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Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies

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In my mind, there is a minimum level of quality that a homemade chocolate chip cookie should at least meet. Because the recipe is so widely available, there really isn't an excuse (unless you are experimenting in an attempt to develop a better recipe) for anyone to make a chocolate chip cookie that is worse than the Nestlé® Toll House® Chocolate Chip Cookie. The recipe is printed on the back of virtually ever bag of the most popular chocolate chips in the world - the Nestlé Toll House Morsels. If you've never made a batch of chocolate chip cookies based on Nestlé's Toll House recipe, then you should definitely give it a try.

According to Nestlé, the Toll House recipe originated with Ruth Wakefield who, along with her husband, operated the a lodge in New England called the Toll House Inn. Sometime in the early 1930's, Ruth was preparing cookies for her guests when she chopped up a bar of Nestlé Semi-Sweet chocolate and added it to the dough. The result became the most popular chocolate chip cookie recipe in the world. By 1939, Nestlé began producing the Toll House Morsels to make it easy for everyone to make this recipe.

The recipe is actually quite simple and straightforward. Wet ingredients are mixed first until evenly distributed and then dry ingredients are mixed it. Lastly, chocolate chips and (if desired) chopped nuts are mixed in by hand. The interesting thing is that by altering the quantity of one ingredient (flour) we can achieve cookies of all sorts of different textures.

The recipe calls for 2-1/4 cup flour (which is 280 g if the flour has been sifted or up to 360 g if the flour has completely settled), 1 tsp. (4.6 g) baking soda, 1 tsp. (6 g) table salt, 2 cups (340 g) chocolate chips, 1 cup (220 g) unsalted softened butter, 2 large (100 g) eggs, 1 tsp. (5 mL) vanilla extract, 3/4 cup (150 g) granulated sugar, and 3/4 cup (165 g) brown sugar. The mass conversions are mine and, wherever possible, I assumed USDA Nutrient Standards for volume to mass ratios. The original recipe includes one cup chopped nuts which I chose to exclude from this recipe as I wished to make a plain chocolate chip cookie for this article.

You may have noticed that I was not precise with the mass of the flour. This is because Nestlé's recipe only states: "2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour". Is this flour sifted (as all flour should be before measuring), unsifted, or settled for one year and then packed down to fit as much as possible in a cup? I tested the whole range of flour density options starting with the USDA standard 125 g per cup (sifted) up to the maximum I could push into a leveled cup, 160 g per cup. Recipes (should) always use sifted measurements when providing volumes of flour because of repeatability. If a recipe used unsifted flour, it would be nearly impossible to replicate the exact same quantity of flour using measuring cups because it's impossible to tell how much the flour has settled. (See Kitchen Notes: Wheat Flour for more commentary on measuring flour.) Unfortunately, in the case of this recipe, it was clearly not written with 125 g per cup in mind. After testing a whole range of flour measurements, it seems that 160 g per cup (or a total of 360 g) of flour was the intended quantity. For those of you who do not use kitchen scales and wish to dry measure this amount - it's a little more than 2-3/4 cup sifted flour.

Some of the early results from the first three batches
This experiment did yield some interesting results (besides the trashcan full of excess cookies, empty Costco bags of Toll House morsels, and a colleague at Fanpop who ate over 2000 calories of soft, gooey cookies during two or three hours of coding). The less flour that went into the dough, the thinner, softer, and chewier the cookies became. In fact, several of the tasters actually preferred this style of cookie. This isn't the Toll House recipe that I was familiar with, so I kept testing, but I've included the recipe for the thin chewy style (similar in consistency to the soft Chips Ahoy® cookies that come in the red bag) down below. The procedure is the same as the regular cookies, just alter the amount of flour.

Speaking of flour, take the 360 g flour and mix it with the baking soda and table salt. Set aside to be mixed into the dough later.

On low speed, mix the butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla extract until smooth. This is easiest with softened (but not melted) butter. Softening butter just means you leave it out for a while (an hour or two should do it). If it becomes so soft that a butter knife drop through it (placed flat side on top of the butter) by the weight of the knife alone, then that's perfect. I like to start off by simply dropping my two sticks of butter into the mixing bowl and going about my other business. When I come back to the kitchen and remember that I'm making cookies, the butter is generally soft enough by then. This technique may not work as well for others.

Once the mixture is evenly blended, scrape down the sides with a spatula and add one large egg. Beat at low speed until blended, then add the second egg and beat until fully integrated.

Scrape down the sides one last time and set the mixer on low speed. Gently add the flour, baking soda, and salt mixture into the mixing bowl a little at a time. If you're too fast, you'll see a lot of flour build up as your mixer beats the dough. Just stop and wait until you don't see as much white and continue until all the flour is in the dough. Stop the mixer and remove the bowl.

Pour in the chocolate chips and mix by hand. We don't want the mixer to do this part because it might become over zealous and smoosh our chocolate. The desired result is to have pockets of velvety smooth chocolate interspersed through our cookie, not for the whole thing to be chocolaty. This is also the right time to add any chopped nuts or other additions you may wish to make to the cookie.

At this point, if you haven't preheated your oven to 375°F, it's a good time to do so.

The next step is to form the cookies themselves. I prefer to bake the cookies on either a silicone baking mat or on parchment paper. Both work equally well in providing a nonstick surface that doesn't overly brown the edges of the cookies (like aluminum foil might do). Forming the cookies is easy - you don't have to worry about shape much since the dough melts as it bakes and flows into a circle. I did the first few batches with a tablespoon and my hands, but washing my hands to move trays around got tedious, so I did the last several tests using a tablespoon and a teaspoon to scoop and plop the dough onto the sheet.

According to the recipe, you can make 60 cookies per batch. I must make big cookies because in the week of testing, I never ended up with more than 32 in a batch (I use a heaping tablespoons). The cookies end up roughly the same thickness, so if you like thicker cookies, you'll need to use more flour than the recipe states. Also, by making smaller cookies they'll seem thicker because the thickness remains roughly constant while the diameter reduces.

The cookies should be baked for ten minutes (give or take a minute depending on your oven) at 375°F. I tested baking at 300°F (for 20 minutes) and 450°F (for 6 minutes) and didn't really notice much difference in the final product once the cookies fully cooled.

When making the reduced flour (thin and chewy) cookies, placement of the cookie dough is fairly important since the dough spreads out quite a bit while baking.

Once one pan of cookies is done, take them out of the oven and slide the next pan in. Let the cookies cool on the pan for about five minutes and then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely. They can be stored in an air tight container at room temperature for about a week - if they aren't eaten up first.

Nestlé® Toll House® Chocolate Chip Cookies
Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C)
1 cup (220 g) unsalted buttersoftenbeatbeat in one egg at a timeslowly beat in flourstirform into rough balls on a baking panbake 375°F (190°C) 10 min.
3/4 cup (150 g) granulated sugar
3/4 cup (165 g) brown sugar
1 tsp. (5 mL) vanilla extract
2 large (100 g) eggs
2-3/4 cup (plus 1/8 cup) (360 g) flourmix
1 tsp. (4.6 g) baking soda
1 tsp. (6 g) table salt
2 cups (340 g) chocolate chips
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Thin and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C)
1 cup (220 g) unsalted buttersoftenbeatbeat in one egg at a timeslowly beat in flourstirform into rough balls on a baking panbake 375°F (190°C) 10 min.
3/4 cup (150 g) granulated sugar
3/4 cup (165 g) brown sugar
1 tsp. (5 mL) vanilla extract
2 large (100 g) eggs
2-1/4 cup (280 g) flourmix
1 tsp. (4.6 g) baking soda
1 tsp. (6 g) table salt
2 cups (340 g) chocolate chips

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Written by Michael Chu
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213 comments on Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies:(Post a comment)

On August 31, 2006 at 04:27 PM, samispa (guest) said...
Subject: eggs
One thing I've noticed with chocolate chip cookie recipes is that sometimes it doesn't specify the size of egg. If your cookie recipe (or any recipe for that matter) doesn't specify a size, assume Large. Using Extra Large or Jumbo can throw off your ingredient ratio completely and you can end up with pancakes.

On August 31, 2006 at 06:19 PM, MisterEd said...
Subject: looks pretty good
That recipe actually looks pretty good. I think I will be trying this one out myself pretty soon.

I will be making the softer cookies though, I have always preferred this texture to the hard and dry variety.

On August 31, 2006 at 08:37 PM, Michael Chu said...
Just to clarify, the regular Toll House Cookies is still a soft cookie. This recipe is not for the crispy, hard cookies (like Famous Amos).

On August 31, 2006 at 08:50 PM, Emma (guest) said...
Subject: if one is an adventurous engineer
doubling or even tripling the amount of vanilla extract and adding cinnamon and nutmeg to the dry ingredients creates an even tastier, more complex cookie.

On August 31, 2006 at 09:09 PM, Jillian (guest) said...
Subject: Disher
I often use a disher (scoop) instead of tablespoons/teaspoons/fingers to dole out the dough. This results in a more consistant cookie size and cooking time.

Alton Brown recommends a #20, however I find that a little big for my tastes and prefer a #40.

Thanks for all the great recipes, keep 'em coming!

On August 31, 2006 at 09:18 PM, anobium (guest) said...
Subject: Chocolate Chip Cookies
I have been making these cookiesfor many years. but with a little change. I have 9 children(now 18 grandchildren also) so I need lots of cookies. I use the large bag of Nestle Chips and double everything except the shortening (I use butter) and only use the one bag of chips. This makes a more dense cookie and a lot of them!

On August 31, 2006 at 11:47 PM, kweller (guest) said...
Subject: improved chocolate chip cookies
I have been baking for about 35 years now and find chocolate chip cookies to be pretty flexible and forgiving of ingredients and inexact measurements.

I use a combination of whole wheat, unbleached all-purpose flour and oats, because the fiber is good for you and because the whole grains complement the butter. I also often substitute one stick of butter with applesauce to cut down some of the fat. I find the applesauce makes the cookies moister, and does not compromise the flavor. I only use Ghiradelli chocolate chips and I often substitute pure maple flavoring for the vanilla. I like to add chopped pecans or walnuts, as well. My cookies taste decadent.

While I have discovered that beating the butter and sugars together, until light and fluffy, is important, I have found that mixing the wet ingredients first, then just dumping all the dry ingredients on top and mixing it in, makes no difference in taste and appearance (as long as the baking soda is not clumpy).

Finally, using a cookie scoop speeds up the process of dropping dough onto the cookie sheet, and keeps the cookies uniform in size.

On September 01, 2006 at 10:27 AM, an anonymous reader said...
In the interest of science and given the range of protein contents even in all-purpose flours, what brand of flour did you use? Thanks!

On September 01, 2006 at 11:50 AM, adam (guest) said...
Subject: cookie
I actually add a little bit of almond extract to mine (which does a little something to the dough, but I can't really tell what), and I use half butter, half shortening for the fat, this way you get the best of both worlds. I usually use nuts, and end up with a thick, chunky cookie that is still soft.

On September 01, 2006 at 01:50 PM, guest EE, lurker (guest) said...
Subject: modification on the NTH recipe
I've been making these cookies for as long as I can remember - taking over from my mom since everyone thought mine were better.

I find it interesting that other people have used/developed the half butter/half shortening method as well as doubling the vanilla. We buy our vanilla down in Juarez for roughly $5/ quart so it's cheap to be liberal with it.

I've also tried adding ground up oatmeal for a portion of the flour. This makes for a "meatier" cookie.

As for eggs, I've noticed when making creme brulee and cheese cake that it does much better if the eggs are room temperature. Does anyone think that could produce better cookies too? Maybe better blending between the wet ingredients?

One difference I've yet to see yet is modifying the sugars. I use 1 cup brown sugar (dark) and a half cup of white rather than the 3/4 cup of both the recipe uses.

As an aside, I met my soon-to-be wife (less than a month to the wedding!) by having the best tasting chocolate chip cookies at a Bible study...


On September 01, 2006 at 08:56 PM, Barak (guest) said...
Subject: About those Famous Amos-style cookies ...
Chocolate chip cookies are among my favorite foods, so I found this exploration fascinating. As a fan of hard, crunchy cookies, I am in the minority. Now that Kelloggs/Keebler has completely ruined Famous Amos cookies, can anyone clarify for me just what one needs to do to achieve the crunchiness that once distinguished those cookies? More flour, OK -- how much more? Thanks.

Side note: When I was a kid, we lived next door to Wally Amos when he was first launching the brand. When he moved, my mom got his cookie sheets.

On September 01, 2006 at 10:08 PM, heyheypaula (guest) said...
Subject: Cookie variations
I do add extra vanilla to mine, and I also add some sour cream (this usually means more flour too). It just adds a rich taste to the dough, and keeps the texture softer for longer. I like to use half milk/half semi-sweet, but then again, I like things super-sweet, and a lot of folks might find that too sweet.

On September 01, 2006 at 10:43 PM, an anonymous reader said...
Subject: applesauce instead of butter
to the person who substitutes applesauce for one stick of butter:

how much applesauce do you use? thanks!

On September 02, 2006 at 04:08 PM, Jordan (guest) said...
Subject: Variations
I've seen some sugar variations before. I heard people rave about a friend's cookies, but apparently she didn't use brown sugar because to me they were sugar cookies that happened to have chocolate chips in them. A disappointment.

Using all brown sugar, a variation that I've seen on some bags of chips, makes a very rich cookie.

On September 02, 2006 at 11:51 PM, Mark S (guest) said...
I used to work for W. Richard Stevens. Rich was a PhD in Computer Science and was a UNIX Guru, and in particular a TCP/IP Guru in particular, and wrote a number of books on the topic. (

But I think he was even more of a genius and expert when it came to baking his chocolate desserts and his cookies would disappear from the lunchroom where we worked within minutes.

Here is the recipe that he used. Note the details on the technique which he says are very important.

On September 05, 2006 at 03:30 AM, LAN3 said...
Mmm, I love to use half brown sugar, half white in the cookies I make, especially oatmeal scotchies. The exception is cookies where molasses is an ingredient, although the one I have that comes to mind calls for brown sugar anyway!

I was just going to point out that Alton Brown had an episode called "Three Chips for Sister Martha" (the title is a reference to "three quarks for Muster Mark," a Finnegan's Wake phrase from which the discoverer of quarks drew their name-- I figured the enginerds among us could appreciate that) in which he is blackmailed by his TV-sister to produce three variations of Toll House cookies, which he does without actually referring to the Toll House brand or its precise recipe. The website doesn't mind, though, so click that link to get 3 variations on the recipe: thin, puffy, and chewy. (Note that some introduce ingredients not found on the back of your chips bag, such as bread or cake flour!)

Also, while I do subscribe to Michael's mixer+neglect method of softening butter, I have also been known to throw cold (from the fridge) sticks of butter in the mixer and turn it on a medium-low speed-- that'll bat the butter around for a few minutes and soften it mechanically. From there, drop the speed so you don't get sugar everywhere, add the sugar, and up the speed when you can back to medium or whatnot. The sugar blends in no time. This rather assumes you can put up with the noise.

On September 05, 2006 at 12:02 PM, guest (guest) said...
Subject: soft or crispy
The trick to the texture of the cookie is in how long you bake it. You can see from the picture of finished cookies with the comment "Some of the early results from the first three batches" that the cookies came out at different levels of done-ness. The darker cookies were either cooked longer or the oven has hot spots. Before the cookies cool, or even right after cooling, the darker cookies will still be soft. But by the next day they will be hard and crispy. I prefer soft, chewy cookies, so I undercook mine slightly (in my oven at 375 I cook for just under 8 mins, instead of the 9-11 suggested by the recipe). They stay chewy for days.

