As far as I’m concerned, chocolate chip cookies are one of the best cookies anyone ever came up with. To think it was a result of what most people would consider a ‘flying leap’ off of a high bridge is absolutely mind boggling.
I’ll get to the cookies themselves soon, but first we just have to talk about their source, their birth family if you will.
The gall of it. I bet their families thought they were crazy, nuts, stupid to do this. I’m using harsh language here, but can’t you just hear it? My family would have thought that way.
In fact, when they first opened, they had just $ 50 left after investing everything else in the facility itself. Their first customer brought a group in and asked to be billed, so then they were left with $ 20. Even in 1930 dollars, that’s not much operating capital for a restaurant.
Funny thing though. After several months of washing dishes after each table was served (because that’s all the dishes they owned) by Christmas time 1930 they were up to a dozen employees. Before the end of the decade they needed 100 employees to serve their 1,000 daily customers.
Thanks to Carolyn Wyman, The Great American Chocolate Chip Cookie Book for the information above.
And thanks to her for the original Toll House Cookie recipe. Although I probably wouldn’t have recognized the cookie served in the restaurant as either a Toll House or a Chocolate Chip cookie.
For one thing, it was made with small chunks of chocolate because the product we now know as chocolate chips hadn’t yet been developed. For another it was small, made with just a teaspoon of dough per cookie. It was also crunchy (crispy), not soft. And it was browned all the way through. All different than the cookies I usually make!
Of course all of those differences totally intrigue me so I had to try to make them the Toll House way with the recipe in the Great American Chocolate Chip Cookie Book. You can also find the same recipe at King Arthur Flour’s blog. Did you know that KAF was the flour used by most of New England at the time the Toll House cookie was born?
The recipe I used is pretty straight forward, using mostly the same ingredients as the recipe on the NeIstlé’s chocolate chip cookie bag. Besides chopping up a chocolate bar, another difference was dissolving the baking soda in warm water before adding to the dough. Then there was the size.
I had a little trouble sizing the cookies which were supposed to be a teaspoon of dough each. I did most with a meticulously scooped 1 teaspoon and then found that I was going to have about 150 cookies from the recipe that should do 100. So I started making them bigger. Not sure which is most like the original served in the restaurant, but both taste good.
And that’s the bottom line. I never thought I’d like a crispy chocolate chip cookie, but hey, they’re good! They’re not dry, they’re not powdery (like some brands you buy in the grocery store). They have great chocolate flavor, as they should since they have a higher proportion of chocolate than our typical recipe.
The bottom most line? These are well worth making. And really good to eat!
If you try this at home, let me know how it works for you! Also, I’d love it if you would share your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe with me.
Have a great chocolatey week,