Getting lost among the shelves at the library has become a new favorite pass time of mine. I emerge with as many books as I can carry, and embark on a journey through fascinating subjects ranging from planting your own English cottage garden to vintage recipes. The latter sparked the idea for this new blog series, Tasting History. I want to take you on a journey to discover loved, yet lost recipes that have the power to transport your taste buds back in time. For the first installment of this series, I’m taking you back to the 1930s, when Ruth Wakefield baked the first batch of chocolate chip cookies.
It all began when Ruth Wakefield and her husband bought an old toll house inn in Whitman, Massachusetts. The pair renovated the inn to house a large dining area where they delighted guests with a range of traditional home cooked meals and exotic dishes inspired by their travels. The Toll House Inn became a booming success with locals and travelers, which led Ruth Wakefield to publish a cookbook filled with her tried and true recipes and proper hostess advice.
Tucked within the pages of this cookbook lies the first chocolate chip cookie recipe. This cookie first came to fame when Ruth sent care packages containing cookies to WWII soldiers stationed overseas. They shared the sweet treats with fellow soldiers and quickly the unique cookie caught the attention of the nation.
The cookbook had over 39 printings, the latest in 1953. As I flipped through the Toll House cookbook, I was drawn to a handful of Ruth’s recipes, but decided to start with a historical favorite. If you are interested in taking a step back in time, follow the beloved recipe below!
Toll House Chocolate Crunch Cookies
- 1 C. butter
- 3/4 C. brown sugar
- 3/4 C. white sugar
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. hot water
- 2 1/4 C. flour, sifted
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 C. chopped nuts
- 2 C. semisweet chocolate chips
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- Cream together the butter, brown sugar, white sugar and eggs.
- Mix the flour and salt together and set aside.
- Dissolve the baking soda in hot water and add alternately to the wet ingredients with the flour mixture.
- Add in the nuts, chocolate chips and vanilla.
- Chill the dough overnight.
- Preheat oven to 375˙
- Roll teaspoon sized dollops of the mixture into a ball and place on a cookie sheet.
- Press the balls into flat rounds.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes. (Makes 100 cookies)
- Cookies should be brown and crispy.