On September 05, 2006 at 08:16 PM, anjlgurl (guest) said...
Subject: temp...
I have found that not only does the toll-house recipe make the best cookies ever! it makes the best cookie dough ever! (if you intend to eat the dough raw, leave out the eggs, and add 1-2 tablespoons of liquid, either water, veggie oil, or milk)

Also, I found that leaving the dough in the fridge overnight and baking them while the dough is really cold keeps them from spreading and getting really thin.

On September 07, 2006 at 11:39 AM, an anonymous reader said...
Subject: Butter and Temperature
One thing you may not have considered is whether or not you cooled the dough after mixing and before spooning it onto the cookie sheet. This also greatly effects the shape, size and consistency of the finished product (I would actually argue it has almost as great an impact as the flour.) Might want to retest checking this. Cooled (refrigerated) dough makes a more soft thick cookie while warmer dough (specially in a hot kitchen) makes for a thinner crispier cookie.

On September 07, 2006 at 07:53 PM, Pan Cookies (guest) said...
I take a recipe like this, or oatmeal cookies (I must try this with a sugar cookie recipe), and spread it into a 9x13" cake pan. One pass in the oven for about 25 min (until golden brown on top- is that vague enough for this site?) and each square you cut is equal to 2-3 cookies. All the cookie goodness without the endless switching and cooling of pans.

On September 08, 2006 at 01:13 AM, Michael Chu said...
Subject: Re: Butter and Temperature
Anonymous wrote:
One thing you may not have considered is whether or not you cooled the dough after mixing and before spooning it onto the cookie sheet. This also greatly effects the shape, size and consistency of the finished product (I would actually argue it has almost as great an impact as the flour.) Might want to retest checking this.

Actually, I did consider this. Since refrigerating makes a pretty big difference when making peanut butter cookies, I chilled at least two pans (about a dozen cookies) from each batch and baked them and noted the results. In the more butter rich recipes (thinner cookies), I found that refrigerating did result in cookies that were noticably thicker. The unrefrigerated ones really spread out nice and thin. As I increased the amount of flour, I noticed that the increased thickness of the cookies wasn't as noticably different when baked from warm or chilled dough - so I did not remark on them in the recipe.

On September 08, 2006 at 01:02 PM, LAN3 said...
I figure that in your basic cookie, you've got the elements that make the cookie want to spread out (mainly the butter and other fats), the elements that make it rise (baking powder/soda, steam released from the butter and the liquids), and elements that make it want to be firm (the small amount of gluten created in the mixing process, the egg proteins), and how the cookies turn out will be a matter of timing and temperature-- you figure that baking soda will execute its oven rise at a certain temperature, egg proteins will firm up, and the butter will melt, all with certain timing, and if you give any of those a time advantage, the cookies' shape will reflect the difference. Certainly cold butter will give the cookies more time to rise before the butter has time to spread the cookie's mass out.

A friend of mine doesn't use the cookie technique when she bakes-- she adds all the ingredients (well, except for oats and chips, that sort of thing) to make the batter, and then stirs in chips and whatnot. In her experience, it turns out a crisp cookie on the thin side, but now I wonder if it isn't just the timing of when she makes things. I wonder about these things because another friend gave me, as a gift, a large mason jar containing the dry ingredients of a cookie recipe, and since I won't easily be able to separate the sugar from the rest to cream it, I guess I'll find out what happens when the dough is formed without creaming.

On September 08, 2006 at 04:36 PM, an anonymous reader said...
Subject: Never tried NTH recipe
We are dealing with food allergies, and I've found an excellent standard recipe: the one on Crisco paper wrap.

skip egg, replace flour with gluten free flour mix, replace refined sugar by plain organic vegan sugar (plus a dollup of molasses), replace crisco by coconut oil, skip nuts, and use a safe chocolate chip ('chemical' free)

The recipe leads to 48 cookies. Roll the luckwarm batter in your hands into perfect marbles of dough (about 1in across) and place on cookie sheet. Then play with cooking time and cooking temp to create either crunchy or chewy cookies.
People are crazy about my cookies, and still refuse to believe there are nut free, dairy free, wheat free, gluten free, egg free, refined sugar free...
Plus they look extra cool, with a perfect round shape, and smoothed-in chocolate chips.

we dont need 'chemical' in food to enjoy GOOD food.

On September 09, 2006 at 09:09 PM, Molly (guest) said...
Subject: Chocolate Chip recipe
I'm not trying to be a smart aleck or anything, but I know the true for sure story about how chocolate chip cookies came to be. It was actually a last minute effort to save time. Mrs. Wakefield was making chocolate-butter drop cookies(popular at the time), and she needed to melt the chocolate before she mixed it into the cookies in order to make them. So instead of melting them, she just broke up the chocolate into little bits, dropped them in the batter, thinking that they would melt into the cookie to make the chocolate-butter drops. But she got chocolate chip cookies instead, so she served them, and everybody liked them. And then they just got popular, so yeah. That's basically it.

On September 13, 2006 at 01:55 AM, guessme said...
Subject: Granulated sugar
Does granulated sugar means white sugar? If it is, why is the ingredients picture, the top left bowl, which is the most likely the sugar, is brown? BTW, I'm in Australia, I only see white sugar, caster sugar, icing sugar, raw sugar and brown sugar in supermarket shelves.
Thanks :)

On September 13, 2006 at 02:09 AM, LAN3 said...
Granulated sugar is common white sugar, table sugar; the word granulated refers to the coarseness of the sugar crystals, to distinguish it from the finer caster sugar and much finer icing/powdered sugar.

Check this page out for more names for the different grades of sugar:

As for the picture-- I note that the recipe calls for 3/4 cup of each granulated sugar and brown sugar, and judging from the size of the bowl pictured, I'd guess that Michael measured the white sugar in first and the the brown sugar on top.

Brown sugar is different from white sugar only because of a small amount of molasses, and molasses is always good in cookies (well, tends to make them softer or more moist), so if you only have brown sugar, don't hesitate to make it, unless you're in need of a hard cookie.

On September 13, 2006 at 03:52 AM, Michael Chu said...
LAN3 wrote:
As for the picture-- I note that the recipe calls for 3/4 cup of each granulated sugar and brown sugar, and judging from the size of the bowl pictured, I'd guess that Michael measured the white sugar in first and the the brown sugar on top.

That's exactly what happened. I weighed the granulated sugar first and then scooped the brown sugar in until I had enough. Unfortunately, my plan of splitting the bowl in half didn't work out as I had to keep scooping out more brown sugar.

On September 16, 2006 at 09:05 PM, bbailey_70 (guest) said...
Subject: chocolate chip cookies
I just did some experimenting and verified the chilled vs. room temp dough effect on thickness. Also, I used two cups of light brown sugar, and yielded the same results as 1C white & 1C brown. I also used chocolate & peanut butter morsels for a delicious variation.

On September 25, 2006 at 05:54 PM, Thor said...
Subject: Sacrilege In The Supermarket
Forgive me good cooking people, for I have strayed! I have found true evil in the dairy aisle in my supermarket. I have been weak. And it is YUMMY!!!!

Nestles places Toll House Chocolate Chip Dough Bars right next to the eggs. The refrigerated dough bars are ready to bake. They come scored so that the perfect amount of dough for a single cookie can be broken off from the bar. All you have to do is bake them.

I usually have a package in the freezer. So when the mood hits, I break off as many cookies as I want to cook, and throw the remainder back in the freezer. And voila, time to break out the milk.

I know this sounds wrong in the context of this most excellent website. And I haven't (and probably won't for this one) checked the ingredients list for additives that may not be healthy. But what pre-packaging does in this case is provide portion control. Toll Houses are one of my favorites, and as previously mentioned, I am weak. So when I cook a batch from scratch, I tend to eat them until I no longer feel well. Then the following morning I sneak a couple for breakfast. So if I can limit how many I cook, I also limit how many I eat. The going rate is two cookies per head. Unless it's my birthday. Then we make the whole batch.

I have not experimented with making and freezing the dough myself. If anyone has any experience with this endeavor, please let me know.

On October 01, 2006 at 03:01 AM, Another Engineer (guest) said...
Subject: Sifting floor
I just read your toll house chocolate chip cookie write-up where you mention in parenthesis that all flour should be sifted before measuring.

I believe that most cookie recipes especially those on the back of packages assume the flour is NOT sifted. There should be a 1-800 number on the back of the package for help with the recipe.

Sifting is generally used when you're making cakes or other "delicate" baked goods where too much flour can throw the recipe off, but for cookies and quick breads the typical method is to spoon the flour into the measuring cup to overflowing and level off with a straight edge. No tamping required.

When I was experimenting around with making wild yeast/sourdough breads, I tried different methods of filling a cup of flour. Using the method described above, I found that I consistently achieved 150 g per cup +/- 2 g.

On October 01, 2006 at 01:16 PM, chale (guest) said...
Subject: better cookies
Two critical pieces that make a good cookie better.

1) Prior to cooking, freeze the dough for about an hour. It makes the dough more compact and spread out less [more like a Mrs Fields cookie, thick and chewy]. I also recommend getting a cookie scoop from Pampered Chef or other baking store which helps consistently delivery the same better each time.

2) Cook at 375 for the first 9 minutes and then lower the temperature to 325 for the remaining period. This sets the flour and shape of the cookie. If you kept it at 375 for the entire period, it ends up more cake like and if you bake at 325 for the entire time, the margerine melts and creates a very thin cookie because the flour hasn't set. Putting the batter in the freezer for a little while also helps this.

On October 01, 2006 at 01:59 PM, Pam (guest) said...
Subject: Toll house cookies-help!

This is the first time I have seen your website...awesome!

I just made a batch of Toll House cookies like I usually do. I let them cool as directed and placed them in a ziplock baggie to bring to a party tomorrow.

I have always found that they are chewy when you make them, but harden as they cool....but then they usually get softer again.

This time they seem to be staying hard. I know my friends/family like them when they get soft. Any suggesstions how to do that? Should I let some air get into the bag? Remove air from the bag? There has to be a way and I hope one of you can tell me how to do it.

Thanks in advance!
-Pam :unsure:

On October 11, 2006 at 08:30 PM, km (guest) said...
Subject: great cookies
I only use light brown sugar and use butter that is left out for an hour only. You have to fight with the butter - (firm). I never use a mixer either. They always turn out great. I also use an air bake cookie sheet.
I use only 3/4 tsp of baking soda and 3/4 tsp of salt. I've got it down to a science and that's why always perfect results.

On October 19, 2006 at 03:28 PM, Jeff Walther (guest) said...
Subject: Lipids and Cookie Sheet
A couple of years ago I did a two variable study of CCC thickness as a project for my Manufacturing Probability and Statistics class.

Well darn. I don't seem to have a copy around. I guess I left it on the school server and my account is long since gone.

Anyway, I tried butter, margerine and shortening for the lipids. And I used a traditional stainless cookie sheet, a solid teflon coated sheet and one of the non-stick air bake sheets. I think I also did a batch of half butter and half shortening.

IIRC, the lipids didn't affect the cookie thickness in any statistically significant way. The air bake sheet seemed to make the thickest cookies, which surprised me as I was expecting the plain metal pan to make the thicker ones.

Then my fellow classmates ate my results...

Personally, I like the flavor of all butter or half butter/half shortening cookies. I usually make a double batch and then add one bag of white chips in addition to the two bags of chocolate chips.

Sam's Club sold a 10lb bag of chocolate chips until about five years ago. I miss that.

If I have a bit of extra time, I like to dump the cookie dough into a wax paper lined bread pan and then refrigerate it overnight. Then I use a heavy knife to cut it into cubes prior to baking. Other than the normal results of refrigeration, I can't say that this makes any difference. I just like dropping cubes on the cookie sheet instead of the somewhat inexact measurement of spooning it on.

On October 19, 2006 at 09:18 PM, LAN3 said...
Subject: Chocolate Chocolate-Chip Cookies
I baked up some chocolate chocolate-chip cookies the other day, and, looking at the Toll House recipe, I can see that they're nearly identical. There was 2 and 2/3rds cup of flour, an addition egg for a total of 3, slightly altered sugar instructions: 1 full cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup granulated white sugar.

The ingredient that makes them so different is the full 12oz bag of semi-sweet chips that you melt and then add after all the liquids and before the solids. You can melt chocolate chips on a double-boiler, of course, but it's so simple in the microwave: put them in a glass bowl, and nuke on high for about 90 seconds to 2 minutes. Then wait-- there's enough heat stored in there now to melt the lot, and if you let it rest a few minutes, it'll do the work for you, so you aren't stirring the whole time. If you see the outermost cookies wilting stick in a good spatula and start stirring.

After you add the dry ingredients, stir in a second 12 oz. bag of chocolate chips-- I went with a high-quality milk chocolate, but it would've tasted great with semi-sweet again. Then bake rounded teaspoons of the stuff, on parchment, at 350F in about 8-9-10 minutes-- pull them out when they get good and puffed up-- they'll collapse a little as they cool on the baking sheet (2 minutes, then 5 minutes on the rack), but they're good, and they are cookies rather than round flat brownies (of either the fudgy or cakey variety). Recipe makes 48 people happy for a few minutes.

On December 16, 2006 at 02:27 AM, an anonymous reader said...
Thirty and forty years ago, the recipe for the Nestle Toll House Cookies on the bag of chocolate chips called for Crisco shortening instead of butter or margarine. When I tried the recipe with the butter, the cookies flattened and ran, so I've always used the shortening instead. I think it gives a better flavor as well. To keep cookies soft and chewy, I always keep them in an airtight container or ziplock bag, and I add a slice of bread. They're just delightful. They even stayed soft when I mailed them to my son when he was serving in Iraq, and it would take nearly two weeks to get to him. He said they still tasted fresh -- and his buddies told their wives to put a slice of bread in with their cookies.

On December 26, 2006 at 08:23 AM, Sunny (guest) said...
Subject: Lotsa cookies
This past summer, I baked 8 dozen cookies at least once a week for my son's football team -- well over 1000 cookies over the course of the season, so I think I've learnt a few things--

1) Shortening makes a thicker, more "homestyle" cookie. Butter has awesome flavour, but results in thin, crispy cookies. I use Crisco Trans-Fat Free -- if and as they make it with the butter flavour, I'll use that. Folks prefer the taller, lighter cookie -- trust me on this one.

2) The "back of the bag" recipe doubles easily -- you'll need a little extra flour.

3) The amount of flour depends heavily on the type of weather you're having when you make them. Heavy, humid days result in flat cookies that need more flour -- dry days result in lighter cookies that need less flour. There's no rule about how much more or less -- as you make this recipe regularly, you'll learn how the dough is supposed to feel, and you can adjust the dough to match that.

4) Don't go cheap and substitute chocolate chips -- use the Toll House. I don't know why, but nobody else's chips taste like that.

5) Use real vanilla extract -- it really makes a difference. If you really want a treat, use a double-strength vanilla like that available from Penzey's spices (

The Engineer's Daughter

On December 26, 2006 at 04:50 PM, Louisa (guest) said...
Subject: Toll-house cookies
As a dietitian with culinary background, I get asked from time to time to adapt recipes to make them a little more heart-healthy. When I saw this topic I thought readers might be interested to know that, believe it or not, you can actually eliminate an entire stick of butter (go from 2 sticks to 1) from the standard Tollhouse recipe and still end up with a tasty batch of cookies - they still have great flavor, nice texture, and are much less greasy. I like them even better in fact, and haven't used 2 sticks in years. I noticed some people substitute part of the butter with applesauce, which is fine, but in our testing project using half the fat in this particular recipe yielded a perfectly good result. There may be a bit less of a margin for error in overbaking, so bake for the lower number of minutes if you prefer a softer texture.

