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Recipe File: Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies
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Karen, the food scientist
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 3:40 am    Post subject: Bars Reply with quote

I make the recipe that my great grandmother used. It is almost the same as the Toll House recipe.

My great grandmother was known for making excellent cookies, but she did not use measuring cups, she just added until it looked and felt right. My grandmother (daughter-in-law to my great grandmother) was not a touchy-feely cook, so she actually measured in cups as my great grandmother "measured" and wrote down the recipe.

My grandmother always made individual cookies, but since I prefer them soft and thick, I make them in a jelly roll pan as bar cookies. You do everything the same, but spread the entire batch of dough into a greased jelly roll pan (15" x 11", with a 1" lip) and bake for 20-25 minutes.

2 sticks butter (I always use salted, but you could use unsalted)
3/4 cup brown sugar, light or dark, your preference
3/4 cup white granulated sugar
2 large eggs (refrigerated or room temp)
1 tsp good vanilla (I like Penzey's double strength)
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp hot water
1 tsp salt (regular table salt, not Kosher)
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour, I prefer unbleached, which can be harder to find sometimes. Measure the flour by giving it a stir (fluff it up just a little), scoop or spoon it lightly into the measuring cup, then level with a flat edge. Do not sift and do not pack. BTW, this is the correct way to measure flour for standard American recipes that do not specify the method.
2 cups (12 oz package) semi sweet chocolate chips

I stir everything using a wooden spoon, no mixer required. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Allow butter to come to room temp. Ideally you want it about 68 degrees F. If butter gets too warm, it will begin to act like melted butter and the cookies will be a different texture. You cannot recover the texture if the butter gets too warm (the crystalline structure is broken).

Cream the butter with the sugars, just until everything looks even. Add the eggs and vanilla and stir them into the creamed mixture.

In a separate bowl (just a very small one), mix the baking soda and hot water. This is an old-fashioned way of getting the soda "started". Add this mixture, plus to salt to the creamed mixture and stir in.

Add the flour all at once and stir in, just until the flour is mixed in. We do not want to form a lot of gluten. Add the chips and stir in.

Spread in the prepared pan and bake at 350 degrees F or until it's lightly and nicely browned on top, usually about 20-25 minutes. If you can, allow it to cool some before cutting into bars. In our house, we are all burning our fingers cutting them and eating them hot.

These are definitely best when eaten on the day they are baked.. The dough or the cookies do freeze well. I do sometimes freeze the dough in scoops. Then, I can bake just a few "conventional" cookies at a time and they are always freshly-baked.
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Jim Cooley



Joined: 09 Oct 2008
Posts: 369
Location: Seattle

PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 1:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
In a separate bowl (just a very small one), mix the baking soda and hot water. This is an old-fashioned way of getting the soda "started". Add this mixture, plus to salt to the creamed mixture and stir in.


This sounds interesting! Ever tried it with other baked goods?
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Karen, the food scientist
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 2:33 pm    Post subject: Bars Reply with quote

I have not tried blending the soda with hot water in other recipes. I do have many recipes that came from my great grandmother, but the Chocolate Chip Cookies are the only recipe that uses the method. I say don't mess with success with my great grandmother's recipes, so I haven't played around with it.

Since the water gets the soda developing gas right away, I would anticipate it working quite well in cookies that have short baking times, as you don't need for the soda to "find" the free water in the dough (from the butter and eggs) to activate. I doubt it would help in things with a significant amount of free water, like a cake batter.[/quote]
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Jim Cooley



Joined: 09 Oct 2008
Posts: 369
Location: Seattle

PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 12:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your conclusions make sense. I'll definitely try Grandma's trick next time I do Tollhouse cookies, though!
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 8:43 pm    Post subject: Perfect! nestle tollhouse high altitude recipe Reply with quote

My usual approach to high altitude baking is to just turn the baking temperature down 25 degrees and do everything else the same. This works fine for yeast breads and cakes, but not cookies. They flatten and still brown too quickly (before they're done in the middle because of excess sugar.) I live at about 7500 feet. This time I tried the nestle tollhouse recipe with the high altitude adjustments (2/3 cup white and brown sugar, 2 1/2 cups flour and extra water. I kept the oven at 375 and baked for 10 minutes.) Our cookies are beautiful, golden and yummy. Perfect.

2 minor changes- I only had mostly xxlarge eggs so I chose one xxlarge and one medium size egg. I ended up having to add about 3 1/2 teaspoons water because my batter was too stiff from the flour. Had I used two xxlarge eggs, I would of had to use less water but then the cookies may have been too eggy. Its your call. If you are over 5200 feet, I highly recommend this cookie recipe.
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Laura Bruckner
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2015 2:57 am    Post subject: Thick vs. Thin/Crunchy vs. Chewy Reply with quote

I've been making Toll House cookies, by the recipe, for almost 50 years. For 45 years, they were flat as a pancake, a little difficult to get off the pan but delicious. I cook mine for 13 - 15 minutes at 375 degrees. I am a serious CRUNCHY cookie fan. Even though they weren't pretty, they always tasted awesome.
I guess in my old age I've started doing things in steps, and now almost always make my dough and refrigerate at least a day in advance of cooking. This resulted in FINALLY being able to achieve nice looking cookies that are not flat. However, they are still not soft. I don't like soft cookies, in fact I dislike them, so this makes me very happy.
My family has grown accustomed to crunchy cookies, even if not their fave way to eat them. I never ate more than one store-bought chocolate chip cookie because they were all inferior, until I unfortunately discovered Famous Amos. I actually looked for them the other day and was surprised to not find them. I'm sorry another merger ruined a perfect, little store-bought cookie. I firmly believe Toll House cookies are meant to be crunchy; I just can't see how that can be avoided with the amount of butter that goes in them. And using anything less than 2 sticks of real butter is heresy! Bottom line, if you want "prettier" cookies, make your dough well ahead of baking; use a Pampered Chef cookie scoop, or equivalent; and be judicious in keeping them the same size, and keeping the scoop level on the side that goes against the cookie sheet.
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Joannesky



