Original Chocolate Chip Cookies

WHO CAN RESIST a good old crunchy chocolate chip cookie? We should all thank the creator, Ruth Wakefield. It all started when Mrs Wakefield and her husband bought a tourist lodge which was originally a toll house. They opened a restaurant and inn and thus called it Toll House Inn. One day in 1930, Mrs Wakefield decided to add some chopped chocolate to the then popular Butter Drop-Do cookie, expecting the chocolate to melt and run through the cookies but it didn’t happen. Instead, the chocolate stayed in chunks and a new creation was borned. She named her accidental creation, the Toll House Crunch Cookie, which was extremely popular with the inn’s guest. Sometime later, Nestlé manufactured semisweet morsels specially for the Toll House Cookies and the original recipe for the cookies was printed on the back of each package.

This recipe that I used was adapted from Maida Heatter’s Book of Great Chocolate Desserts. The above little history on the famed chocolate chip cookie was adapted from the book as well. According to Maida Heatter, Ruth Wakefield wrote a cookbook called the Toll House Cook Book (Little, Brown and Company, Boston, 1930) which is out of print now. But Maida Heather has a copy and this cookie recipe is her version from the Toll House Cook Book, which is not exactly the same as the printed ones on the package of the morsels.

Wakefield uses the method of dissolving the baking soda before adding while the recipe on the Nestlé morsels sift the soda with the flour. Not sure what is the difference but I tried the dissolving method and the cookies are POSITIVELY-THE-ABSOLUTE-BEST-CHOCOLATE-CHIP COOKIES as Heatter named them in her book.

I find that there are lots of recipe for big crunchy-on-the-outside-chewy-on-the-inside cookie, but these are smaller and crunchy throughout. Super crunchy indeed and very very addictive.

ORIGINAL CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE (Makes a lot, I didn’t count but it filled up 2 of the 2-litre glass jar)

Ingredients

226g / 2 sticks unsalted butter
1 teaspoon salt (I used sea salt)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
2 large eggs
2 1/4 cups unsifted all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon hot water
2 generous cups walnuts, broken into medium-size pieces
2 cups semisweet chocolate morsels (to go all original, use Nestlé Toll House semisweet morsels)

 

Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 375C. Cut aluminium foil to fit cookie sheet, or line with silpat.
  • In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter on high speed. Add salt, vanilla, and both sugars and beat until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and beat well.
  • On low speed, add half of the flour and beat only until incorporated. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
  • In a small cup, stir the baking soda into the hot water to dissolve it, then mix it into the dough. Add the remaining flour and beat until just combined.
  • Remove the bowl from the mixer and stir in the walnuts and the chocolate chips.
  • At this point, the dough can be simply dropped from a teaspoon, flatten it with the back of a wet teaspoon and bake them straight. But the cookies are much better if you roll the dough between your hands into balls. The cookies will have a more even shape and color. Maida Heather wet her hands with cold water, shake off the excess water and roll the dough onto wet palms and flatten it to about 1/2-inch thick. Mrs. Wakefield refrigerated the dough overnight before rolling it into balls. If you refrigerate the dough overnight, it is not necessary to wet your hands. Place the flatten rounds of dough 2-inches apart on the foil or silpat. (Note: these cookies spread like crazy, so be sure to place them 2-INCHES APART) FYI: I refrigerate the dough for 24 hours and shape the dough with slighly wet hands. Its much easier to handle this way.
  • Bake for about 12 minutes or a little longer until the cookies are browned all over. They must be crisp. Do not underbake. (Note: Do not attempt to bake them at lower temperature for a longer time, they will make the cookies white and hard)
  • Let the cookies firm for a few seconds until they are firm to be moved. Transfer them to rack to cool. Store airtight.

 

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