On December 29, 2006 at 01:40 PM, Mark (guest) said...
Subject: Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies
Crispy or Chewy - depends on done-ness, and storage. I like mine inbetween. Crisp-ewy (?). First batch is always the "calibration" batch, partially cooled, they should still seem too soft. In the winter (dry house), an open tupperware crisp them up, closing the container on a fresh batch softens them up (too much). I also use 1/2 butter, 1/2 shortening, and err on the side of too much sugar, too many chips !

On January 01, 2007 at 05:35 PM, Judy (guest) said...
Subject: Real v. Fake Vanilla
According to Cook's Illustrated, imitation vanilla is just as good as real. You need to be a member to see the article, but I believe this is the URL:

On January 20, 2007 at 10:15 PM, Phenom (guest) said...
Subject: Real vanilla vs. fake
The first time my husband tasted my chocolate chip cookies, he was hooked. I now bake them every week or so... they don't last long around him.
On the real vanilla debate, I've gotta weigh in on the real side.. I've tried it both ways (vanilla is expensive if you're not in Mexico), and the real (and triple the amount on the NTH package) tastes MUCH better!

Phenom (guest)

On January 26, 2007 at 03:01 PM, Spini (guest) said...
Subject: All WHITE Sugar and No Brown
I've been making Tollhouse cookies for years and love them. A friend made me a batch for Christmas and they were extraordinary.

The difference was that she used only white sugar and no brown. Can one of the engineers please tell me how that affects the cookie ?Thanks

On January 27, 2007 at 08:29 PM, nabel (guest) (guest) said...
Subject: Adding whey protein to cookies
Hi - just wondering if anyone would know how to add whey protein to the Chocolate Chip cookie recipe? I am trying to balance protein into the cookie's nutritional value and most of the "higher protein" cookie or bar recipes out there are too moist or too chewy (like taffy!). I would prefer a crunchy or at least more of a solid type cookie (no bars please).

On January 28, 2007 at 05:42 AM, ying said...
Subject: Unsalted butter vs salted
Hi everyone,

I live in Malaysia and here salted butter is more commonly used for baking. I'm wondering what is the difference between the results of unsalted and salted butter in the cookies?
Will it affect the texture of the cookies? Also what is the purpose of adding salt?

On January 28, 2007 at 01:59 PM, Michael Chu said...
Subject: Re: Adding whey protein to cookies
nabel (guest) wrote:
Hi - just wondering if anyone would know how to add whey protein to the Chocolate Chip cookie recipe?

The problem is that whey protein often bakes up very hard. Many energy/protein bars balance this with significant amounts of fat to keep the bar moist and chewable - thus the classic texture of a protein bar. I haven't experimented with adding extra protein to cookies, so I can't comment on how that would be done while preserving the texture of the cookie.

On January 28, 2007 at 02:05 PM, Michael Chu said...
Subject: Re: Unsalted butter vs salted
ying wrote:
I live in Malaysia and here salted butter is more commonly used for baking. I'm wondering what is the difference between the results of unsalted and salted butter in the cookies?
Will it affect the texture of the cookies? Also what is the purpose of adding salt?

Don't worry - even here in the United States, salted butter is more popular than unsalted. The reason we call for unsalted butter in a recipe is because there's no way to know how much salt is in any brand or batch of salted butter. You can try to calculate this based on the Nutrition Information panel, but that's fairly inaccurate. Until butter manufacturers print just how much salt they are adding to their butter, you could end up with drastically different salt levels in your final baked good.

Lucky for us, unsalted butter exists. If we use unsalted butter we can manually add the required amount of salt to the recipe and there wouldn't be an issue of having excessive salt or too little salt.

The reason why salt is added to sweets like toffee or cookies is that it brings out extra flavor and sweetness without adding additional sugar or flavorings. A batch made without salt will taste somewhat bland in comparison to a batch made with salt (but too much salt makes it taste funny).

On January 30, 2007 at 03:04 AM, mary mack (guest) said...
Subject: Mrs. Field's recipe has baking powder
I used the free Mrs. Field's recipe from and the difference is that it uses half baking powder and half baking soda. I go the thick crispy exterior yet soft chewy hockey puck cookie that is a dollar or more retail. I also used my new mixer. When I tried the tollhouse recipe without the mixer, no one wanted to eat them. I ate about five of the hockey pucks today and feel a little nauseated.

On February 05, 2007 at 10:54 AM, an anonymous reader said...
Subject: Wheat flour and applesauce
Is there a healthy way to make chocolate chip cookies with wheat flour and applesauce? I would like to substitute wheat flour for the white flour, but am not sure if I am to use the same quantity. Thanks!

On February 26, 2007 at 02:11 PM, kevand (guest) said...
Subject: Nestle Choc. Chip cookie enhancement
If you use half margerine and half crisco the cookies come out slightly thicker and I think tastier. I prefer much less (1/4 to 1/2 recipe) choc. chips too though that's personal preference.

On February 27, 2007 at 02:09 PM, pastrychef1 (guest) said...
Subject: vanilla
Please don't believe everything Cook's Illustrated says just because it's popular. I can't tell you how many things I have tried substituting that they have said is the best and there is just no way it works. One is Vanilla! I bought all the bottles they rated.. and let me tell you, nothing beats a real Mexican vanilla, which W&S now carries. Expensive? Not all that much more really than other quality brands, and well worth the extra money if you are using it in a recipe where the vanilla flavor is going to be prominant. I wouldn't use it in a chocolate recipe where it would be overpowered anyway. Most other recipes, I use McCormick's. Taste it for is very close to the mexican vanilla sold at W & S .. just a tad bit not as strong. I won't use the word weaker..because it is by no means a weak tasting vanilla. It is just not as strong as the Neilson-Massey brand sold at Williams & Sonoma. does depend on what you are using it for. Different vanillas work better in different recipes...but for a real clear crisp vanilla flavor.. go w/Neilson-Massey's Mexican.

On March 05, 2007 at 10:40 PM, Robin Goodfellow (guest) said...
Subject: Why does salted butter have salt in it?
I have heard that dairies will add salt to a butter to cover the taste of impurities from not-quite-as-fresh-as-possible milk or cream. This could be an urban (or rural) legend but it sounds plausible to me.

On April 06, 2007 at 08:34 PM, jtisdale said...
Subject: Toll House in Australia
Hi all,

I've recently moved to Australia, and found that my tollhouse cookies come out very, very flat.

I've tried using different types of butter, and I've used many different ovens, but they never seem to come out right.

Any ideas?


On April 26, 2007 at 09:13 PM, Desperately Seeking Answe (guest) said...
Subject: NEED Cookie Recipe for Extra Large Thick Cookies
[color=blue:b17c2dae44]Anyone know how to make the extra large cookie sizes we see in coffee shops?

I want to make these as gifts for friends and family.

I read that adding more flour can do the trick, but does this compromise the taste lost with the other ingredients? And, does the baking time or temperature also need to be altered?

Any tried and proven solutions would be greatly appreciated![/color:b17c2dae44]

On April 27, 2007 at 10:57 AM, GaryProtein said...
As Alton Brown would ask, are you looking for a hard and crunchy, soft and chewy or cakey type of cookie? He did a show describing the three kinds. I might have that show saved in my archives. As I remember, variables were sugar type (brown vs regular vs Karo), shortening vs butter and flour amounts. Use large dollops of cookie dough and a lot of space between them on the pan. I don't recall temperature being one of the variables.

Here's the link to Alton Brown's three variations on Nestle Toll House cookies:

On April 27, 2007 at 12:05 PM, Replying to Gary (guest) said...
Subject: Making Thicker, Larger Cookies
Thanks Gary for replying.

I prefer the cookies to result in soft and chewy.

I was hoping to use my oatmeal cookie recipe. And this recipe includes light brown sugar.

I was also thinking that placing the cookie dough that's already been dropped on the cookie sheet in the fridge to firm it. Sometimes the dough can get too warm with the climate here in Florida and begin to melt some.

On June 12, 2007 at 09:29 PM, blueskyecat said...
Subject: Freezing CCC dough
This is in response to the person who asked if anyone had frozen their own cookie dough before. I have and it's my favorite way of making chocolate chip cookies. It's a great help in controling portions as I can bake just enough to satisfy the immediate craving. I usually double my recipe (I use the butter/shortening recipe) and spread it out on a large baking sheet (12 x 18), freeze until firm, then cut into cubes. Transfer to another container or bag and put back in freezer. You do have to work rather quickly so the dough doesn't thaw out but it goes very fast. My grown daughter loves getting these frozen chunks of dough as a "gift" as she really hates to bake but loves the taste of freshly baked cookies. I have been doing this for more than 15 years and have never had a problem.

On August 01, 2007 at 05:26 PM, cooking in Kansas (guest) said...
Subject: Thick & chewy
I've made more batches of chocolate chip cookies than I can count, since a friend told me to use the Toll House recipe, but add an extra cup of flour, to make them thick, instead of flat. I usually sift flour for most of my recipes, but was told for this particular one, to not sift. I use salted butter, and imitation vanilla. I generally use Nestle's Toll House semi-sweet chocolate chips, but have used Ghirardelli brand with excellent results. I haven't tried freezing the dough, but I do freeze the baked cookies if they won't be eaten within about 24 hours. I can tell the flavor starts to slip after a couple of days, if left at room temperature. (Non-finicky eaters might not notice the difference.) If the cookies will be eaten while still warm, you can bake them longer. But if they will be eaten after they've reached room temperature, it is better to underbake them a bit, to retain the moistness.
I've gotten lots of raves from the various groups who have sampled my cookies. (And my teenaged sons won't eat anyone else's homemade chocolate chip cookies!)
After baking so MANY batches of cookies, they aren't as tempting to me as they used to be. However, putting them in the freezer helps to ration them out, instead of letting my sons eat until they're miserable.

On August 14, 2007 at 07:59 PM, liz (guest) said...
Subject: altitude
Doesn't altitude play a role in the outcome?

On August 14, 2007 at 10:15 PM, GaryProtein said...
Subject: Re: altitude
liz wrote:
Doesn't altitude play a role in the outcome?

Absolutely. At high altitude where water boils off faster, the cookie may dry out before the substance of the cookie is actually cooked if the oven temperature is maintained constant. We really need the expertise of a high altitude cook here. High altitude cooking is considered to be about 3500 feet plus or minus depending on who you ask.

see this google search result for high altitude cooking:

As far as alititude (actually barometric pressure) is concerned, at sea level and standard temperature and pressure, the barometric pressure is close to 30"Hg and water boils at 212F. In Denver CO at 5200 ft, where the normal barometric pressure is about 24.5"Hg, the boiling point is about 202F. At Mt Everest at 29,000 ft, the barometric pressure is about 10"Hg, and the boiling point of water is about 175F. There is roughly a one degree F decrease in BP for every 540 feet in altitude. Above 15,000 feet this guide doesn't hold up well, but people don't generally live there.

The weather also plays a role in the boiling point of water. At sea level (New York, Miami, San Francisco) bad, rainy weather (29.5"Hg) may lower the boiling point one degree, in a hurricane (29"Hg) the boiling point is still around 210, maybe a little less in a stronger hurricaine where the barometric pressure is less, but weather doesn't play as big a role as altitude.

On August 16, 2007 at 02:14 PM, embo500 (guest) said...
Subject: Preheat the pan as well!
One thing of note: When I make these, as the oven is preheating and you're mixing your ingredients, I like to put the pan into the oven so it is preheated as well.

If you don't, and your batch requires more than one trip to the oven for this pan, your first batch will turn out differently because the pan has to come up to temp, while it is already hot for the remaining batches.

Preheating the pan as well results in better consistency for all cookies.

On September 09, 2007 at 04:38 PM, Guest (guest) said...
Subject: Chunky Cookies
I've been working for years to figure out my fathers version of this favorite, he made them and they always turned out thick and chunky, and lumpy and had kind of a soft center, and they where wounderful! I miss this and he choose not to share this with me, I was woundering if any one had any ideas as to what I could do to recreate this. From what I can remember, he added 1/4 bakeing soda and 1/4 cup of extra flour. I have not bee brave enough to try this yet.

On September 09, 2007 at 04:49 PM, Guest (guest) said...
Subject: Chunky chocolate chip cookils
I ment to say he added 1/4 of baking powder, and an extrea 1/4 cup of flour

On September 28, 2007 at 11:25 PM, Josh (guest) said...
Subject: Thick cookies
America's Test Kitchen puts out a CCC recipe for a large, thick, and chewy cookie that should hold up well to mailing as a gift assuming an air tight container. My only complaint is that they are a little bit "cakey" which was a problem for my wife, but for me I thought they were quite perfect. ATK has a great cookbook, why tinker when someone else has already done it? Engineers make a habit of building off the experimental results of others and baking is no time to be making an exception!

On October 11, 2007 at 11:47 PM, cookieBaker (guest) said...
Subject: adjust recipe
Because the recipe was created in the "olden days", I hand mix and bake them on old-fashioned cookie sheets. They come out crispy, crunchy perfect.

I have an original recipe from a 6oz. bag of Nestle's semi-sweet chocolate chips dating back to the 70s. It has 1/4 tsp water in the ingredient list. Although labor-intensive, I mix batches of this recipe and never double it.

I don't like overly sweet and soft cookies. I reduce both white and brown sugar by 1/3, and reduce the chocolate chips by 1/2 and add more as needed while I drop the cookies onto sheets.

I use unsalted butter, light brown sugar, double the nuts, and am generous with the vanilla. Again, because the original recipe is old, I use medium sized or small "large" egg. I don't think the large egg of the 70s were as large as they are today.

I bake these for my office and our annual bake sale. They're usually gone in minutes. Thanks for letting me share my secrets.

On October 12, 2007 at 03:33 PM, Bobbi (guest) said...
Subject: Using Bread Flour for Chocolate Chip Cookies
My secret ingredient for CCC is using white bread flour instead of all purpose. I also have a convection oven which makes the outside crispy while the inside stays moist and chewy. My kids love em!!! Happy Baking!!

On October 20, 2007 at 12:29 PM, Doris (guest) said...
Subject: Softening Butter
Thanks for a fantastic site! I'm not an engineer but I love your recipe charts and the photos.

A tip: An easy way to soften butter quickly and evenly is to unwrap the whole stick, cut into slices and stick them around the sides your mixing bowl. It softens much faster (in minutes) and there's not so much butter stuck to the wrapper.

When you're ready to cream the butter, just scrape the pieces together with a spatula.

On October 20, 2007 at 07:18 PM, GaryProtein said...
Subject: Re: Softening Butter
Doris wrote:
A tip: An easy way to soften butter quickly and evenly is to unwrap the whole stick, cut into slices and stick them around the sides your mixing bowl. It softens much faster (in minutes) and there's not so much butter stuck to the wrapper.

When you're ready to cream the butter, just scrape the pieces together with a spatula.

That's a great idea--using the mixing bowl as a heat sink.

On October 20, 2007 at 11:57 PM, an anonymous reader said...
Subject: To Jack in Australia
If your cookies are turning out too thin and crisp, I can think of two possible reasons why: (a) altitude, and (b) the protein content of your flour.

In the first case, if you are over 1000 m in altitude, you can make the following adjustments to your recipe: Reduce sugar by 1/4 c (4 Tbsp) total; add 2 Tbsp water; and add 1/4 c flour (this assumes the standard-size Toll House Cookie recipe).

In the second case, which I betcha is the more likely issue, it turns out that the all-purpose flours in many countries don't have as much protein/gluten in them as U.S. AP flour does. That protein adds a bit of tensile strength to the cookie, preventing it from spreading as much. If you are using lower-protein flour, your cookies may have an almost peculiarly sandy, crumbly texture.

