The Chocolate Chip Cookie

The Chocolate Chip Cookie

A chocolate chip cookie, the ultimate comfort food.  Who can resist them? But do you know its history?  Most of us don’t and it’s really quite interesting no matter which version you believe!

For starters the chocolate chip cookie is a true American concoction that came to be quite accidentally when its original baker ran out of Baker’s chocolate, or nuts.  But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Ok back in 1930 a dietician named Ruth Graves Wakefield and her husband Kenneth purchased a Cape Cod style house in Whitman a town between Boston and New Bedford,  Massachusetts.   The house was originally built in 1709 and was used by travelers to rest, change horses, have a meal, and pay any tolls needed to use the road.  Ruth and Kenneth soon turned their home into a lodge which, with a nod to its past, they named “The Toll House Inn”.

Now Ruth was a skilled baker and soon drew in visitors from all over the northeast.  Many came to sample her delicious baked goods.  One of her favorite desserts were Butter Drop Do Cookies and her recipe which dated back to colonial days called for Baker’s chocolate.  So one day in 1937 Ruth was making these Butter Drop Do Cookies and found herself lacking the chocolate, so she chopped up a bar of Nestle’s Semi-Sweet Chocolate into tiny pieces thinking that the chocolate would melt and spread throughout the dough.  When it didn’t the chocolate chip cookie was born!  Well that’s one version; another version is she ran out of nuts and substituted the chopped chocolate; still another version claims she accidentally dropped a bar of chocolate into the dough and it broke into tiny morsels.  Whatever the version it’s all part of chocolate chip cookie history!

The new cookies were a hit and Ruth called them “Toll House Chocolate Crunch Cookies”.  Her recipe was published in news papers all over New England and the sales of Nestle’s Semi-Sweet Chocolate bars rocketed.

Then in 1939 when “Betty Crocker” (she was a fictional character who had a radio show) featured them on her radio series “Famous Foods from Famous Eating Places” the chocolate chip cookie went big time!  Ruth being a shrewd gal approached Nestle’s and struck a deal, they could print her recipe on all their semi-sweet bars and later bags in exchange for a lifetime supply of chocolates.  Lucky lady!

In the 1940’s Ruth sold Nestle’s the name “Toll House” and the cookies were widely known as Toll House Cookies.  Nestle lost the trademarked rights to the name in 1983, Toll House is now legally the generic name for a chocolate chip cookie.

The cookie has become the most popular cookie worldwide and is the official cookie of Massachusetts.  As for Ruth and hubby they sold the Toll House Inn in 1966 and it burned down on New Year’s Eve 1984.

So now you know its history.   I’m sure you also know many versions of the chocolate chip cookie recipe have popped up, you may even have your own, I know I do!  But have you ever tried The Neiman Marcus Chocolate Chip Cookie?  It’s one of our favorites!  You can order it for dessert at their Mariposa Restaurant where you get a boxed set of 3 cookies and a recipe card, very cute!  Or you can buy the giant sized cookie at their Bistro.  And you can also buy tins of them from the Neiman’s gourmet food department at Christmas time.  We do all 3!  A box of 3 from the restaurant costs $6, the giant cookie at the Bistro is $5, and a tin of them will set you back about $20+.

But Neiman’s is nice enough to share their recipe, remember the boxed set at Mariposa comes with a recipe card.  So if you don’t feel like shelling out $5 or more for a cookie or two; or if you’ve never tried the Neiman Marcus Chocolate Chip Cookie then read on because I’m sharing it today!


The Neiman Marcus Chocolate Chip Cookie
Print Recipe
Servings
2 Dozen
Servings
2 Dozen
The Neiman Marcus Chocolate Chip Cookie
Print Recipe
Servings
2 Dozen
Servings
2 Dozen
Ingredients
Servings: Dozen
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees
  2. Cream the butter with the sugars using an electric mixer on medium speet until fluffy - approximately 30 seconds
  3. Beat in the egg and the vanilla extract for another 30 seconds
  4. In a mixing bowl, sift together the dry ingredients and beat into the butter mixture at low speed for about 15 seconds
  5. Stir in the espresso coffee powder and chocolate chips
  6. Using a 1 oz. scoop or 2 Tbs. measure, drop cookie dough onto a gr eased cookie sheet about 3" apart.
  7. Gently press down on the dough with the back of a spoon to spread out into a 2" circle
  8. Bake for about 20 minutes or until nicely browned around the edges. Bake a bit longer for crispier cookies.
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Sweet & Salty Party Mix

Sweet & Salty Party Mix

Party MixI’m not a big Chex Party Mix fan, but a few years ago a co-worker gifted us with a container of  a sweet and salty party mix made by his mother.  It was simply delicious!

