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The Tale of the Nestle Toll House Cookie (and Recipe)

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Famous Nestle Toll House Cookies

If you're like many American children, your memories of childhood probably involve at least one batch of homemade chocolate chip cookies. There is nothing like licking the tasty batter from the spoon after grandma mixes in the final ingredients. Today, there are many manufacturers of chocolate chips. You can find them all in the baking aisle of the grocery store.

Probably the most well-known, however, is the Nestle Toll House brand of semi-sweet chocolate chips. Even the bag claims that theirs is "America's favorite cookie recipe." Many others have tried to improve on the classic, but for purists like me, there is no substitute!

Come with me as we investigate the tale of the Toll House Cookie! Of course, I've included step-by-step directions and the world-famous chocolate chip cookie recipe. Whether you want to enjoy the cookies straight from the oven, or create even more fabulous treats with the delectable sweets, you'll be inspired!

Original Toll House Cookies

Original Toll House Cookies


2 1/4 c. all-purpose flour

1 t. baking soda

1 t. salt

2 sticks butter (softened)

3/4 c. granulated sugar

3/4 c. brown sugar

1 t. vanilla extract

2 large eggs

2 c. (12 oz. package) Nestle Toll House semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 c. chopped nuts (optional)


Preheat oven to 375 degrees

In a medium-sized bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In a larger bowl, beat butter, both sugars and vanilla extract until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts (if desired) by hand. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.

Bake for 9-11 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets 2 minutes, then remove to wire racks to cool completely. Makes 5 dozen cookies.

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The pan cookie variation is for moms like me who just want to get the whole batch in the oven as quickly as possible. Instead of making individual cookies, take the entire batch of dough and spread into a greased 15 x 10 inch jelly-roll pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool in pan on wire rack. Makes 4 dozen bars.

Cook Time for Nestle Toll House Cookies

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

10 min

10 min

20 min

Makes 5 dozen cookies (cook time is per batch)

Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chips

Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chips

It may be hard to believe, but this cupboard staple has only been around about 70 years. The Toll House cookie came about as the result of a mistake! The legend is that Mrs. Ruth Wakefield loved to make desserts for the travelers staying at her Toll House Inn, near Boston, Massachusetts. One day, she had run out of baker's chocolate for one of her batches of cookies. Substituting small bites of a semi-sweet chocolate bar from Andrew Nestle, Mrs. Wakefield expected that the chocolate would melt through the cookies. Instead, the cookies came out, studded with these "chocolate chips." They were so popular, that they quickly became known as the Toll House Cookies.

One thing led to another, and the Nestle company started producing chocolate chips. Mrs. Wakefield's recipe was printed on the packages of the little morsels. And the rest is history....

The Toll House, Massachusettes

The Toll House, Massachusettes

The Nestle Toll House Empire

Of all the varieties of cookies, chocolate chip is the best-selling in the United States. The Nestle company has made a fortune from Mrs. Wakefield's Toll House Cookie mistake.

Today, you can buy pre-made cookie dough, either slice and bake, or - even simpler - break apart into little cookie chunks (delicious baked or not!) The New York Times has listed Nestle as one of the 100 most powerful brands in America.

Chocolate chips are not Nestle Toll House's only product. You can find butterscotch chips, white chocolate chips, dark chocolate chips and milk chocolate chips. More delicious recipes are on the back of all of these bags.

There is also Toll House ice cream - Toll House Cookie Swirl. And, for those who don't want to do their own baking, you can stop by one of the Nestle Toll House franchise stores.

Obviously, they're giving Mrs. Fields a run for her money!

As with any dessert recipe, people have varied and tried to improve on the original Toll House cookie. You can make them with or without nuts (pecans are my favorite, but mom makes hers with walnuts). Some kids enjoy replacing the chocolate chips with M&Ms (but of course, they would not be Toll House cookies any longer).

Baked Toll House cookies can be crumbled on top of ice cream and doused in chocolate syrup. Or, the reverse: You can make a "brownie" sundae with the bar cookie recipe. Simply put 1-2 bars in a bowl, and top with ice cream, whipped cream and whatever else you desire. Children love playing with food, so a big hit is to take 2 chocolate chip cookies and make an ice cream sandwich with softened ice cream. Spread the ice cream on one cookie and top with the second. If desired, roll the edges in sprinkles. Wrap in plastic wrap and re-freeze about 20-30 minutes. A perfect after-meal treat!

When it comes to baking, you haven't lived until you've made homemade Toll House cookies and enjoyed them straight, warm and gooey from the oven. Pour a nice glass of milk and relive one of life's greatest pleasures.

