Cookie connoisseurs across the country always agree on one thing. North, south, east or west--from Alaska to Florida and back--chocolate chip cookies win first prize in the cookie popularity contest. An American invention dating to 1930, the famous cookie with its blissful combination of chocolate (and sometimes nuts) in a "crisp on the outside, soft on the inside" buttery dough is everyone's favorite.
First baked in the 1930s for travelers stopping at the Toll House Inn near Boston, the original chocolate chip cookie was the creation of its proprietor, Ruth Wakefield, an excellent cook. While making cookies one day, Mrs. Wakefield added pieces of a Nestle Semi-Sweet chocolate bar to the cookie dough. The crisp, buttery cookies studded with chocolate nuggets were a hit with her customers. So popular, in fact, that Nestle printed the recipe on the choco-late bar wrapper. In 1940, the company introduced Toll House Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels in a convenient, ready-to-use form, and the cookie-baking world has never been the same.
Original Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip Pan Cookie
Makes about 4 dozen bars
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
Preheat oven to 375 F. Grease 15 x 10-inch jelly-roll pan. Combine flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels and nuts. Spread into prepared pan. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool in pan on wire rack.
Chocolate-Studded Dream Cookies
Makes about 3 1/2 dozen cookies
2 cups all-purpose flour
Preheat oven to 325 F. Combine flour, cocoa, 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 1 cup morsels. Drop by well-rounded teaspoons onto ungreased baking sheets. Top with remaining morsels. Bake 11 to 13 minutes or until cookies are puffed and centers are set. Cool on baking sheets 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.
White Chip Island Cookies
Makes about 3 dozen cookies
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
Preheat oven to 375 F. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Beat in egg. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels, coconut and nuts. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake 8 to 11 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool on baking sheets 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.
Peanut Butter & Chocolate Cookie Cups
Makes 36 cookie cups
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
Preheat oven to 350 F. Heavily grease 36 mini-muffin cups. Beat butter and sugar in small mixer bowl until creamy. Add flour and beat until mixture is evenly moist and crumbly. Roll rounded teaspoon of dough into a ball; press onto bottom and half way up side of muffin cup. Repeat with remaining dough. Place 5 morsels in each cup. Beat eggs in medium bowl with wire whisk. Stir in sweetened condensed milk and vanilla extract. Spoon into muffin cups, filling almost to top of each cup. Bake 15 to 18 minutes or until centers are puffed and edges are just beginning to brown. Remove from oven to wire rack(s). Gently run knife around edges of cakes. Let centers flatten. While still warm, top cakes with half of remaining morsels (they will soften and retain their shape). Repeat with remaining morsels. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. With tip of knife, release cakes from cups.
Experts from the Nestle Kitchens are delighted to offer their tried and true tips for making the perfect Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie. Always follow the original cookie recipe found on the back of the package and make the following modifications as desired:
For soft and chewy cookies: Reduce granulated sugar to 1/2 cup and increase brown sugar to 1 cup.
Nuts about nuts? Or not so much? For added flavor, lightly toast nuts in the oven (then let them cool) before mixing them into the dough. If nuts are not your thing, avoid flat cookies by replacing the nuts with 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour.
For more tips and suggestion for personalizing the Original Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe, visit VeryBestBaking.com.