I'm not going to go into huge detail here, but AP flour is about 12% protein in the U.S. Elsewhere, standard flours might contain as little as 7-9% protein (more like U.S. "pastry flour"). This makes a noticeable difference in the outcome of baked goods. FYI, cake flour in the U.S. is usually 5-6% protein.

To correct that second problem, I suggest the following: (a) mix the dough a bit longer than usual after adding the flour, to activate what gluten you have; (b) add another 1/4 cup (and possibly as much as 1/2 cup) flour, and/or (c) refrigerate your dough for 2-3 hours before shaping and baking. If you want to go whole-geek, you can contact the flour manufacturers, ask them (if they'll tell you) what the protein content of their flours are, and then mix your own blends of bread flour and other flours to come up with a product that is about 12% protein.

My final caveats are (a) the elasticity of unbleached flour is more than that of bleached flour. This means that a bleached flour cookie will probably spread a bit more than an unbleached one; and (b) be certain that your measuring cups, if you didn't obtain them in the U.S., are measuring the correct amounts. That is, your "cup" should be 240-250 ml, your Tbsp 15 ml, your tsp 5 ml.

There are less enjoyable things to experiment with than cookie dough.


On October 22, 2007 at 02:46 PM, connie (guest) said...
Subject: Crispy & Rounded
I'm trying to duplicate the rounded and crunchy cookies that I
remember from my childhood. I'm hoping for cookies that hold
their shape

Sounds to me like all crisco (hate to do that) or 1/2 butter and
1/2 crisco result in this kind of cookie.

Has anyone perfected this type of cookie? Any ideas about the best
combination of brown and white sugar?

Love the web site! Thank you!

On October 24, 2007 at 01:21 PM, Crixtine (guest) said...
Subject: doing it my way
I use the original recipe by Ruth Wakefield:
I use room temperature butter and eggs and everything else,
I freeze the chocolate chips and the already chopped pecans.
I put the salt in with the baking soda and water and mix well.
Then I add the flour last and mix only till incorporated.
I then add the frozen chip and pecans and get immediately chilled dough!!!
Also, I use a cookie scoop and place the dough balls next to each other on a cookie sheet and place the sheet in the freezer. After freezing I wrap them in double Ziplock bags (the large ones) and I have my very own ready bake Toll House cookies. B)
I can't stress how good these cookies are. B) B) B)

On November 03, 2007 at 07:16 PM, tina peterson (guest) said...
Subject: toll house cookies
Used the Semi sweet bars and everything to the letter. Only difference I used Lurpak Danish Butter, from the supermarket, which I believe is specially made for baking. I made small cookies with teaspoon size drops, and they all came out 1/2 inch thick and 1 inch diameter, just perfect bitesize and I got 60 cookies. Some batches I cooked 7 minutes which made them more gooey, others 8 min for regular cookie consistency. I belive the butter made all the difference.

On November 04, 2007 at 08:54 PM, Desperately searching (guest) said...
Subject: 6oz cookie original toll house cookie recipe
CookieBaker would you please print your original 6oz recipe. Unfortunately, mine got tossed, and I have been desperately searching for it ever since. It makes the most wonderful cookies. Thanks, and I appreciate it!

On November 09, 2007 at 06:46 AM, Angela (guest) said...
I'm with Connie (above). I like tiny, crunchy, Famous-Amos type chocolate chip cookies. Searching the net, it's unbelievable that I can't find a recipe that states it produces such cookies! The closest I've found are cookies that are "thin and crispy". But I don't want thin. I want small, rounded, bite-sized cookies....

Help, guys!

On November 18, 2007 at 04:14 PM, Allergic to Eggs (guest) said...
Subject: Allergic to Eggs
I have been making this recipe for years and love it. Problem is my daughter is allergic to eggs. Any suggestion for a substitute for eggs in this recipe that works? Thanks!

On November 29, 2007 at 02:42 AM, laurac (guest) said...
Subject: cookies don't necessarily need eggs
I'm allergic to eggs too. I can tolerate them in cookies if I don't eat too many of them (I know, how do you define "too many"). But if your daughter can't handle any, you can just leave the egg out. You will have a more shortbread type texture (which would be fine with me, as I like my chocolate chip cookies crisp, but there are those "chewy" fans), but the taste in these cookies is in the brown sugar and chocolate pieces. You may have to add a little less flour, depending on your flour, and I would press the cookies flat, either with your fingers or the bottom of a glass dipped in flour. The egg helps them spread out. You could also add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil, to substitute for the fat in the egg. I do that frequently when not using egg.

If you really want chewy, you could substitute some ground nuts (walnuts, almonds, pecans) for some of the flour. About half a cup should do. (I'm one of those "just throw some of that in" type of cooks, so I frequently don't know how much of something I use. I go by consistency.) (So why am I posting on a site for Engineers?) A lot of people like to put nuts in their chocolate chip cookies, so it wouldn't be an odd taste.

On December 07, 2007 at 07:40 PM, Hotlil57 (guest) said...
Subject: Tollhouse Chocolate Chip Cookies
Is that ME cooking? I busted out laughing when I read the 'letting the butter soften and doing your business and remembering you were baking cookies'. Thank you for that; I'm not alone!

On December 18, 2007 at 06:27 PM, Criztine (guest) said...
Subject: Ruth Wakefield's Recipe
Chocolate chip cookies

Ruth Wakefield [June 17, 1903-January 10, 1977], Whitman Mass., is credited for inventing chocolate chip cookies at her Toll House Restaurant in the early 1930s. According to the story, Ruth used a Nestle candy bar for her chips. We will probably never know if Ruth was the very first person to put chocolate pieces in cookies, but she is certainly the one who made them famous. Nestle began marketing Ruth's chocolate chip cookies to the general public in 1941. The caption under the photograph printed by the New York Times (January 2, 1985 I 12:5) describing the fire that destroyed Ruth Wakefield's kitchen the reads "Wreckage of Toll House Restaurant in Whitman, Mass. It was where the chocolate chip cookie was invented." In the July, 1997 Governor Weld signed legislation that declared chocolate chip cookies to be the *official cookie of the Commonwealth* in honor or Ruth Wakefield (much to the dismay of the Fig Newton faction).

Mrs. Wakefield's original recipe

"Toll House Chocolate Crunch Cookies
Cream 1 cup butter, add 3/4 cup brown sugar, 3/4 cup granulated sugar and 2 eggs beaten whole. Dissolve 1 tsp. Soda in 1 tsp. Hot water, and mix alternately with 2 1/4 cups flour sifted with 1 tsp. Salt. Lastly add 1 cup chopped nuts and 2 bars (7-oz.) Nestles yellow label chocolate, semi-sweet, which has been cut in pieces the size of a pea. Flavor with 1 tsp vanilla and drip half teaspoons on a greased cookie sheet. Bake 10 to 12 minutes in 375 degrees F. Oven. Makes 100 cookies."
---Toll House Tried and True Recipes, Ruth Wakefield [M. Barrows:New York] 1947 (p. 216)

The Hershey's 1934 Cookbook contains a recipe for "Chocolatetown chip cookies" (p. 75) that includes a 12 ounce package of Hershey's Baking Chips.

Ms. Wakefield's cookbook collection is currently located at the Henry Whittemore Library of Framingham State College (MA).

Someone please try this recipe (like Mr. Chu perhaps?)
I'd like to hear your opinion IF maybe this recipe actually seems better to anyone else.
Thank you.

On December 25, 2007 at 04:51 AM, JuliaZ (guest) said...
Subject: Lower-sugar versions
I've been making my version of these cookies for nearly 30 years now, and have a few preferences I thought I'd share.
- Use Splenda (3/4 cup) instead of the white sugar; this helps reduce the sugar somewhat if you have diabetics around as I do, and it makes a lighter, fluffier cookie that many people seem to prefer.
- Don't use the Splenda brown sugar substitute. It's half white sugar anyway, and the texture suffers quite a bit. I use dark brown sugar or light brown sugar and a tablespoon of either molasses or Grade A Dark Amber maple syrup.
- I usually add up to 3 Tbsp (not tsp) of Ceylon cinnamon powder. I also grate fresh nutmeg (a 1/4 - 1/3 of a nutmeg) into the batter. These were named "Chocolate Chip Love Cookies" by Buddy Guy at the Blushing Zebra folk club in Philadelphia in 1988, and that's what my family still calls them. I made about 20 dozen of these cookies a week for the Blushing Zebra in an apartment-sized oven. :) I lasted two years before I had to take a break, and then I got hooked on making banana muffins instead.
- I always use large eggs as others have noted
- I always use butter. Margarine is good for something, but it has nothing to do with food.
- I don't sift my flour but I don't exactly measure it either. I could make these cookies while nearly asleep and I know when it looks right. While teaching my 7 year old how to make my cookies, I discovered that I usually scoop ~2.5 cups of flour, not 2.25 as the recipe calls for. C'est la vie.
- I mix the chocolate chips in with my hand blender on low speed.. I've been using the same Kitchen Aid for 21 years now. My husband just got me a Kitchen Aid super-duper stand mixer for Christmas and I'm sure I'll have to ditch that habit to avoid having chocolate shards instead of chips. LOL

On December 26, 2007 at 01:04 AM, lilibon (guest) said...
Subject: Nestle Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe
I've found in making the cookies from the recipe on the back of the bag, that the more butter or margerine that i use, or extra brown sugar (use of either depending on the day!) greatly influences the texture/flavor of the cookies. The more of either makes a yummier cookie!
I've also only used a mixer once or twice, much prefering the texture and taste of the cookies when hand mixed.
Oh, yes, and thank you, I'm finally beginning to understand the mind of engineers, just from reading this one recipe (and here I was merely looking for a recipe for fudge!!) Fascinating! Thank you


On January 14, 2008 at 03:17 PM, robin (guest) said...
Subject: tollhouse cookie md
I've been "using' the recipe from the bag for years with the following modifications: 1) I use butter-flavor Crisco (in the sticks) instead of butter-don't have to wait for it to soften; 2) I use half semi-sweet and half white chocolate chips, NO nuts; 3) I save the last couple tablespoons of the flour mixture to coat the chips before mixing them in - for me they seem to disperse into the mixture easier; and 4) most importantly, I scoop the dough up in rounded teaspoons full and roll the cookies in granulated sugar before placing on cookie sheet - gives the cookies a really nice crisp sugary outside with a chewy inside. They are still obviously homemade BUT the sugar gives them a fancy bakery look. I also used this last step on the rare occasion that I buy the freezer-block of toll-house cookies.

On January 17, 2008 at 04:11 PM, My mother's recipe: (guest) said...
Subject: Toll House Cookies- Make your own, they are better
I recently performed a taste test between the Toll House mixture you can buy in the refrigerator case in the Supermarket and the mix on the bag. Home made ones are better. It is possible to mix up your own and freeze little squares. This does help in portion control, and I am soon going to calculate the price: but I estimate that the price will come out to be for the price of one package, it might be possible to make 5 recipes. I wonder if anyone knows what other bad stuff might be in the prepared one to motivate us to make our own?

On February 13, 2008 at 07:47 PM, Naomi (guest) said...
Subject: peanut butter
Has any one ever made toll house cookies with peanut butter in them? Not the Pbutter chips actual peanut butter and if so could I have the recipe? :)

On February 19, 2008 at 08:18 AM, Dragon Lady (guest) said...
Subject: Peanut Butter in your TollHouse Cookies
I substitute "SUPER CRUNCHIE" peanut butter for 1/2 of the butter, adding it AFTER the butter and sugar are already well blended.

This makes it CRITICAL that you chill the dough before baking.

I'm also a big fan of doubling the vanilla (in just about everything I make)..

On February 19, 2008 at 08:24 AM, DragonLady said...
Subject: Peanut Butter in Toll House Cookies
And, ;) of course, leave out the walnuts

On March 13, 2008 at 04:35 AM, student (guest) said...
Subject: Vanilla Extract
Is it possible to substitute vanilla extract with vanilla essence? If possible, am i supposed to use 5 mL of vanilla essence in place of vanilla extract? Will the end product/taste be the same?

On March 13, 2008 at 09:23 AM, GaryProtein said...
What is vanilla essence? Do you mean the brown liquid stuff in the bottle that is 35% alcohol? If it is, that sounds like vanilla extract.

On April 14, 2008 at 05:48 AM, an anonymous reader said...
Subject: Butter Temperature
To the guy in Australia:

The warmer the butter the flatter the cookie.

This tends to not be an issue in places like Seattle where it never is that warm but I have moved to Thailand and found that if I cream my butter for the same amount of time as I am used to back in the States it has gotten too warm and the cookies turn out flat. That and the flour protein issue mentioned above will make for a flat cookie.

On April 22, 2008 at 12:54 PM, Vince (guest) said...
Subject: Milk Chocolate instead of semi-sweet?
Hi, I recently bought a bag of chocolate chips to make this recipe, but then I realized that it was a bag of milk chocolate chips instead of the semi-sweet chocolate chips the recipe calls for. Can I still make the recipe with milk chocolate chips with success? Has anyone else tried this and are there any adjustments I should make? Thanks in advance to anyone who replies to this topic.

On April 23, 2008 at 02:06 AM, Michael Chu said...
Subject: Re: Milk Chocolate instead of semi-sweet?
Vince wrote:
Hi, I recently bought a bag of chocolate chips to make this recipe, but then I realized that it was a bag of milk chocolate chips instead of the semi-sweet chocolate chips the recipe calls for. Can I still make the recipe with milk chocolate chips with success? Has anyone else tried this and are there any adjustments I should make? Thanks in advance to anyone who replies to this topic.

You can just go ahead and make the recipe with milk chocolate chips. The chocolate will be sweeter and have a different taste, but the cookies will still be great!

On April 23, 2008 at 02:02 PM, GaryProtein said...
Subject: Re: Milk Chocolate instead of semi-sweet?
Michael Chu wrote:
Vince wrote:
Hi, I recently bought a bag of chocolate chips to make this recipe, but then I realized that it was a bag of milk chocolate chips instead of the semi-sweet chocolate chips the recipe calls for. Can I still make the recipe with milk chocolate chips with success? Has anyone else tried this and are there any adjustments I should make? Thanks in advance to anyone who replies to this topic.

You can just go ahead and make the recipe with milk chocolate chips. The chocolate will be sweeter and have a different taste, but the cookies will still be great!

Some people consider me a little low class in my chocolate tastes because I actually prefer milk chocolate chips in my cookies. :)

On May 10, 2008 at 02:17 AM, an anonymous reader said...
A little while ago I thought I'd experiment with adding things to the basic recipe... here's what worked well:

Peppermint, orange, or banana extract/flavoring (to taste, but as a guideline, about the same amount as the vanilla)
Dried cherries
Dried cranberries
Dried cherried and dried cranberries, plus lemon extract

The maple and honey, however, didn't turn out nearly as well: they caused the cookies to spread out and possibly not cook evenly. I think the problem was that the dough was too liquid; next time I try it I'll leave out one of the eggs. They were still tasty, though.

I found a good method of running these types of experiments, too: I make the dough for the base recipe, then get n bowls (where n is the number of kinds of cookies I want to make), divide the dough into the bowls, and add the extra stuff. That way if it doesn't turn out well, it's just a few cookies instead of the whole batch. (It does make it a little harder to fine-tune amounts and figure out how to scale them up, though.) I also line the pans with foil and change the foil after every set to avoid cross-contamination when extracts are involved.

On June 09, 2008 at 06:23 AM, joey (guest) said...
Subject: a nice variation - Bakers Unsweetened chocolate
Sometimes I add 2, 1-ounce squares of Bakers Unsweetened chocolate (slightly melted) to the batter, before adding the chips. This cuts the sweetness a bit, makes an incredibly rich cookie, and seems to stabilize the batter as well. Just warm the squares slightly in the microwave before adding, 30 sec at a time.

