I love to cook, but baking…not so much. In fact, Everyone’s Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe is one of the very few things I can bake from scratch, mostly for my husband as they are his favorite. I guess I just have a hard time following directions exactly, and I’m always trying to “add a little something.” No wonder it ends up as an epic disaster.
But THIS chocolate chip cookie recipe…well I’ve been baking these chocolate chippers, as they are referred to at my house, for as long as I can remember. It’s my version of the iconic Nestlé Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe, the one we all were raised on. It is also the recipe most requested by my husband’s coworkers when it’s his turn to bring in a birthday treat. This chocolate cookie is soft, chewy and filled with chocolatey deliciousness. It’s definitely the best!
And because it has a great story to go with it, I love it even more.
The Story Behind THE Cookie
The exact history of the Nestlé Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie is debatable, but what culinary historians do know is that it was created by Ruth Wakefield, who is considered by me, and probably many other chocolate chip cookie lovers, to be one of the GREATEST inventors of all time.
Ruth Wakefield and her husband, Kenneth, owned and operated the popular Toll House Inn, located across the street from the VERY BUSY Boston/Bedford Turnpike toll gates. Location, location, location!
Legend has it that during one cooking baking day, Ruth substituted chocolate bits for nuts and/or chocolate bits for melted chocolate. Now whether this was intentional or accidental, well that depends on who you ask. Considering Ruth culinary expertise and attention to detail, anyone who knew her believed the chocolate substitution was intentional. She would never make a culinary “error” such as this one. Regardless, the Chocolate Chip Cookie was born, and I remain eternally grateful to Mrs. Wakefield.
So how did the Nestlé Company get involved in all of this? They created the chocolate morsel to end the task of homemakers having to use an ice pick to “chip” away at the chocolate bars. Talk about a group of determined chocolate-chip cookie loving women!
The cookies reached the pinnacle of popularity during WWII when they were included in care packages sent to soldiers serving our country overseas, and continues to this day for many in the military and college students who anxiously await this sentimental reminder from home. You can still find the recipe on the back of every package of Nestlé’s Toll House Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels. Here’s a link to get you to Nestlé’s original (lots of other good stuff on that website, too).
And then there’s my version of Everyone’s Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookie
My version is pretty close to the original Nestlé Toll House Cookie but there are a few things that I do differently when I bake Everyone’s Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookie.
First of all, I use King Arthur All-Purpose Flour, which many consider the best. I love that it can now be found at most grocery stores. It got real expensive ordering it on line–flour is heavy to ship.
I often use just a little less than ¾ cup each of granulated and brown sugar as I don’t like my cookies overly sweet, but that’s definitely just my personal choice.
I use a little more vanilla than the original and I use unsalted butter.
Because I’m kind of a chocolate snob, I use a combination of Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Chips, as they are not as sweet as the semisweet kind, and Ghirardelli Milk Chocolate Chips, because they are ever so melty and delicious. You can add the Ghirardelli Semi-Sweet kind if you like your cookies sweeter. I’ve been known to eat them all right out of the bag for a chocolate fix. So now my secret’s out, and all I can say is Ghirardelli is the best!
To keep the cookies from spreading all over the pan as they bake, I refrigerate the dough for an hour or two. Since I’m not a baking specialist, I’m not sure why this works, but it does. Don’t leave the dough in the fridge too long our it will be hard as a rock and you can’t scoop them out of the bowl. As an FYI—the dough will stay fresh in the fridge for a week and it freezes well, too. You’ll have to let them warm up a bit to easily scoop out, but not to room temp.
I like softer cookies, so I start checking the oven at around 9-10 minutes of baking time. The cookies should just start turning brown on the edges and still look “under baked.” When I pull them out of the oven, I let them rest on the baking sheet for 2-3 minutes. They seem to still bake a little while on the hot baking sheet. I then carefully transfer them to a cooking rack.
I try to use a cool and clean baking sheet before putting the next batch in the oven. A hot baking sheet guarantees the disappointing spreading of the cookies. I keep a couple of baking sheets on hand and bake one batch at a time, on the MIDDLE rack of the oven, alternating baking sheets with each batch.
Everyone’s Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookie
- 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter softened
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ¾ cup packed brown sugar
- 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs at room temperature
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- 1 cup milk chocolate chips
- 1 cup chopped nuts
PREHEAT oven to 375 degrees F.
In a small bowl, COMBINE flour, baking soda and salt.
In a large mixing bowl, BEAT butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract until creamy.
ADD eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. SLOWLY BEAT in flour mixture.
STIR in chocolate chips and nuts.
CHILL in the refrigerator for 2 hours. DROP by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheet.
BAKE for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Start checking them at 9 minutes.
COOL on baking sheets for 3 minutes before removing to wire cooking racks to cool.