Did you know that the chocolate chip cookie is the official cookie of Massachusetts? Here in Illinois, we have an official snack food – popcorn – but no state cookie. And while I do love popcorn, there’s something about a warm chocolate chip cookie with a glass of milk.
Of course, the reason Massachusetts is particularly fond of the cookie is because it was reputedly invented there. According to Wikipedia, chocolate chip cookies were developed by Ruth Graves Wakefield in 1930. According to the story, Mrs. Wakefield was making chocolate cookies at her Whitman, Massachusetts inn, the Toll House Inn. When she ran low on baker’s chocolate, she substituted broken bits of semi-sweet chocolate, hoping they would melt and mix into the batter. I kind of wonder about this; if she really wanted them to melt, wouldn’t she have melted them in a small pot first? Whatever the truth of the story, a recipe for “Toll House Chocolate Crunch Cookies” appeared in her 1936 cookbook, Toll House Tried and True Recipes. Mrs. Wakefield then sold the recipe to Nestlé, supposedly in exchange for a lifetime supply of chocolate chips.
For the last several years, I have forsaken the original toll house recipe and made my cookies using Martha Stewart’s “Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies” recipe which you can find on her website. I follow her recipe pretty exactly except I used salted butter and reduce the additional salt by half. I sometimes throw in some chopped nuts, too, but this batch is heading down to the son at school, and he likes his cookies nut-free. These cookies really are soft, not crispy like many toll house ones. The trick is to use a generous scoop and slightly undercook.
What’s your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe?