Wakefield: the Toll House Cookie recipe would be printed on the back of Nestlé's chocolate, and Wakefield would receive a lifetime supply of chocolate in return. That's what I call a pretty sweet deal.
So cheat the diet today in the name of history and sweet deals, and make yourself some chocolate chip cookies! It's Thursday after all and the weekend is almost here. Let's face it: it's been long week and you deserve it.
Here's the original "Toll House Crunch Cookie" recipe for those so inclined, dating back to 1948, courtesy of Lost Recipes Found.
"Makes 100 cookies (!) according to RW-- but she scooped only 1/2 tsp for each. Makes 4-dozen more-amply-sized cookies." If you would like to cut the recipe in half or more, this Recipe Ingredient Conversion Calculator is more than handy.
1 cup butter
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated white sugar
2 eggs, beaten
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp soda dissolved in 1 tsp hot water
1 cup chopped nuts
1 12-oz package Nestle Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels (NOTE: 1948 recipe called for two packages–but, we believe they were smaller bags as this would be way to many chips for the other ingredient quantities listed)
1 tsp vanilla
Preheat oven to 375. Cream butter and sugars together. Beat in eggs, dissolve soda in hot water. Add alternately with flour that has been sifted with the salt. Add nuts and chocolate chips. Add vanilla. (NOTE: While RW had vanilla listed last, we think it works better to add it after the eggs.) Drop dough by 1/2-teaspoonfuls (NOTE: use more for larger cookies) onto a greased (or parchment-lined) cookie sheet. Bake at 375 for 10 to 12 minutes.
NOTE: RW added the following note with her recipe: "At Toll House, we chill dough 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 baking and keep uniformly round. They should be brown through and crispy, not white and hard as I have sometimes seen them."
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