Joined: 22 Dec 2016
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2016 4:37 am    Post subject: Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies Reply with quote

I'm a mother of 7, and grandmother of 40. Over the years, I have tweaked the recipe that uses half butter, half shortening. I usually use milk chocolate or white chocolate chips. I have discovered that the only chips in our area that have cocoa butter in them are the Kroger brand.

My cookies are usually thin and crispy. The ones I made today are hard. I don't know what I did wrong. I have a new box of baking soda, and fresh ingredients. I saw a comment advising to cream sugar and shortening/butter until incorporated. I'll try that.
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Dilbert



Joined: 19 Oct 2007
Posts: 1175
Location: central PA

PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2016 1:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

one possibility . . . the "shortening" - many brands are "trans-fat free" and a lot of bakers have reported odd results using the new healthy stuff.

I switched to the 'store brand' which is still 'hydrogenated' -
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 02, 2017 7:51 pm    Post subject: Help.. Reply with quote

Our family has been making Nestlé Toll House cookies for 40 plus years without a problem.
The past three times I've made them and one time my husband made them...they have not turned out the way we like them. Today I tried one more time, and triple checked each ingredient before placing in the mixer. They turned out different again, not horrible but not the way my kids and grandkids like them. They are thicker and not as chewy. I am not using any new brands of ingredients. The only thing I can think of is the flour is different.
Thoughts anyone?
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Dilbert



Joined: 19 Oct 2007
Posts: 1175
Location: central PA

PostPosted: Fri Jun 02, 2017 8:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

you didn't mention what is different, so it's tricky to cover every possibility....

flour can definitely make a difference.

our market stopped carrying Ceresota - which I used for decades - and having switched to King Arthur I've had to 'adjust' recipe amounts for just about everything.

if you are using butter, is it the same 'temperature'? warm/cold butter affects how the cookies spread.

as does the cookie sheet - steel / aluminum / non-stick / parment paper . . .
(! yes - who'd thunk it...)


Last edited by Dilbert on Sun Jun 11, 2017 10:46 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 03, 2017 7:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you Dilbert for trying to be of help to me. I apologize I didn't give all the info when I wrote this post.
The cookies we have made in the past are chewy, flatten out some as they cook and get a little golden brown. We have used the same recipe for years because the family likes it the best.
The last few times we made them, including yesterday they did not flatten out, they are not chewy, and they didn't brown except the last batch which I left in the oven 4 minutes longer than normal browned a little. However, they were to hard to eat.
When it comes to these cookies we are creatures of habit. We have always used Cisco shortening and no parchment paper. We are using the same good quality cookie sheets we have used the last 5 plus years without a problem. We do use Sam's Club brand flour. This is not new though. We have used this flour for these cookies the past few years without a issue.
The first few times the cookies didn't turn out right I thought it must be something I was doing, however when my husband had the same problem I realized something was happening.
Yesterday some of the grandkids were here. We made the Nestlé Toll house cookies again. I triple checked each and every ingredient. They were OK but none of us really wanted a second one. Several of us tasted the dough before it was baked and everyone wanted more of that. This old family favorite is not a favorite at the present time.
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Michael Chu



Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 1654
Location: Austin, TX (USA)

PostPosted: Tue Jun 06, 2017 5:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are you using the recipe on the bag or the same recipe that you've been using for the last forty years? It's possible they changed the recipe on the bag?

Also, did you get the same sugar as before?

Is it possible that it's the oven? Maybe it's not hitting the same temperature as it used to? (or could it be a different oven?)
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 08, 2017 2:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Michael Chu, it is the same recipe. It is the same oven, I will check temp etc. Nothing else I bake is different. Thx for your suggestions.
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Dilbert



Joined: 19 Oct 2007
Posts: 1175
Location: central PA

PostPosted: Thu Jun 08, 2017 12:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hmmm . . . I thought I had posted a reply, but apparently "user error" strikes again . . .

some basics: the tendency of cookies to 'spread out' depends on the consistency of the dough and the melting point of the fat. this is where Crisco got itself in trouble, the 'new' transfat free stuff does not melt at the same temp as the 'old' formula - which was (intentionally) close to the melt point of butter.

Sam's Club flour. this can also be an issue. store brands are not particularly consistent - Sam does not grow and mill his own wheat ( . . . ) they basically buy it from whoever is cheapest in dollars per ton when the contract is up. both the type/strain of wheat and the milling (fine-ness / particle size distribution / etc) affect how it absorbs moisture - which changes the moisture to flour ratio needed.

things you can try:
- increase the moisture
- substitute butter or oil for part of the shortening

obviously _something_ has changed or you would be getting the same result. it may take a little sleuthing to figure it out. I'd start by dividing a batch in half, then adding a bit more moisture to one half and check the difference. take particular note of how 'stiff' the dough is so you can replicate the results.
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