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Recipe File: Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 02, 2011 9:08 am    Post subject: The original Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe from 19 Reply with quote

The original Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe from 1940 called for a baking soda slurry

"How To Make Famous Toll House Cookies", Nestle's Ad, May 7, 1940, Milwaukee Journal.

(Link to ad with original recipe in Google newspaper archive)
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Joined: 03 Oct 2011
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2011 10:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have tried so many chocolate chip cookie recipes, and this one is still ALWAYS my favorite. It's moist and chewy, and reminds me of my childhood. Nowadays, this is the only recipe that I use.
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Jim Cooley

Joined: 09 Oct 2008
Posts: 377
Location: Seattle

PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2011 11:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I made some the other day using the recipe on the package. I susbstituted Crisco for half the shortening, but they still came out fine.

A bit too sweet for my taste, though. Does the sugar serve any purpose other than sweetening? What would happen if I reduced the amount from 1 cups to 1 cup?
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Joined: 18 Mar 2011
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2011 12:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jim Cooley wrote:
I made some the other day using the recipe on the package. I susbstituted Crisco for half the shortening, but they still came out fine.

A bit too sweet for my taste, though. Does the sugar serve any purpose other than sweetening? What would happen if I reduced the amount from 1 cups to 1 cup?

Jim, I would try removing 1/4 cup first. And I would subtract that 1/4 cup from the granulated quantity, not the brown sugar. That's almost 17% less sugar, which should be a noticeable difference. You can also cut the sweetness by using dark chocolate chips instead of the usual semi-sweet.
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Jim Cooley

Joined: 09 Oct 2008
Posts: 377
Location: Seattle

PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2011 3:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dark vs.semi-sweet's a good idea. I'll try that next time.
If that's still too sweet then I'll cut the suger.

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C Ragsdale

PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2011 3:44 am    Post subject: Original Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies Reply with quote

Since comment I made on Sept. 28th, I found Mrs. Wakefield's Toll House Cookie cookbook that was written in 1949. The recipe in the book calls for a baking soda slurry that is not on the Nestle's semi-sweet chocolate chips package for the Toll House cookies that is being sold now.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2011 8:12 am    Post subject: sugar in Toll House Cookies Reply with quote

One of my friends made a batch of Toll House Cookies and discovered after the cookies were in the oven that the white sugar was still sitting on the counter. They were less crisp and, of course, less sweet, altogether richer tasting,. In fact, they were some of the best I've ever had. I only use the brown now and always leave out the white. Not the authentic recipe but more to my tastes.
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2011 4:25 pm    Post subject: Creaming with Crisco Reply with quote

Just made a batch last night for the first time in a while. My approach has always been to use Crisco instead of butter and cream that with the sugar for longer than normal to get as much air into it as possible. The cookie does not flatten as much as when using butter or a butter/Crisco mix.

I always use more vanilla than called for - personal preference. Also use darker chips and usually a few more of those than the recipe.

One key is to not over-cook the cookies. I take them out before they look done. There's a little carry-over when cooling on the cookie sheet. Otherwise, they get a little tough. Each oven is a little different - practice, practice, practice...
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 11, 2011 10:25 pm    Post subject: Toll House cookies Reply with quote

I just realized the Toll House Cookie Post was done several years ago but perhaps the blogger is still around. He was discussing the original cookie recipe, using the recipe from the Nestle Chocolate Morsels bag. He was going on about flour weights, eggs, etc. but never mentioned the water that was added to the original recipe. Some time in the 90s I believe they removed the small amount of water. Mrs. Fields original chocolate cookie recipe called for a small amount of milk. I believe this made the cookie more fudgy, whether crisp or soft. The texture is excellent with the addition of 2 tsp of water or milk
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 11, 2011 11:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

it seems that everyone from Nero the Fiddling Roman to Madonna has "the original" Toll House cookie recipe.

more than one source says the recipe on the bag isn't the original.

there is no truth available, Mrs. T. House is dead and can no longer provide the original recipe.

my advise is simple: find one that you like and works for you and use it.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2012 3:19 pm    Post subject: Recipe was altered by Nestle (and fixed by my Grandmother) Reply with quote

The back of the semi-sweet chocolate morsels has a recipe that Nestle has been publishing for many years (they say since 1939)..
It used to really be the original recipe on the bag .... but since ~1960, it has had a problem.