Toll House cookie sundae - good enough to serve at restaurants!

Toll House cookie sundae - good enough to serve at restaurants!

How do you Rate Nestle Toll House Cookies?

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2008 Stephanie Marshall


facetube on July 09, 2015:

Absolutely fantastic combination with a cup of milk. That is a dream breakfast. Thanks for sharing.

Fox Music on June 12, 2015:

Thank you for sharing this delicious Hub "The Tale of the Nestle Toll House Cookie"

Stephanie Marshall (author) from Bend, Oregon on February 19, 2012:

Thanks kayyluh, it was a really fun hub to write. I love Toll House cookies and I think the story is fascinating. Thank you for the comment. Cheers, Steph

kayyluh on February 19, 2012:

Hi, Steph! I just wanted to let you know how fascinated I was to learn so much about the toll house cookie! I think I remember reading about how he had made a mistake, but I never read it with all of the information like that. Your hub was fantastic, thanks for sharing this with us! Voted up:)

formosangirl from Los Angeles on November 12, 2011:

Great hub!

Stephanie Marshall (author) from Bend, Oregon on September 28, 2011:

Hi ktrapp - isn't it a great story about how the Toll House Cookies came to be. Still my favorite recipe for chocolate chip cookies, hands down! Best, Steph

Kristin Trapp from Illinois on September 28, 2011:

Hi Steph. I just read your version of the Toll House story. I really think it is a classic tale. The toll house cookie sundae looks fabulous!

Stephanie Marshall (author) from Bend, Oregon on September 16, 2011:

Hi Stephanie,

You are so right! I had a store-bought chocolate chip cookie today and what a disappointing experience. Some of my favorite memories include baking Tollhouse cookies with my grandmother and then on my own. I agree that the history of the cookie is quite interesting. Enjoy! Steph

Stephanie Henkel from USA on September 16, 2011:

There is absolutely nothing like the original Toll House Cookie recipe! In fact, finding this hub reminds me that I have a package of chocolate chips in the cupboard just begging to be made into cookies! I love the history you've included in your hub as well as the mouth watering photos!

Stephanie Marshall (author) from Bend, Oregon on April 07, 2011:

Hi MobyWho - you can't go wrong with Toll House Cookies. Off to go read your hub. Cheers, Steph

MobyWho from Burlington VT on April 07, 2011:

Oh, yummmy! Thanks for the memories. I've added your link to my hub about my mother's tattered and torn loose leaf cookbook. I remember when Toll House Cookies first came out - a sensation!

Stephanie Marshall (author) from Bend, Oregon on January 29, 2011:

Thanks Painter - I will check out your hub. Brownies that include Toll House cookies as one of the ingredients? Sounds divine!

Painter Penfield from Tampa Bay area Florida on January 29, 2011:

Nice hub! I linked it to my Best Brownies Ever recipe as Toll House cookies are part of the ingredients ;)


Denise Handlon from North Carolina on December 10, 2010:

Hi Steph,

what a great hub. I didn't know the history of this marvelous cookie, but now I do. Thanks. I linked this hub to my: Russian Tea Cakes hub I just created. Happy Holidays.

Stephanie Marshall (author) from Bend, Oregon on March 15, 2009:

My kids would do the same thing, if I let them! Who doesn't love Toll House chocolate chip cookie dough!?

mayhmong from North Carolina on March 15, 2009:

A friend of mine likes to eat the whole bucket of toll house cookie dough raw. And now I know why! I mean, I wouldn't eat it that way.

Stephanie Marshall (author) from Bend, Oregon on November 23, 2008:

Hi Roberta - this is definitely the season for baking, and what better than to make some delicious toll house cookies. YUM! is right. :)

Roberta Kyle from Central New Jersey on November 22, 2008:

yum!!!! my all time personal fave:-) Thumbs up( with cookie dough on them)

esocial from California on August 28, 2008:

I like these even better using peanut butter chips! but you really can't go wrong either way.

2patricias from Sussex by the Sea on April 19, 2008:

Somewhere I have a very old Toll House cook book - must dig it out....

Stephanie Marshall (author) from Bend, Oregon on March 03, 2008:

It is sooo good, isn't it? My kids saw me get out the chocolate chips this morning (to work on this Hub) and got all excited that I was going to make cookies... at 7:30 a.m.! LOL

amy jane from Connecticut on March 03, 2008:

This is so cute, Steph! I love raw cookie dough and it doesn't get any better than the Tollhouse recipe :)

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