Wednesday, December 8, 2010

At the Toll House

Have you ever wondered how Toll House Cookies got their name?

I was curious and I discovered an interesting story.  The cookies were named after the Toll House Inn in Whitman Massachusetts.  That, of course, is not the end of the story.  The Inn was established in 1930 by the Wakefields in a building originally used as toll house in the early 18th century.  Located halfway between Boston and New Beford Massachusetts – approximately 80 miles apart – travelers could have a meal, change horses and rest for a night.

Quite by accident was the famous cookie invented.  Ruth Wakefield cooked all the meals at the Toll House Inn and gained popularity for her delicious desserts.  Her Butter Drop Do cookies were a particular favorite.  Baking one day she discovered she was out of her baking chocolate and chopped up a Nestlé Semi-Sweet Chocolate bar into little bits to use in its place.  She had expected the chocolate to melt as her usual chocolate did.  Instead the chips only softened creating a soft, creamy textured cookie.

So popular were Ruth’s cookies, the recipe was published in a Boston newspaper, as well as other papers in the New England area causing the sales of Nestlé Semi-Sweet Chocolate Bar to explode.

Ruth and Nestlé eventually came to an agreement – Nestle would print her recipe on the wrapper of the Semi-Sweet Chocolate Bar and Ruth would get all of the chocolate she could use for the rest of her life.

A pretty sweet deal, if you ask me!

In 1939, Nestle began producing chocolate in tiny chips especially for the purpose of making cookies.


Original NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Chocolate Chip Cookies


  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
  • 1 cup chopped nuts


PREHEAT oven to 375° F.

COMBINE flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels and nuts. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.

BAKE for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

PAN COOKIE VARIATION: Grease 15 x 10-inch jelly-roll pan. Prepare dough as above. Spread into prepared pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool in pan on wire rack. Makes 4 dozen bars.

 dough as above. Divide in half; wrap in waxed paper. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until firm. Shape each half into 15-inch log; wrap in wax paper. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.* Preheat oven to 375° F. Cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices; place on ungreased baking sheets. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely. Makes about 5 dozen cookies.

* May be stored in refrigerator for up to 1 week or in freezer for up to 8 weeks.

FOR HIGH ALTITUDE BAKING (5,200 feet): Increase flour to 2 1/2 cups. Add 2 teaspoons water with flour and reduce both granulated sugar and brown sugar to 2/3 cup each. Bake drop cookies for 8 to 10 minutes and pan cookie for 17 to 19 minutes.


All of the eggs I used in this recipe were courtesy of my good friends Stephanie and Phil.  

If you live in or near Connecticut and want farm fresh eggs, contact Stephanie for pricing and availability.

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