Until ~1980 the recipe included the words "2 1/4 cups unsifted flour" .... After ~1980 the recipe just says, "2 1/4 cups flour"
You wouldn't think the word "unsifted" wouldn't make a big difference. But it does!

Before ~1950, the only way people bought their flour was in hard, compact, brick-like blocks.
Everyone had a huge sifter-storage bin in their kitchen cupboard, with a built-in sifter at the bottom of the bin.
You cannot buy "unsifted" flour at the grocery store anymore. It is all "pre-sifted" now.

2 1/4 cups unsifted flour = ~3 cups sifted flour.
Hence: everyone is making flat greasy cookies.
I wrote to Nestle in the 1970s to point this out (when the package still said "unsifted" ... but they sent me coupons, and didn't change it.
Then sometime in the 1980s they took away the word "unsifted".

My grandmother and great-grandmother converted the toll-house cookie recipe to accommodate this change in the way we buy flour.
They seemed to have slightly improved upon it too.
My daughter tells me the KFC does a good job too - - but the Colonel was probably old enough to accommodate the change as well.

People have been telling me for 40 years:
"These are great."
"These are so soft and chewy!"
"Mine come out flat and greasy."
"How do you keep the chips 'whole'?"

So this weekend, I decided to try the back-of-the-bag recipe and see what all the complaints were about.

Test #!: Original Recipe as printed on the bag:
They turned out extremely flat and greasy, and the chips sort of "exploded." But they did taste pretty good. The color was dark brown, almost caramelized.
The dough was very sticky-wet - and stuck to the spoon.
Test #2: Original Recipe + 1/2 cup more flour
Better - not as tasty as Test #1; the chips remained intact. Color was not bad.
The dough was less wet.

Test #3: Original Recipe + 3/4 cup more flour
They were more puffed up, did not flatten; but they were sort of tasteless. Color was a bit pale.
The dough was about right - did not stick to the spoon.

Test #4: Nestle's store-bought dough (no mixing)
These had the best taste of the Nestle recipes ... they were a little flat, but not too greasy. The color was very similar to my cookies.
The dough was very good consistency - not sticky-wet. Nestle themselves has figured out part of the problem, obviously (since their premixed dough is a LOT better than the printed recipe).

Test #5: My cookies
They tasted great, as usual.

Here's the recipe:

Chocolate Chip Cookies = Original Toll-House Cookies

1. Mix with a sturdy spoon in a 3-quart pan or bowl:
3 sticks margarine, butter, or any combo thereof (don't use the unsalted or "lite" kind). I use "original" Fleischmann's margarine.
Soften the margarine/butter by letting it sit at room temperature ~3 hours or microwaving at very low power for a couple of minutes.
Don't let the margarine/butter separate or become liquid. I don't know why my grandmother has an extra stick of margarine/butter - but it is necessary.
1 cup of white sugar (any brand is fine)
1 cup of dark brown sugar (not the light-brown sugar - - any brand).
2 Large Eggs (any kind, any age, any temperature [straight from fridge, or room-temp is okay])
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
2 Tablespoons molasses ( any brand - you cannot get dark-enough brown sugar any more, so you have to add this to get the taste right).

2. Measure out 4 cups of flour into a separate bowl.
Use all-purpose flour [not the self-rising kind]. I use Gold-Medal flour. All flour at the store is pre-sifted. No need to sift it!

3. Add 1 cup Flour - from your separate bowl -
Add 1 teaspoon salt
Add 1 teaspoon baking soda
Add 1 Tablespoon baking powder
Mix Well.