On June 11, 2008 at 09:47 PM, JILL (guest) said...
I am famous for my CC cookies, and people are always shocked to hear that I use the Tollhouse recipe. Often, poeple say "My gosh, my cookies NEVER turn out this good!" ... and my brother expects them as care packages at college. My variation results in a plump (tall) moist cookie that tastes very hearty and rich. The secret is to add extra flour (sometimes a cup extra or more), use salted butter, double or triple the vanilla (I never even measure!), feel free to add more than one bag of choc chips, and never overbake. I saw above that a few other people have caught on to these variations with great success as well. MAKE THE VARIATIONS IN THE RECIPE GRADUALLY AND TEST ONE COOKIE AT A TIME TO SEE IF YOU STILL NEED TO ADD MORE FLOUR ... IF THE COOKIES STILL FLATTEN DURING THE BAKING PROCESS, YOU WILL NEED TO ADD MORE FLOUR... CAUTION THAT TOO MUCH FLOUR WILL CAUSE THEM TO BE TOO CAKE-LIKE AND BECOME DRY QUICKLY.

On June 16, 2008 at 01:34 AM, sladevi (guest) said...
Subject: vital wheat gluten
Has anyone tried adding in vital wheat gluten to help keep the cookies from spreading out? If it is an issue of protein in the flour, that seems like it might help. I ask because I happen to have vital wheat gluten for baking bread.

About the butter being too warm and causing them to spread out -- Does that mean refrigerating the dough before baking will fix that problem? Or is it dependent on how warm the butter is when mixing?

On June 16, 2008 at 07:30 PM, Julesnj (guest) said...
Subject: Chewy, nutty, and popular
I use the basic Toll House recipe with three variations. One is to use half butter and half Crisco shortening. Butter flavor remains, but cookies are chewier and not flat or crispy. I add about a half cup more flour, so the dough is stiffer and has more body- again to make a nice chewy texture and "taller" cookie. Finally, I use more nuts than the recipe calls for- walnuts, coarsely chopped. I don't measure, but add until I see a lot in the dough- almost as many as the chips. These changes make for very popular cookies. Good luck!

On June 16, 2008 at 07:40 PM, cookiechef (guest) said...
Subject: A different kind of chocolate chip cookie
I was given a batch of these cookies as a Christmas gift from one of my students, with a recipe card enclosed. They are called "World's Best Cookies" and everyone who has tasted them feels they were named appropriately. I realize these veer from the classic Toll House recipe, but they are similar and, I feel, much better. The recipe follows:

2 cups brown sugar 2 tsp. baking soda
2 cups white sugar 4 cups flour
2 cups vegetable oil 1 & 1/2 cups oatmeal (not instant)
4 large eggs 4 cups crushed corn flakes
2 Tbsp. vanilla 1 large bag semi-sweet choc. chips
1 tsp. salt 1 cup chopped nuts (if desired)

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. The mixture may be crumbly. Form golf-ball-sized balls by hand, pressing choc. chips into the dough, and place on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake at 325 degrees for 12-15 minutes. This recipe makes a huge batch, enough to give to many friends.

The resulting cookies are chewy and crunchy (because of the corn flakes) at the same time. I haven't had a disappointed taster yet.

BTW, I thoroughly enjoyed reading all the engineer/cook comments.


On June 16, 2008 at 07:50 PM, cookiechef (guest) said...
Subject: "World's Best Cookie" goof
I just noticed that my ingredients list got squished together, so I hope you can all figure out that commas are implied between the ingredients and the next number (amount) listed. Sorry for the confusion.


On July 02, 2008 at 08:30 PM, Arya (guest) said...
Subject: looks okay
I think I might try out this recipe....because I myself have never tried the Nestle homemade cookie at home before, and I am curious to see if it will turn out better than the kind of cookies I have tried. Mine always come out very dry, so I will keep trying different recipes!

On July 10, 2008 at 01:07 AM, Sonya (guest) said...
Subject: Overmixed Dough!!
Hi Everyone,

I was making this recipe and I followed it almost exactly, but I ended up overmixing the dough with the mixer :unsure: I'm keeping the dough in the fridge overnight, but what can I do to "reverse" this (if possible)? What will happen to the cookies if I use this dough? Is there any way to avoid that? I don't have enough time/materials to bake another batch (since I need them for tomorrow), but I just wanted to know if any of the engineers or anyone else has experienced this and has a solution!


On July 29, 2008 at 12:06 PM, Fact Boy (guest) said...
Subject: Soft vs Hard cookies
On September 01, 2006 at 12:37 AM, Michael Chu said...
Just to clarify, the regular Toll House Cookies is still a soft cookie. This recipe is not for the crispy, hard cookies (like Famous Amos).

Michael, you are wrong wrong wrong. The original cookie as was most cookies in the late 1800's and up to the 1960's. Soft cookies could not be brought to market and the only way one could experience it was when Mom made them and pulled them from the oven.

On July 29, 2008 at 03:24 PM, Michael Chu said...
Subject: Re: Soft vs Hard cookies
Fact Boy wrote:
On September 01, 2006 at 12:37 AM, Michael Chu said...
Just to clarify, the regular Toll House Cookies is still a soft cookie. This recipe is not for the crispy, hard cookies (like Famous Amos).

Michael, you are wrong wrong wrong. The original cookie as was most cookies in the late 1800's and up to the 1960's. Soft cookies could not be brought to market and the only way one could experience it was when Mom made them and pulled them from the oven.

Sure, that may be true - but I'm not talking about the original cookie... the recipe on the bag produces a soft cookie. (I have to assume that people ask about the currently available recipe when answering questions.)

On August 01, 2008 at 03:36 AM, C (guest) said...
Subject: 1950s Nestle package recipe
Does anyone else remember a different version of the recipe on Nestle Chocolate Morsel packages in, oh, the late 50s or early 60s that called for 3/4 cup light brown sugar and 3/4 cup dark brown sugar, with no white sugar? I *SWEAR* I remember that version from baking cookies with my mom as a kid using a Nestle package panel that she had cut out and taped into her recipe scrapbook. I went so far as to try to pry the answer from Nestle, but they gave me a very noncommital reply about how anyone can make the cookies any way they like, completely ignoring my request for a factual reply. I would kill for a photo or photocopy of a vintage package showing this recipe!

Thanks for a great site.

Oh, and just to weigh in, I'd also have to disagree with the suggestion that the original recipe (with white and brown sugar) makes a soft cookie. The cookies are soft when they are warm, but turn crisp (not *hard*) when cooled. One way to soften them up (if desired) is to store them in plastic bags instead of less permeable containers like the traditional cookie jar. One could even put a slightly damp paper towel in the bag.

On August 07, 2008 at 11:48 AM, LucyChicago (guest) said...
Subject: Cookies-I've made a few [chunky versus flat]
There are several myths on the net as to why cookies come out chunky and cookies come out flat. I'm here to dispel them and offer my first hand experience with baking.

There are two factors that give your cookies their shape. Amount of liquid and oils in the recipe versus the dry ingredients.

*you do not need baking soda or baking powder in your recipe
*you do not need to melt or let your butter sit at room temperature before you use it
*the more flour you use, the chunkier your cookie will be. Depending on if you over do it, they can come out dry as well so dont get crazy and reinvent the wheel.
*darker color metals heat faster and retain heat longer. They are also the reason you get that pretty brown bottom on your cookie if you don't like it brown all the way through [I don't].
*silver baking sheets require some kind of non stick spray and won't cook as evenly as the hotter non stick sheet will

No fail chocolate chip recipe

1 egg
1 tbs of vanilla
3/4c brown sugar
3/4c white sugar
1 3/4c flower [sifted or non it doesnt matter]
1 1/4 stick butter
1/2 - 3/4c chocolate chips
*nuts optional

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake 10 minutes if you're using a non stick gray/dark colored cookie sheet. Bake 12 minutes if you're using a silver cooking sheet. This recipe will produce yummy flat normal looking cookies. If you like them chunky and dunkable, add 1/4 more flour to the batter.


On August 09, 2008 at 09:22 PM, Tony Duarte (guest) said...
Subject: Chocolate Chip Taste Test
I used to love toll house cookies -- but, to my taste buds, the chocolate
chips seemed to lose quality as the years went by. So I held a taste test
at my house. I used a cookie recipe published in the New York Times (7/9/08)
and varied the chocolate chips. Here are the results.

Taste Test One:
Bittersweet Girardelli - 1 vote
Bittersweet Nestle - 2 votes
Real Semi-Sweet Guittard - 3 votes
Milk Chocolate Guittard - 3 votes

Taste Test Two:
Akoma Xtra Semi-Sweet Guittard - 1 vote
Milk Chocolate Guittard - 0 votes
Real Semi-Sweet Guittard - 4 votes
Callebaut Semisweet - 1 vote

Taste Test Three:
Milk Chocolate Guittard - 0 votes
Real Semi-Sweet Guittard - 2 votes
Callebaut Semi-Sweet - 0 votes
Callebaut Milk Chocolate - 4 votes

With each successive tasting I tried to eliminate the least favorite and
add in a new contender. Overall, I would say that people who grew up with
simi-sweet liked Guittards semi-sweet, while people who grew up with milk
chocolate liked Callebaut milk chocolate.

To me, the NYT recipe seems almost indistinguishable from Mrs. Fields. The
secret seems to be resting the dough for 36 hours in the fridge.


On August 23, 2008 at 11:13 PM, caresz (guest) said...
Subject: Large CC Cookies
I have read all the comments on this forum and have really enjoyed it. I was originally looking for a way to convert the standard toll house recipe to larger batches without losing taste. I didn't find that but did want to post how I make my cookies. My friends call my cookies "hurt me" cookies because if they eat more than one it hurts. My little ones have to hold them with both hands.

I soften my unsalted butter and allow my eggs to reach room temp. I use my stand mixer and always make a double batch. I use a dry measuring cup and put 1/3 c for each cookie and put only 6 on a standard shiny cookie sheet on parchment paper. I bake at at 375 for 12 minutes (first batch maybe a minute longer since pan isn't heated, just for consistency) This make 15 cookies per batch. I give away a dozen and keep 3.

The second batch I measure up and put on a cookie sheet side-by-side and put in the freezer for a couple of hours then transfer to freezer bag. I can pull out the frozen cookies and bake them up (15 minutes for frozen) when I have guests. I have also tried to roll them and slice them but they don't look homemade since the choc chips and sliced. They present much better made into the individual cookies and then frozen.

If anyone happens to have the conversion to made 5 or more batches at a time I would love it. I want to bake cookies for my church coffee cafe and use their commercial kitchen. I'm afraid I would burn up stand mixer making so many double batches. Lastly, I buy all ingredients at my local grocery store as I live in a small city with no warehouse stores. Is there another source to purchase large bulk items or must I drive 1 1/2 hours to a Sams?

On September 07, 2008 at 08:27 PM, Guest Lurker (guest) said...
Subject: Substitute for Butter in CCC?
I just recently made a standard batch of Nestle Toll House cookies substituting a standard 15 oz can of northern white beans for the butter (trying for a lower fat alternative to my favorite dessert). As gross as it sounds, it actually was pretty tasty. If you undercook the cookies they stay very soft. If you thoroughly bake them they become cake-like in texture. Overall fairly positive results, but after sitting for a day the undercooked cookies developed a greasy looking sheen (ironic, huh?). Also both fully and lesser baked cookies are very moist. I found it is better to store them with wax paper between the layers. Has anyone come up with other ways (besides halving the butter which was mentioned previously) to reduce the fat? My arteries will thank you.

On September 08, 2008 at 12:34 AM, BIG FOSL (guest) said...
Subject: Addiction
i missed the part in the ingredients where they put heroin in the cookies. I have them every single night and i cant stop eating them. Infact im going to bake some right now, please help.

On October 11, 2008 at 12:34 AM, outriggerkai (guest) said...
Subject: Nestle Toll House Cookies

From the original recipe:
Cut salt in half
Use 1/2 butter and 1/2 shortening (butter for flavor and shortening for more body)
1/2 tsp water if you want crisper edges
bake at 350

On October 13, 2008 at 10:07 PM, Zooch (guest) said...
Subject: Where's the ORIGINAL Toll House cookie recipe??
C wrote:
Does anyone else remember a different version of the recipe on Nestle Chocolate Morsel packages in, oh, the late 50s or early 60s that called for 3/4 cup light brown sugar and 3/4 cup dark brown sugar, with no white sugar? I *SWEAR* I remember that version from baking cookies with my mom as a kid using a Nestle package panel that she had cut out and taped into her recipe scrapbook. I went so far as to try to pry the answer from Nestle, but they gave me a very noncommital reply about how anyone can make the cookies any way they like, completely ignoring my request for a factual reply. I would kill for a photo or photocopy of a vintage package showing this recipe!

YES!! I though I'd lose my mind trying to find someone who remembers the recipe from the 60's being different! I don't remember specific ingredients bit I DO recall needing greased sheets, and the resulting cookie was VERY distinctive looking - more whitish and lumpy rather than the now-ubiquitous browned cookie. I also wrote Nestle about it who gave me an unsatisfactory, stock reply answer.I'm also looking for the ORIGINAL recipe. Please let me know if you find it and if I find it first, I'll re-post here.

On October 14, 2008 at 08:30 AM, Dilbert said...
from the site, cited as "the original" - and it is not what Nestle has posted for Toll House cookies ....

This is one of those few recipes that seem to be just about right, and real hard to improve on. This famous old recipe is originally from Kenneth and Ruth Wakefield's "New England Toll House" near Whitman, Massachusetts, and was brought to the world's attention by Betty Crocker in the late 1930's. It is truly an American classic.

Sift together and reserve:
* 2 cups sifted flour
* 1/2 tsp soda
* 1/2 tsp salt
Turn the oven to 375'. quick moderate.
Beat well together:
* 1/3 cp butter
* 1/3 cp vegetable shortning
* 1/2 cp white sugar
* 1/2 cp brown sugar
* 1 lg egg
* 1 tsp vanilla

Stir in:

* flour mixture, then:
* 1/2 cp chopped nuts
* 6 oz, about 1 1/4 cp, chocolate chips

On November 12, 2008 at 03:05 PM, jlewis30 (guest) said...
Subject: TOLLHOUSE COOKIES - max flavor mod
I have not read all the posts but want to share my modifications that I feel result in perfection =)

I double the recipee and add triple vanilla (I make it home made) and one extra egg yolk (staqndard "large" eggs) for a little extra richness and moisture.

The BFG in cookies is to let the dough sit for at least 12 and up to 48 hours (seriously). This lets the flour hydrate and the sugers melt and combine better. You will find that regardless of the texture you prefer (adjusting flour and brown to white suger ratios) the flavor boost from a well hydrated dough is marvelous.

On November 12, 2008 at 03:33 PM, jlewis30 (guest) said...
Subject: some notes
gah, "sent" too soon.

I cook largeish cookies on a lower temp in a convection oven (325 for 15 min, until the edges start to tan a bit, no longer)

Note about sugars, brown sugar contains more moisture than white, you can alter texure by playing with the sugar ratio.

Ingredient temp, another way to alter resulting texture is to use melted vs softened butter (I never use shortening). It is about moisture again, when you melt the butter the water in it seperates and hydraates the flour differently than usign softened butter. In my experiments I could not deside so I nuke cold butter until about half of it is melted. Since I "age" my dough I think most details surrounding temperature are moot.

