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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: 285
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: 285
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 Delete this post

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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