4. Add the rest of the flour from your separate bowl, 1 cup at a time, working it into the dough each time, until all the white powder is absorbed.

5. Make a test cookie @ 375 - 400 degrees F (depending on your oven) - bake for 8 - 10 min, depending on your oven.
You want the dough to be pretty stiff - it shouldn't cling to the spoon or be overly wet.
As it bakes, watch the edges of the cookie.
If the very-outer edges overly flatten out away from the rest of the cookie, you need to add a bit more flour (probably 1/2 cup - perhaps more if it's a humid day).
Do not add chips or nuts (optional) until you get the dough right and the test cookie is the way you want it to be.

6. Add a 12 oz bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips. I use Hershey's semi-sweet chips.
Keep the chips in the freezer until ready to use (especially important in the summer), to prevent the chips from melting into the dough.
Mix well.
You may bake right then, keep dough in fridge (ziplock bag) for up to 2 days before baking, or freeze up to 2 months before baking.

7. Bake as the test cookie above - - Use pre-heated oven, 375-400; 8-10 min.
Remove from cookie sheet - - Let cool flat, on Alum Foil - for at least 1 hour before putting away in storage containers.
Keep cookies in fridge or freezer.

If you like the fresh-out-of-the oven taste, put in toaster over for 1 minute before eating.
Makes about 40 - 60 cookies, depending on size of dough balls.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 9:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For years by neice was the Toll House Cookie baker in our family because hers always came out perfect. She made a batch for me nearly every time I came to visit. After watching her carefully, time after time I always returned home and diligently attempted to make mine just like hers--and always failed. This happened over so many years it became a family joke. Decades later, I stumbled on the answer while cooking something else--I had always ended up with cake-like cookies because I bought xlarge eggs. Chrissy's mother had always bought cheap medium eggs. Another decade later, long after Chrissy had married and was buying her own groceries, she asked me if I had ever figured out why my cookies had always failed...because she was now having the same problem and couldn't figure it out. I almost fell out my chair at the restaurant laughing--my suffering as the butt of the family joke was not in vain....
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2012 12:23 am    Post subject: Your chocolate chip cookies... Reply with quote

This is, without question, the BEST blurb on making chocolate cookies EVER! I've never been into baking, but for some odd reason I decided to start. Of course I chose chocolate chip cookies...simply because the recipe sounded so easy. First go round they came out kind of greasy. I presume that was because I unknowingly melted the butter in the microwave. (I'd set it out for more than 2 hours and it was still pretty hard. COLD KITCHEN!) The cookies tasted great but they just weren't the right consistency. Next go round, they came out almost like a scone. I have NO idea why. Maybe because I didn't sift the flour? (I don't have one of those gadgets...yet.) Again, they tasted fine but the consistency was a bit off.

Now...long-winded as all this is (sorry 'bout that!) the reason I came looking in the first place was to see if I could substitute apple sauce for butter. Not for the fat reduction; simply because I didn't have enough butter. After reading this, I've opted to just go get more butter! As my daddy always said, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

So I ended up here, at your post, and I was happy I did. Folks tell me (sometimes) I get too into the details. That's just the way I am...and it appears you may be too. I appreciate your attention to detail and the reasons why you did what you did.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2012 10:45 pm    Post subject: Toll hourse chocolate chip cookies - Contique's grandmother Reply with quote

I followed Contique's recipe posted on January 3, 2012 and the recipe makes a thicker cookie. Not being used to dark brown sugar and not liking molasses I would go back to using golden brown sugar for myself. The cookie has a good texture and thickness probably because of more flour and baking powder but not that crispy buttery edge and outside. I am thankful for the sharing of grandmother's cookies and will use it again.
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2012 10:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just heard about your site from someone at the Nourish conference in Chicago this weekend, so imagine my surprise when I googled Weighed Toll House CC Cookies and came to your site! How fun! I have noticed that the perfect cookie can be QUITE evasive and had concluded differing flour weights to be the reason- thanks for experimenting for me!
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