Since I bake the chilled dough I have been slicing it, previous notes about not wanting to molest the chips are duely noted =P

On November 18, 2008 at 03:05 PM, Marge (guest) said...
Subject: Chocolate Chip Cookies
Hello, first time on this website and VERY interesting, thanks.

I was reading all the comments and was SO HAPPY to read that the Original Toll House recipe called for Shortening. I was just telling my daughter yesterday that I was positive about the shortening, but could not find any recipe that says it is the original recipe with shortening.

I used to make awesome chocolate chip cookies. I started using the recipe with the butter and find it is not the same. Even with 1/2 butter and 1/2 shortening, it does not taste the same.

I am going to try another batch right now with just shortening. I remember the dough was so thick it was very hard to mix in the chips and nuts. The cookies came out crisp on the outside and somewhat soft on the inside. I took some to work one day years ago and they all said I was the chocolate chip champ!!

On December 06, 2008 at 07:26 PM, CCFanSJ (guest) said...
Subject: Cutout Chocolate Chip Cookies
Have any of you ever adjusted the recipe to be able to roll out the dough and make cut out chocolate chip cookies? I need to make a Secret Santa gift for a coworker who likes chocolate chip cookies and horses. I've purchased the horse cookie cutter. Now, I'd like to be able to roll out the dough and make chocolate chip horse cookies!

Any suggestions? Thanks

On December 06, 2008 at 07:55 PM, Michael Chu said...
Subject: Re: Cutout Chocolate Chip Cookies
CCFanSJ wrote:
Have any of you ever adjusted the recipe to be able to roll out the dough and make cut out chocolate chip cookies? I need to make a Secret Santa gift for a coworker who likes chocolate chip cookies and horses. I've purchased the horse cookie cutter. Now, I'd like to be able to roll out the dough and make chocolate chip horse cookies!

I haven't tried it, but I would increase the flour (perhaps by about 1/2 cup) in the recipe. After the cookie dough is prepared, roll it out, cut, place on a sheet, and stick it in the refrigerator for 15 minutes before baking. That should help keep their shape.

On December 08, 2008 at 12:50 PM, marcyc (guest) said...
Subject: Cookie Brittle
I remember some 20-30 years ago Nestle published some variations on the Toll House Recipe. One was called Cookie Brittle, which was baked like a bar cookie but was very rich and crisp. Another was the usual Toll House recipe baked as bar cookies with the chocolate chips added after 5 or so minutes of baking and marbled through the dough with a knife. There were about 6 in all I think but I'd love to have the Cookie Brittle recipe again.

On December 08, 2008 at 02:18 PM, Dilbert said...
Marcy -

a bit of research turned up quite a few:


this one is credited to Nestle proper:

On December 13, 2008 at 08:40 PM, Lizziesmom (guest) said...
Subject: Toll House Cookies
Try using the Toll House recipe - no chocolate chipe - but substitute cut up dates. It's delicious.

On December 22, 2008 at 09:52 AM, Cheryl (guest) said...
Subject: God Bless Engineers!!!!!!!!!
Modern cookie recipes on the backs of packages are for soft, overly sugared cookies. I wanted to duplicate the cookie taste of my childhood and thanks to your flour to sugar ratio explanation, now I can!!!!

Thank you so very much.

On December 26, 2008 at 11:29 PM, Nef (guest) said...
Subject: CCCWW?
For years, I made these cookies without walnuts. My boyfriend adores walnuts, though, and I find myself making chocolate chip cookies with walnuts instead. From the first, I ran into problems. Mainly, I was chopping a bit indiscriminately and winding up with too many nuts for my dough. Silly me, I added them anyway. My cookies came out runny, crumbly, and more suitable for trail mix. I realized after several batches that it was excessive walnuts.

I wildly speculate that it is the excess oils in the nuts causing the problem. Is that the case? If I should actually want to increase the nuts, should I decrease the amount of butter?

Oh, and I also recall the shortening in the Toll House recipe. The reason I remember it is because Nana told me to always substitute real butter when I make them if I want to make "her cookies." Now, everyone makes her variation. :D

On January 02, 2009 at 03:25 PM, Charlene (guest) said...
Subject: perfected the least for my family
My mother has been making Nestle cookies ever since I can remember. But it was my sister in law that 'perfected' it in my opinion. First of all, we add an additional 1/4 cup of flour to the recipe. We double the vanilla, and only use ONE egg, not two. Next, the butter absolutely needs to be at room temperature. The cookies turn out thick and full, not flat, and retains chewey goodness and flavor.

On January 22, 2009 at 01:57 PM, kira (guest) said...
Subject: my cookies
my chocolate chip cookies i make are at low altitude, but they rise very well and taste very good.

set oven to 375˚
-2 3/4 cup flour
-1 1/8 tsp. baking soda
-five or six shakes of salt from a salt shaker
-2 cups (2 sticks) butter halfway melted
-3/4 cup sugar
-3/4 cup packed brown sugar
-1 tsp. vanilla
-2 eggs
-2 cups nestle toll house chocolate chips
beat all of this together at once and then add chocolate chip cookies. use your hands to mix in the chocolate chip cookies. i know the hands thing helps some how. but the dough should be moderately stiff.
roll the dough into 2 inch. balls and place on cookie sheet. bake 10-11 minutes.

On January 23, 2009 at 12:58 AM, Michael Chu said...
Subject: Re: my cookies
kira wrote:
-2 cups (2 sticks) butter halfway melted

2 sticks is one cup...

On January 23, 2009 at 09:37 AM, Rhaz (guest) said...
Subject: Toll House brownie recipie from package
There used to be a recipie for brownies on the back of the Toll House package about 16 to maybe 20 years ago, it may even be more I don't remember. I have searched all my saved recipies packages, books ect, and it's just not there. I have searched the net for it...nothing, but I did find this place. I hope some one here has it and can post it. Thanks!


On January 26, 2009 at 07:18 PM, AuntieAndie (guest) said...
Subject: Original Toll House Inn Cookies?
This is my Gran's copy of the Original Toll House Inn Chocolate Chip Cookies, which she placed in her 1939 handwritten cook book. Since it was handwritten, I cannot verify that it is the original but the time is right and she lived in W. Virginia and traveled often:

1 1/8 cups sifted white wheat flour
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. shortening
1/4 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1 large egg, beaten
1 tsp. vanilla extract
8 ounces semisweet chocolate (bar or pieces)
1/2 c. walnuts

Sift flour, soda and salt together. Cream shortening and sugars together. Add egg and vanilla. Blend thoroughly. Add sifted ingredients. Cut chocolate into small pieces if bar is used. Fold in nuts and chocolate. Drop from teaspoon onto greased baking sheet. Bake in moderate oven (350) about 10 minutes. Makes 50 cookies.

They taste great, are chewy and crisp. Give them a try :-)

On March 06, 2009 at 03:22 PM, Ella (guest) said...
Subject: Nut substitute
Try substituting Bran Buds cereal for the nuts called for in the recipe (equal measure). The Bran Buds add a nice nutty touch without the harder crunch.

BTW - ever note when you type a response, you cannot spell!!! I sure wish these things had spell checker - but at least they have preview. One would think I didn't know a word of English if I couldn't go back in and fix all the typo's...

On March 08, 2009 at 05:57 PM, amlr said...
Subject: No Chips
A friend of mine loves NTHC without the chips. When ever we are making cookies to send out we make some without the chips and then add the bag to the rest of the dough. My girls love the chipless ones and the extra chippy ones that result.

On March 14, 2009 at 10:10 PM, marmataz (guest) said...
Subject: Thickness and Texture
Chocolate chip cookies are my favorite inanimate objects on earth.

A few things the creator of this recipe, Ruth Wakefield, would do that got lost on the way to the current recipe on the Nestle bag are:

1. She dissolved the baking soda in a teaspoon of warm water before mixing into batter. I am not sure if she still added it to the flour after this.
2. She refrigerated the dough overnight, so upon baking the cookies they came out at least twice the thickness of what you have pictured.
3. She did sift her dough. I have no idea how you came up with your calculations, but you're killing your mixer.

A few of my own side notes:

These cookies are best if you don't mix the batter too intensely, especially the eggs. If you are using an electric mixer, stop about halfway before the eggs are as pulverized as you believe they could be. The rest will work after you add in the flour mixture.

I prefer a better chocolate such as Baker's semi-sweet squares, coarsely chopped. It's not quite as sweet and has a richer flavor, considering the dough is already pretty sweet.

I sub 1/4 cup of white sugar for an extra 1/4 cup brown sugar instead.
I sub a tablespoon of butter with a tablespoon of unrefined coconut oil to give it an imperceptible enhancement in flavor.

Mexican vanilla and kosher salt make a big difference in overall flavor.

These cookies will ruin your life and are roll your socks up and knock your d*ck in the dirt good.

My next plan is to add a bit of ground instand coffe into the mix.

On March 30, 2009 at 10:19 PM, an anonymous reader said...
Subject: FLAT cookies
I have been making these cookies for over 20 years. For some reason, a couple of years ago they started becoming flatter and flatter. I kept thinking I must have missed an ingredient or messed up the quantities (kind of hard to do.) Still flat.

I tried new baking soda, new flour . . . still flat . . . so flat I have to scrape them off the sheet. They are not even cookies anymore.

What am I doing???? This just isn't that hard a recipe!

On April 05, 2009 at 12:38 AM, Cjaxx (guest) said...
I follow this recipe exactly, but my cookies always come out tasting like pillsbury sugar cookies with chocolate chips in them. I HATE pillsbury sugar cookies! I have used all different types of brown sugar, flour, and different sizes of eggs! What am I doing wrong? Do anyone else's cookies taste like this?

On July 13, 2009 at 12:45 PM, OddNina (guest) said...
Thank you for putting up the gramms ;) sometimes i get really mad at you americans for having your own measurements ;) its hard enough to figure out things to replace the american ingredients :)

On August 01, 2009 at 12:04 PM, Drummer's wife (guest) said...
Subject: Still looking for the original recipe from the 50's and 60's
Trying to create the Nestle Toll House cookies that my mother was famous for, & I happened upon this site after 2 days (and 2 batches!) that were tossed in the trash after carefully following the Nestle recipe. I, too, recall distinctly that my mother used Crisco (and she used the recipe from the Nestle chip bag) and her cookies looked nothing like the cookies on the Nestle site. Like a recent poster stated, her cookies were very light tan (whitish, almost) and they were rounded & jumbly looking. Not the least bit flat at all! Mine were flat & greasy. Yuck! I will now try for a 3rd time, this time using Crisco (as the original recipe called for).
I will keep checking back & hope that some kind soul is able to locate the Nestle recipe that prevaled in the 50's and 60's. Surely lots of people have that gem kicking around! Thanks for a truly enlightening site.

On August 01, 2009 at 12:15 PM, Dilbert said...

do be aware - Crisco has changed its formulation in the trans-fat flappola.

many bakers have found the "new Crisco" does not work quite like the "old Crisco"

On August 01, 2009 at 05:13 PM, Drummer's wife (guest) said...
Thank you, Dilbert; you've confirmed my suspicions. I just made one sheet of cookies (w/Crisco) and they were still flat! That's when I decided that Crisco must have changed their potion. My next idea was to take the advice of a poster who said she always adds 1/2 Cup extra flour to every cookie recipe?! So I added 1/2 C flour to the batter (minus one sheet of already-made cookies) and HOSANNA - my mother's cookies at last!

My heartfelt thanks to the poster with that wild-sounding suggestion. It truly worked. For what it's worth, I also took the liberty of changing the sugars to 1 C brown and 1/2 C white, and I doubled the Vanilla.

Thanks to the wonderful posters on this site! I strongly advise those who are having the problem w/flat Tollhouse cookies to add an additional 1/2 Cup + a teaspoon or two of flour to the batter (for the 12 oz. bag o'chips). You'll get thick, jumbly-looking cookies that aren't flat or greasy.

On August 01, 2009 at 05:17 PM, Dilbert said...
thanks for reporting the "add a bit more flour" success!

I've not seen any decent descriptions of how to compensate for the no-transfat Crisco. certainly not any "food science" info - but I'll settle for practical methods to outwit the formulation changes.

when you think back to the ba-zillion recipes using Crisco, them's be a whole lotta' disappointed folks with the "new" stuff.

On August 27, 2009 at 12:05 AM, Ann (guest) said...
Subject: Nestles Chocolate Chip No Bake Cookies 1960's
I am wondering if anyone remembers from the 60's a no bake chocolate chip cookie that was on the toll house package. We called them Hot Rod cookies (maybe because they were so fast) anyway. Mom can't remember all the ingredients but it seemed like she was always making them. You cooked them on top of the stove and spooned them out on wax paper. They were lumpy and very delicious.

They had like 3 cups of sugar
Chocolate chips
but don't remember the rest of the ingredients. Anyone out there remember???? Thanks Ann

On August 27, 2009 at 07:34 AM, Dilbert said...

sounds suspicious >g<

On August 30, 2009 at 06:16 AM, hollander (guest) said...
Subject: Thanks!
I used 360 grams of flour, followed the recipe to the letter and the cookies turned out great! The single "creative" intervention was cca 2 grams of premium grade hash added to the mixture. First the resin was cooled and finely ground then added to one quarter of the butter melted in a double boiler. This was stirred untill all of the solid material dissolved and then blended with the mixture before beating in the eggs. The cookies do have a distinctive aroma and are very delicious. The only drawback of this excellent recipe is you probably shouldn't eat more than five or six of these if you were not planning a serious trip ^_^

The first batch gave me huge cookies, 13cm (5in) in diameter. For later batches I used smaller dumplings, 2,5 cm (1in) in diameter that spread nicely into 50 cookies with a diameter of cca 6cm (2+1/3in). Perfect : )

On September 12, 2009 at 05:07 PM, FD (guest) said...
Subject: a couple of points
Since this is "for Engineers," I thought somebody should mention that sugars and flours will pick up moisture from the air --unless you get your flour straight out of the Mill and/or you house is kept at extremely low humidity. This moisture will, as exposure to humidity continues, throw the measurement by mass off more and more.

I've been playing with CCC recipes for years --my mother (a chocoholic) always made them "flat & hard," while a friend of mine's mother's were like muffin tops. (All good, but I now prefer more chewy, maybe not so many chips.)

I've played with applesauce, instead of fat [gives you something more like a dog biscuit or nature bar]. I've also done a lot of variations, replacing part of the flour with oatmeal or ground oatmeal [as long as you stay under 50% the taste difference is not noticeable]. These experiments were to make a better, better for me/you cookie.

I find that you can get softer cookies by reducing the baking temp by 25-75 F.

Lately, inspired by sites like this, I've been comparing recipes I find on-line, based on my preference, but pro-rated by cups fat/cup flours, cups sugar(s)/cup flours, and eggs/cup flours. (for example: 3x vanilla is a variation, not a whole new recipe)

The Toll house above, that began all this is 0.45 fat, 0.67 sugar, 0.89 egg. [0.34 fat, 0.51 sugar, 0.68 egg ---if you're weighing your flours, by his numbers]

A higher number means higher content, in proportion to the flour.

My current fav is 0.35 fat, 0.59 sugar, 0.47 egg. (link to it, below, although fat still seems a bit high, if you use low trans-fat...) The "1939" recipe ref'd above is 0.45 fat, 0.67 sugar, 0.68 egg.

I line old empty Al foil or plastic wrap boxes with plastic wrap, pack it solid, and freeze the dough. This gives it a very convenient size/shape ---I just slice off about 1 inch slices --which can then be cut into 2, 3, or 4 parts each, for baking.

My current favorite Soft recipe is [url="[/url]

Hope my rambling helps somebody...

On September 12, 2009 at 05:23 PM, Dilbert said...
>> This moisture will, as exposure to humidity continues, throw the measurement by mass off more and more.

holy cow. what happened to equilibrium?

