Cookie By Accident

According to MIT, America's most famous cookie was invented by accident by Ruth Wakefield. Ruth, a dietician and food lecturer, who along with her husband Kenneth, bought a tourist lodge named the Toll House Inn in Massachusetts, where she prepared home-cooked meals for her guests. 

In 1930, using a butter cookie dough, Wakefield was mixing a batch of cookies for her inn guests and was out of baker's chocolate. She substituted broken pieces of semi-sweet chocolate that was given to her personally by Andrew Nestle. She had expected the chocolate to melt and absorb into the dough to create chocolate cookies. But as you can imagine, what she was left with was a butter cookie with bits of chocolate. She called her new treat "Toll House Crunch Cookies."

The 'chocolate chip cookies' were an instant hit with her customers and word of their popularity reached back to Andrew Nestle. Nestle then went on to buy the rights to the Toll House name and to Ruth Wakefield's 'chocolate chip cookie'. For her name and recipe, Wakefield's compensation would be a lifetime supply of Nestle chocolate. I guess that's not so bad if you are a chocaholic.

Nestle printed the Toll House Cookie recipe on its package of bar chocolate that was scored for easy breaking. By 1939 Nestle began selling, small chocolate morsels (aka - chips) in a yellow bag. Of course you know by now that the chocolate chip cookie has become the most popular cookie in America!

Here's my recipe + rendition of America's cookie. My cookie is a bit chewier and less cakey than the Tollhouse recipe. It is also bakes a darker shade due to the dark brown sugar. Share with friends. Enjoy with a talk glass of ice cold milk.

George's Chocolate Chip Cookies
Recipe by Chef George Hirsch | Makes about 40 cookies

2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) lightly sweet butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
1 teaspoon water
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs, beaten
2 cups good quality semisweet chocolate chopped, or mini chips 

Optional: 1/2 cup pecans, chopped

Preheat the oven to 375ºF.

Whisk the flour, soda and salt together in a bowl. In another large bowl, cream the butter on low speed to lighten it a bit and then mix in the sugars, cream for two minutes.. Add the water, vanilla and eggs to the butter mixture. Stir in the flour mixture until just combined and then fold in the chocolate chips and nuts. 

Using two soup spoons, drop the cookies 2" apart onto two parchment lined, nonstick or greased cookie sheets. Bake for eight-nine minutes, rotating the sheets after four minutes. 

Remove the cookies to a wire rack to cool, and repeat the process with the rest of the dough.