On September 30, 2009 at 09:18 AM, alex (guest) said...
Subject: Making mixing easier
If you have a Kitchen Aid, the following should help you out:

For creaming the butter and sugar together, use the paddle as the directions above suggest.

When it's time to add the flour mixture, change to the dough hook and put the shields on. Turn the mixer on the lowest setting or one notch up from this. Use a large metal spoon and spoon in the flour mixture one spoon at a time. This will keep the flour from getting all over the sides of the bowl.

Because of the shape of the dough hook, you can also add in the chocolate chips instead of mixing by hand - it won't smash them up like the paddle can.

On October 03, 2009 at 03:12 PM, cookie madness (guest) said...
Subject: soft and chewy
Hello on this fine cooktober saturday: Best advise I've read so far, from the folks at the test kitchen["Cooks" mag.] MELT the butter and let cool, add one extra egg YOLK to the sugars mix, bake at only 325 for 10-15 minutes and let stand for 10[TEN] minutes before transfering to cooling rack. they will look un-done in the middle and just turning brown at the edges when you extract them from the oven, but will finish perfectly during the 10 minutes after. The extra egg yolk is because during the melting process some of the butter fat is lost, not sure why. I always refridgerate my cookies and still remain, bend in half-not break, chewy. And I also chill the dough as well. some times over night, mostly to make rolling the stuff in my palms much easier, Spoon?, scoop? to high-tech for me. Finally, melt the butter at only 10% power, sorry, Scotty, and keep an eye on it after the first 30 seconds taking it out before it's fully liquidified. And use good butter, and warm the eggs in hot water, and use more brown,cane, sugar, and stop talking with your mouth full, and put a couple thermometers in your oven , and use a jelly-roll l pan with parchment paper, and give some to your cranky neighbors, and use both powder and soda [3/1] and , and, oh yea, throw a bunch of toffee bits in there as well, and stop kicking the dog, and....oh never mind, just eat the damn things and go lay down in the hammock. Cheers,Louis

On October 12, 2009 at 08:58 PM, strawberryb0tt0m (guest) said...
Subject: half
Hi. I want to thank you so much for the unit conversions to grams, and your step-by-step with illustrations. Today is my 2nd day of baking, and these cookies turned out FANTASTIC! A little burnt on the edges, but nontheles fantastic! So thank you!!

On October 21, 2009 at 01:02 PM, Guest (guest) said...
Subject: Easy Alterations
I like the Version Alton Brown has on the Food channel. Simply change the flour to Bread Flour and the white sugar to brown sugar. The Bread four produces more glutin and thus a more chewy cookie. Also the molasses in the brown sugar is highly hydroscopic and will actually pull in moisture from the air to make the cookie moist for a longer period of time. I also like to add a little Blackstrap or Fancy Molasses to add complexity to the taste.

These alterations work with most cookie recipies.

On October 23, 2009 at 10:05 PM, Crazy Gran (guest) said...
Subject: cost of homemade cookies
has anyone ever determined the cost per dozen or per cookie using the recipe on the back of the nestle chocolate chip bag?

On November 01, 2009 at 10:15 AM, DeannaKeller (guest) said...
Subject: Have ingredients changed?
Hi, I have been making Nestle's Toll House cookies for the last 35 years. I was wondering have the ingredients (specifically the butter vs shortening) changed in the last 10 years. My cookies do not come out as good as they used to.

On November 01, 2009 at 12:07 PM, Dilbert said...
if you are using "shortening" - yes it has changed with the transfat issues.

many bakers have reported different, typically not in a positive direction, results using 'the new Crisco' (for example)

butter has not changed....

On December 18, 2009 at 01:53 PM, an anonymous reader said...
The original toll house chocolate chip cookie did NOT contain shortening. The use of shortening probably began as a wartime substitution. The original recipe, exactly as it was written by its originator, Ruth Wakefield, is copied below. Note that the cookies are not called "chocolate chip" yet; I imagine that was a Nestle marketing invention. And, 50 years before the famous New York Times chocolate chip recipe "invented" the technique, Wakefield advises refrigerating the dough overnight.

By the way, one reason for the wild fluctuations in textures and tastes readers are describing is because of the flour issue. Flour used in baked goods needs to be weighed because as the article points out, using cups and volume measurements is a very imprecise method, with the amount depending on which of the three general methods you use to measure it (sift, or spoon-and-sweep, or dip-and-sweep). Fortunately, more and more Americans are getting wise and buying kitchen scales. The other flour issue is its protein content. Gold Medal flour, with a protein content of about 10.5%, will create cookies that bake up much differently than, say, King Arthur flour, which has a protein content of 11.7%. Whether the flour is bleached or unbleached is yet another variable.

<b>Toll House Chocolate Crunch Cookies</b>
from <i>Toll House Tried and True Recipes </i> by Ruth Wakefield, 1937, M. Barrows (New York)

Yield: 100 cookies

1 cup butter, creamed
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon soda; dissolved in
1 teaspoon hot water
2 1/4 cup flour; sifted with
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped nuts
12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate morsels
1 teaspoon vanilla

Cream butter. Add sugars and eggs. Dissolve baking soda in hot water. Add alternately with sifted flour. Add chopped nuts, chocolate morsels, and vanilla. Drop by half-teaspoonfuls onto greased cooky sheet. Bake in moderate oven, 375 degree F, for 10 to 12 minutes. Makes 100 cookies. At Toll House, we chill the 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 sheets. Then we press balls with finger tips to form flat rounds. This way cookies do not spread as much in baking and they keep uniformly round. They should be brown through, and crispy, not white and hard as I have sometimes seen them.

On December 21, 2009 at 10:29 PM, linda540 (guest) said...
i recently made these cookies, well i have been for the past 10 years. & this year my cookies were turning out horrible, i was not missing any ingredients and was following the directions correctly. This year they are brown and wrinkly, kind of like an old persons arm. I started to think that the recipe was changed, but realized it wasnt. i didnt get a new oven and been using the same ingredients. They just dont look like they used to. any suggestions would be great :) thank you!

- linda :(

On December 21, 2009 at 10:45 PM, Roger (guest) said...
Subject: Another Variation
Use half whole wheat and half unbleached flour, add 3/4 cup raw shelled sunflower seeds, and shortening made partially with cottonseed oil. In the early 80's, we used Snowdrift shortening (a Hunt-Wesson brand), but can't find it nowadays. I noticed Walmart's Great Value brand has simular ingredients. Cottonseed oil gives a better flavor, and gives the cookie a crusty outside, but still chewy inside. Make your own brown sugar by simply adding 1 tablespoon of molasses to each cup of granulated white sugar.

On January 01, 2010 at 10:07 PM, guest (guest) said...
Subject: four differences in recipes
If you are purchasing your ingredients outside of the U.S. you will find that flour varies greatly in other countries as far as the size of the grains. It can make a big difference in the final product if you use too fine of a grain of flour in cookies in particular as flour is the structure for your cookies. I found when living in France that the type 45 was what I should use with my cookies. Type 55 is best for yeast cooking and fluide flour was the finest grained that was great for sauces, much like Wondra brand flour is in the U.S. Baking powder is also not the same in France as it is in the states, it doesn't rise as well. I am guessing it is in the mix of baking soda and dry acid--the French don't generally use baking soda in their cooking, so you have to look for it in a pharmacy.

On February 08, 2010 at 12:47 PM, Clyde Cookie (guest) said...
Subject: Chocolate chip cookies
I like to eat chocolate chip cookies. Hope my input helps...

On March 03, 2010 at 08:00 PM, Grandma Mollie (guest) said...
Subject: Crisco in Toll House Cookies during WWII
Toll House Cookies I: During WWII Toll House cookies were a rare treat becaue eggs, sugar and butter were heavily rationed. ('Oleo' was some kind white, firm fat fat that came with a packet of dye to be kneaded in by hand.) My mom and several neighbors pooled ingredients bought with ration coupons, and the cookies were distributed among the contributing families. For the fat, we used only Crisco (not rationed, as far as I remember). Perhaps because I was too young to be critical, I thought the cookies were wonderful!

Toll House Cookies II: Although we lived in a city, I spent much time during the war helping on my grandparents' farm. Grandma's 'Toll House' cookies were the best ever, made with fresh eggs from her 'free range' chickens and butter hand churned from the thick cream that rose to the top of the milk hand-squeezed from her milk cows. No chocolate chips were available locally, so G'ma chopped up squares of baking chocolate. The results, while not the 'real thing' were absolutely delicious.

On March 28, 2010 at 03:43 AM, an anonymous reader said...
Subject: Success!
I had not made Toll House cookies in years and attempted them recently. How hard could it be, right?! Anyone should be able to follow simple directions. You can imagine my disappointment when they turned out flat and crispy. I prefer them thicker and softer. What made it worse is that I was making them because my new boyfriend loves them and kept hinting around for me to make him some. Way to make a first impression with my baking skills....not! Of course he ate them and said they were good but I knew different and was determined to redeem myself.

I realized that my problem was that in order to save time, I had nuked the 2 sticks of salted butter and they got over melted. I tried again a few days later, letting the butter soften at room temperature for about an hour, but got the same results.

After reading a lot of the tips on this site, I tried again. Third try's a charm, right? In my case, it absolutely was! These are the best Toll House cookies I've ever tasted. Variances I made were using 1/2 salted butter and 1/2 butter flavored Crisco instead of all butter, using a 1/2 cup more flour, and using 2 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla. I hand mixed instead of using beaters and kept the dough in the fridge between batches. I only had jumbo eggs on hand so I used 1 1/2 eggs to compensate.

These cookies taste extra sweet because of the extra vanilla and remind me of Mrs. Field's. If you're not a fan of extra sweet, try 2 teaspoons of vanilla instead of the 2 1/2 I used or the 1 teaspoon called for.

Thanks to everyone for the helpful tips; I'll invite you all to the wedding! :P

On April 19, 2010 at 03:56 AM, an anonymous reader said...
I love chocolate chip cookies and cookies in general but cannot stand this recipe. I find it to be way too sweet and the cookies a bit too crispy and crumbly for my liking, so I altered this recipe. Instead of 3/4 cup white and brown sugar I kept the 3/4 cup BROWN sugar and downsized the 3/4 white sugar to 1/2 cup WHITE sugar. I also add 2 teaspoons up to 1 Tablespoon of vanilla. I find that this makes a much more chewy dense cookie and it tastes great!

On April 26, 2010 at 07:30 PM, an anonymous reader said...
Subject: thin and chewy cookies
I'd really like to know how to make the thin chewy looking cookies from your first picture. I love them that way but have only had them turn out once or twice that way myself. What am I doing wrong?!?! Mine usually turn out more cake-like and I follow the recipe exactly. Does altitude have anything to do with it?

On April 27, 2010 at 04:33 AM, Michael Chu said...
Subject: Re: thin and chewy cookies
Anonymous wrote:
I'd really like to know how to make the thin chewy looking cookies from your first picture. I love them that way but have only had them turn out once or twice that way myself. What am I doing wrong?!?! Mine usually turn out more cake-like and I follow the recipe exactly. Does altitude have anything to do with it?

The primary contributor for the cakey texture of cookies is the proportion of flour to butter. How are you measuring your flour? Using a cup and straight edge to level is a poor way to measure flour since a cup of flour can vary from less than 125 g to 200 g depending on how settled the flour is. Since the recipe calls for 2-1/4 cup flour (about 280 g), scooping out of the bag without having sifted the flour could very likely result in a 160g per cup scoop yielding 360 g (which results in the other recipe that is more cakey). Since flour settles over time or might get stirred up, I would suspect that is the reason for the inconsistency.

If you're measuring your flour accurate by using a scale, then the problem might be the temperature of the butter and dough when it hits the oven. In general, the warmer it is to start with, the more it will spread.

On June 10, 2010 at 01:29 PM, an anonymous reader said...
Subject: Micheal Chu Wrote:
The primary contributor for the cakey texture of cookies is the proportion of flour to butter. How are you measuring your flour? Using a cup and straight edge to level is a poor way to measure flour since a cup of flour can vary from less than 125 g to 200 g depending on how settled the flour is. Since the recipe calls for 2-1/4 cup flour (about 280 g), scooping out of the bag without having sifted the flour could very likely result in a 160g per cup scoop yielding 360 g (which results in the other recipe that is more cakey). Since flour settles over time or might get stirred up, I would suspect that is the reason for the inconsistency.

I find it contradictory that an engineer would compose recipes in an imprecise and antiquated system of cups and teaspoons.
An engineer would formulate recipes in baker percentages, which is a more precise method and it also has the advantage of being able to scale easily.

Yes, I realize most readers employ cup and teaspoon measurement, but an engineer should first write the recipe in bakers percentages then give the recipe in the approximate cups and teaspoons.

The most frustrating thing is to find a great site like yours and then have to convert a desired recipe to bakers percentages.

On June 10, 2010 at 02:39 PM, Dilbert said...
I use a scale out of habit for many many things - not limited to baking - proportions of rice and water for example.

the inability to translate between volume and weight measures is not a engineering problem for the experienced engineer baker / cook.

I would also offer the opinion that using baker's percentages would be a complete disaster for the average baking homemaker. the disaster typically takes shape as:

"What up? how can I have a 100% hydration dough? it would be all water!"

there's a reason they call it "baker's percentage" - bakers know what to do with it - the average home person in charge of cooking / baking does not.

baker's percentages are very useful for scaling a recipe; for a fixed recipe they are of little actual value.

On July 12, 2010 at 05:44 PM, jeanne (guest) said...
Subject: tollhouse cookies
I find simply substituting shortening for half the butter makes the cookies perfect! they don't flatten or burn.

On September 13, 2010 at 06:10 PM, an anonymous reader said...
Allright, count me among the ones who believe the old Massachusetts lady used butter in her CCC recipe, but there is another possibility...lard...why would she maybe not have used lard? After all she may not have had butter in her larder, she may have only had lard in her larder.

Sorry, but I like my cookies flat, not fat. I am also like the other poster who said maybe he could help with his comment and his comment was that he "liked eating chocolate chip cookies". I can help that way as well.

This is a great forum. I am an engineer and its nice to see it engineer friendly....but I agree shouldn't the recipe be shown in BP's?

On September 14, 2010 at 03:32 PM, Ishwash said...
Subject: Sifted Flour is Only a Check for Weevils, Always Was
For you who are sifters of flour and who stick by it rigidly, you may be getting a flat cookie because of the way less amount of flour you get when you sift. If I weigh my level cupful of sifted flour I never get more than 110 grams. So I give you the next paragraph which is the converse of this paragraph:

125 grams all-purpose flour makes a cupful? Actually you cannot put 125 grams of aerated all-purpose flour into a measuring cup without tamping or tapping the cup on the countertop or squishing a bit to get it all in there. I suppose that the standard for 125 grams per cup is a good standard, but the only good way to get that is to weigh it, in my opinion. Don't use the cup.

I would forget about the sifter unless you keep your flour long enough to get weevils in it. In my opinion the only real use for a sifter came from the days when people were so poor that they couldn't afford to replace their flour when it got old and they used it unhappily to get the weevils out. I still use one but it is because of my eyes; I can't see all that well anymore and sometimes need to check my flour for weevils to see if I need to toss it. Common sense tells me that that was all the sifter was ever really used for.

Now if you guys are ending up with a flat cookie and you decide logically to add more flour, you really need to know whether you are adding more flour on top of a 110 gram per cup measures or maybe 125 gram per cup measures or even the 150 grams or more that you may get from a scooped cup. I can guarantee you that if you use scooped out cups of packed flour and you are still ending up with flat cookies, something else is definitely wrong, because a scooped out cup obtained from stored, settled flour is going to yield fat cookies. Personally, I don't know what all the hubub is over wanting fat cookies. To me if you use quite a lot of flour, you really can taste the flour. So if you are wanting to add more flour for a fatter cookie make sure you don't add so much that you get a flour-ry tasting cookie.

What I really like is double chocolate CCC's and with those I surely like them better if they are flat, so I for one really don't understand the desire for fat, cakelike chocolate chip cookies.

On September 19, 2010 at 08:41 PM, Guest (guest) said...
Subject: Salt in CCC
I am 50 years old and have 10 children. CCC is their favorite.
I buy regular butter and never add any additional salt to the recipe.
Everyone who tastes my cookies wants the recipe.
I only use the Original Toll House Recipe with real vanilla, and no salt.

Just exactly what is the purpose of adding salt to the recipe? Will it imporve the recipe?

On September 20, 2010 at 12:13 AM, Michael Chu said...
Subject: Re: Salt in CCC
Guest wrote:
Just exactly what is the purpose of adding salt to the recipe? Will it imporve the recipe?

Salt adds another flavor dimension to the cookies. Next time you make CCC, add a pinch of salt into the batter (perhaps just one tray's worth) and bake as you normally would. If you put just the right enough, you'll find that the cookie tastes a little sweeter, a little stronger than normal and you shouldn't be able to readily identify the change as saltiness. Some people prefer cookies with a bit more salt than others (just as some prefer more sweet or more chewy) but I encourage trying out the use of salt in chocolate chip cookies at least once. You might find that to be your new secret ingredient :)

On September 20, 2010 at 09:33 PM, an anonymous reader said...
Subject: Differences in cookie sheets
When I make the regular Toll House cookie dough and bake it on standard cookie sheets, it spreads a LOT, and makes a very thin, crispy (crumbly!) cookie. However, if I bake the same dough balls in a cake pan with high(er) sides, the cookies barely spread! They stay thick and round, which I prefer.

Anyone know an explanation for this phenomena??

psalm1002 at gmail dot com

On September 28, 2010 at 10:45 AM, cecilia (guest) said...
Subject: Chocolate chip cookies

I live in a city located 2,000 meters above the sea level. Whrn I make the cookies they get vey thin and the borders get burned, maybe you know what ca I do about it.

Thank you very much

On November 25, 2010 at 12:34 AM, Danelle (guest) said...
Subject: Flat cookies still
I live in the bay area. My grandmother lived here too. I have made 100s of dozens of chocolate chip cookies with her, and have never had a problem...until the 90s.

I have changed the fleishmans margarine back to butter. I have tried crisco, which she also used sometimes.

I have added more flour.

I have used only 1 egg.


I am even using the same flour brand.

Same baking soda/powder too.

I want the harder on the outside, softer in the center, drier rather than chewy, crisper rather than cakelike cookie from the 70s.

They stored well in a metal tin or cookie jar.

You could dunk them in milk and they held their shape.

They could last for weeks in the tin with no flavor or texture change.

Now they taste salty, and are chewy, and crumbly at the same time.

Could it be both the flour AND the margarine/crisco/butter has changed since the 70-80s? Or maybe the baking soda/powder?

I even tried extra walnuts.


Any other suggestions? I read the whole set of posts here. Only a couple are actually looking for the same thing. Thanks.

On November 25, 2010 at 04:39 AM, Michael Chu said...
Subject: Re: Flat cookies still
Danelle wrote:
I live in the bay area. My grandmother lived here too. I have made 100s of dozens of chocolate chip cookies with her, and have never had a problem...until the 90s.

Oven temperature maybe? Did you guys get a new oven during the 90's? Oven temperatures at the same setting vary widely from oven to oven (even same model) from my experience.

On November 27, 2010 at 06:49 AM, SUZL (guest) said...
Subject: flour measuring
Thank you, M. Chu for your experiments with sifting/not sifting flour for Tollhouse cookies! As a child, I always packed my flour to measure it for cookies, just like I packed my brown sugar. I never knew if it was the right way to do it but my cookies came out great. When I made the cookies as an adult, years later, I packed the flour again and got a different result (flat, greasy cookies). Not sure yet what caused the difference, but nice to know that I was "doing it right" all those years, by not sifting the flour. As a fellow scientist of a sort (surgeon), I appreciate the idea of testing various measurements of flour. I just never had the patience to do it myself.

On November 27, 2010 at 11:07 PM, Michael Chu said...
Subject: Re: flour measuring
SUZL wrote:
Thank you, M. Chu for your experiments with sifting/not sifting flour for Tollhouse cookies! As a child, I always packed my flour to measure it for cookies, just like I packed my brown sugar. I never knew if it was the right way to do it but my cookies came out great. When I made the cookies as an adult, years later, I packed the flour again and got a different result (flat, greasy cookies). Not sure yet what caused the difference, but nice to know that I was "doing it right" all those years, by not sifting the flour. As a fellow scientist of a sort (surgeon), I appreciate the idea of testing various measurements of flour. I just never had the patience to do it myself.

I don't remember advocating packing the flour to measure. I think you should use a scale whenever possible.

On December 12, 2010 at 07:01 AM, Risha (guest) said...
Subject: Don't have baking soda
Due to an extraordinarily limited ingredients pool, I've only got baking powder available, not baking soda. Do you have any recommendations or explanations on how I can substitute this in? Possibly alternative recipes?

On December 19, 2010 at 07:09 PM, jnblack (guest) said...
Subject: cakey cookies
I used the amount of flour called for in the thin and chewy recipe. I slightly underbaked them. Still they came out very "cakish". Not the nice thin, chewy ones from my youth. What am I doing wrong??? BTW, I used one cup of chocolate chips, 1 cup of Ande's mint pieces. I doubt this is the issue as my friend has made the same cookies and hers were thin and chewy. HELP!

On December 26, 2010 at 02:03 PM, perplexed (guest) said...
Subject: I just want the type cookies I remember as a child
I baked many a cookie growing up. Got married and my husband thought my chocolate chips cookies were the best...Over 38 years later, not matter what, my cookies come out to 'cakey'. He always make the comment, what ever happened to the flat ooey gooey cookies you used to make. From what I'm reading, it's gotta be the flour. Next batch, I'll be sure to sift and may use 1/4 less. I'll let you know. Thanks for all the post, been interesting to read.

On December 27, 2010 at 12:01 PM, Sad Cookie Girl (guest) said...
Subject: Nestle Recipe
I think they must have changed the recipe printed on the Nestle package. I baked cookies a lot when I was a teenager. But it has been literally years, since I baked cookies last. I'm on my 4th package of morsels, and they are flat. Not AT ALL like the ones I made years ago. They must have changed their recipe, in some way. I will try adding more flour, so they are thicker. Thanks for the tips :)

On April 06, 2011 at 05:19 PM, Cookielover (guest) said...
Subject: HELP
i did the thin and chewy recipe i did exactly how the recipe stated and they still turn out hard and not thin they are delicious but Ive been searching for the perfect soft and thin chocolate chip cookies. Did anyone else have a problem like this? Can anyone help out on how to get the exact same cookies as in the pictures? if you could give me tips on how to make these cookies that would be great. thanks!

On April 27, 2011 at 03:16 AM, Guestie (guest) said...
Subject: Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie
The way to make them using butter, real butter, is this: Make sure to use unsweetened butter. Make sure the eggs and butter are at room temperature. Don't sift the flour. Cream the butter, vanilla, sugars by hand and stop at that precise moment comes when they are all incorporated. Add in eggs one by one. I don't use a mixer for any of this. I don't use cookie sheets, I bake them in a 13 x 9 inch glass pan for 20 minutes. (I spray the pan with Pam and wipe it before the dough goes in.) When they come out of the oven, I then put the pan on a rack in the freezer to cool for another twenty. Then I usually sample an edge. The cookies live in the pan less than 48 hours because they are all rapidly consumed, usually only stored covered with plastic wrap on top. The neighbors son commented on how the edges were not hard or burnt. I took some to work to a meeting and the first three people that arrived at the meeting tried them and wanted to hide the remainder from the rest of the folks who would be coming to the meeting. We used to buy the break off kind in the package, but I remember making these with my mother. She used Crisco, but I started using butter when I moved out and it was just better. I had stopped baking when I got married, but recently started again. My current partner, takes a huge square almost immediately. You have to use semi-sweet chips, once I tried the ones from Trader Joe and they were still great. However I tried them with milk chocolate chips and they were a little too cloying for my taste.

On August 30, 2011 at 05:10 PM, BakingLady (guest) said...
Subject: Stupid FLAT WIDE Tollhouse Cookies!!!!!!
Ok, I've read all the comments here, and there seem to be a few folks having the same issue as I do with this confounded recipe. I'm an experienced baker and I've had this same problem with the Nestle recipe ever since I was a kid and tried making this recipe for the very first time, no matter where I lived, and I've lived all over the dang place, so I don't think it's an issue of climate for me. In fact, just the other day at a friend's house, being a proper hostess, she offered up some home baked goods. After sampling her chocolate chip cookies (ok, ok, gorging to my embarrassment) I asked her for the recipe, and was surprised when she snickered and said I could get the same recipe on the back of any Nestle's choc chip bag. I harumphed and said she must be altering the recipe, because mine never came out this good, and she claimed that no, she followed the recipe to the letter. I do the same, each ingredient carefully measured and added and mixed at the appropriate time. However, my cookies come out tasting like baking soda cookies and are so flat you have to scrape them off the pan. Gross. Same results every time at every phase in my life where I decided to try this recipe again, and never any luck!!! What the heck am I doing wrong? How can I come up with these poor excuses for cookies, while others follow the same recipe with such great results??? I want that Tollhouse flavor!! Thanks!

On August 30, 2011 at 05:43 PM, Dilbert said...
try refrigerating the dough for min. four hours before baking.

if the dough has warmed up, it spreads too fast and goes flat before it 'sets up'

you can also try baking on parchment vs something slippery - a bit more 'resistance' to the spreading....

On September 28, 2011 at 10:52 AM, C Ragsdale (guest) said...
Subject: Original Toll House Cookies
I would like to make a comment about the recipe on the package. It is not the same recipe that my mother made for me 60 years ago. I cannot figure out what was changed, but the cookies are not the same. Years ago the cookies were delicious and we could not stop eating them. I have been baking for years and I know how to follow a recipe. I have tried the recipe a couple of times. My sister has tried it and other people in my family, but with no success. To the Nestle folks, please bring back the real Original recipe.


On October 02, 2011 at 05:08 AM, Antilope (guest) said...
Subject: The original Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe from 19
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)

On October 03, 2011 at 06:21 PM, james19464 said...
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.

On October 03, 2011 at 07:22 PM, Jim Cooley said...
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?

On October 03, 2011 at 08:14 PM, yocona said...
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.

On October 03, 2011 at 11:22 PM, Jim Cooley said...
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.


On October 09, 2011 at 11:44 PM, C Ragsdale (guest) said...
Subject: Original Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies
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.

On October 26, 2011 at 04:12 AM, ruthie (guest) said...
Subject: sugar in Toll House Cookies
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.

On November 24, 2011 at 11:25 AM, ctVolFan (guest) said...
Subject: Creaming with Crisco
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...

On December 11, 2011 at 05:25 PM, (guest) said...
Subject: Toll House cookies
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

On December 11, 2011 at 06:43 PM, Dilbert said...
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.

On January 03, 2012 at 10:19 AM, contique (guest) said...
Subject: Recipe was altered by Nestle (and fixed by my Grandmother)
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.

On January 18, 2012 at 04:10 PM, an anonymous reader said...
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....

On January 24, 2012 at 07:23 PM, Camille (guest) said...
Subject: Your chocolate chip cookies...
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.


On February 18, 2012 at 05:45 PM, Red white and blue (guest) said...
Subject: Toll hourse chocolate chip cookies - Contique's grandmother
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.

On April 15, 2012 at 06:20 PM, an anonymous reader said...
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!

On October 03, 2012 at 11:40 PM, Karen, the food scientist (guest) said...
Subject: Bars
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.

On October 04, 2012 at 09:25 AM, Jim Cooley said...
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?

On October 06, 2012 at 10:33 AM, Karen, the food scientist (guest) said...
Subject: Bars
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.

On October 06, 2012 at 08:30 PM, Jim Cooley said...
Your conclusions make sense. I'll definitely try Grandma's trick next time I do Tollhouse cookies, though!

On January 12, 2013 at 03:43 PM, guest (guest) said...
Subject: Perfect! nestle tollhouse high altitude recipe
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.

On November 24, 2015 at 09:57 PM, Laura Bruckner (guest) said...
Subject: Thick vs. Thin/Crunchy vs. Chewy
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.

On December 21, 2016 at 11:37 PM, Joannesky said...
Subject: Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies
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.

On December 22, 2016 at 08:17 AM, Dilbert said...
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' -

On June 02, 2017 at 03:51 PM, happy grandma (guest) said...
Subject: Help..
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?

On June 02, 2017 at 04:43 PM, Dilbert said...
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...)

On June 03, 2017 at 03:21 PM, an anonymous reader said...
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.

On June 06, 2017 at 01:19 AM, Michael Chu said...
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?)

On June 07, 2017 at 10:06 PM, an anonymous reader said...
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.

On June 08, 2017 at 08:09 AM, Dilbert said...
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.

On December 04, 2018 at 09:15 AM, vtjohns (guest) said...
Subject: ??Salted/unsalted butter??
I have been making these cookies 40+ years and not one package of Nestles Toll House Chocolate Chips with their recipe printed on the back has the word "unsalted" ever been printed. Please do not take it upon yourself to try and add "unsalted" to the butter/margarine ingredient. Don't change or mislead "newbie/novice' bakers with YOUR interpretation of what should be added or deleted. Nestles has the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe on the bag of each semisweet chocolate morsel bag. You can't fix Perfection!

On September 04, 2020 at 11:52 AM, guest chef (guest) said...
Subject: missing step
a thing that also would have made a difference besides volume of flour is this: cookie dough should be chilled before baking. chilling the dough allows two things: the flour hydrates and absorbs the liquids more completely and the fat, especially butter, re-solidifies and takes that little bit longer to liquify in the oven. both of these are as much a factor in preventing spread as the differing flour amounts. the extra flour can make up for the lack of resting and chilling, but culinary schools (and in home economics classes back in the day) students are taught to chill the dough and thus save the cost of extra flour. no big deal for 40-ish grams in a single batch, but a major savings when baking larger quantities whether as a a parent back in the day when doing everything from scratch was normal and you therefore used enough flour to notice the difference of cooking wastefully over the weeks of months, or a manufacturer of packaged cookies saving 4000 kilos of flour a year.

pastry dough and bread dough should also be rested between preparation and use. for the same reasons of hydration and solidifying the fats, and also for relaxing the gluten development when using higher gluten flours than one uses for cookies.

another variable: it is also better to have enough sheet pans, or enough time, to put each new batch of raw cookies onto a cold sheet pan. if your tests were happening one after another in a warm kitchen on warm pans, this was also a factor of the spread rates of the different amounts of flour.

On November 19, 2020 at 07:43 AM, sensiblewall said...
im a newbie to cooking and just thankful that i am learning a lot in this thread :D

On September 06, 2022 at 11:13 AM, Shannon78 (guest) said...
Subject: Thank you
For a long time, I was looking for this recipe, and finally, I found it on your website.
I'm going to test it and get you back for feedback =)

Shannon Lege

On December 24, 2023 at 08:20 PM, jvanderh (guest) said...
Thank you so much! I bake exclusively by weight, and I could tell mine weren't coming out quite right. I had the flour at 160 and the brown sugar at 75.

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