This year I decided to try my hand at duplicating that party mix.  Happily I was able to come up with this recipe.  It’s so good I can hardly keep my hands off while I waited for it to cool.

I wanted it to be sweet, salty, buttery, and a bit chocolatey.  I also wanted it to have different shapes and textures that’s why I used a variety of crunchy ingredients. You can use any color M&M’s you want, you can even match the holiday!

I’m packaging the mix in quart sized Mason jars and giving them out for family and friends this Christmas.  Of course we’ll keep a batch at our house for snacking.

This mix will be a hit at holiday events, game nights, and more.  They’ll make great hostess and neighborhood gifts too!  Best of all each quart size jar costs less than $5 to make!  Mix up a batch today, I promise you, you’ll be hooked after one bite!

Makes 4 quart size mason jars with some left over for you!

Pre-heat oven to 275 degrees.

Ingredients:

1 stick butter
1 cup clear Karo corn syrup
1 packed cup light brown sugar
3 cups each of Chex cereal (corn, rice, wheat)
1 cup salted cashews
2 cups Bugles corn chips
2 cups small pretzels
1 bag M&M’s

Directions:

Line 2 baking sheets or jelly roll pans with parchment paper.

Party MixPlace cereals, cashews, Bugles, and pretzels on the sheet.  Toss them a bit so they are mixed.  Divide the mix between the 2 sheets.

 

 

 

 

 

Place butter, syrup, and brown sugar in a microwave safe bowl.  Microwave for 2 1/2 minutes or until butter melts.  Stir well so butter is mixed in and doesn’t separate from the syrup.

Party MixDrizzle half of syrup on to cereal mix in one pan, drizzle the rest on the other pan.

Stir gently with a rubber spatula to cover cereal mix with syrup.

 

 

 

 

Party MixPlace in oven and bake for a total of 1 hour.
You have to stir it every 15 minutes so I set the timer for 15 minutes at a time.

Every 15 minutes gently stir the mix so that the syrup is as evenly distributed as much as possible.

After the 2nd. 15 minutes switch the tray on the bottom rack to the top so and the top one to the bottom so it doesn’t burn.  (Ovens are usually hotter closer to the bottom, so to bake both trays evenly switch them.)

Party MixWhen done, you have to work quickly because the syrup hardens fast.  I take the bottom tray out first and turn off the oven.  Keep the other tray in until you’re ready to work with it.

Lift the parchment paper from the corners and transfer it to your counter.  Using a spatula separate the cereals and make a thin layer to cool.  If you don’t do this you will end up with a huge clump that will be hard to separate without breaking the pieces.  Do the same with the other tray.

When it’s cool, about 10-15 minutes, gently toss in the M&M’s.

Store in sealed containers. It will keep in sealed containers for at least a month, that is if you can keep from snacking on it!

Sweet & Salty Party Mix
Print Recipe
This is the best party mix you will ever taste! It's sweet, salty, crunchy, and chocolatey!
Servings Prep Time
4 Quarts 20 Minutes
Cook Time
1 Hour
Servings Prep Time
4 Quarts 20 Minutes
Cook Time
1 Hour
Sweet & Salty Party Mix
Print Recipe
This is the best party mix you will ever taste! It's sweet, salty, crunchy, and chocolatey!
Servings Prep Time
4 Quarts 20 Minutes
Cook Time
1 Hour
Servings Prep Time
4 Quarts 20 Minutes
Cook Time
1 Hour
Ingredients
Servings: Quarts
Instructions
  1. Line 2 baking sheets or jelly roll pans with parchment paper.
  2. Place cereals, cashews, Bugles, and pretzels on the sheet. Toss them a bit so they are mixed. Divide the mix between the 2 sheets.
    Party Mix
  3. Place butter, syrup, and brown sugar in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 2 1/2 minutes or until butter melts. Stir well so butter is mixed in and doesn't separate from the syrup.
  4. Drizzle half of syrup on to cereal mix in one pan, drizzle the rest on the other pan. Stir gently with a rubber spatula to cover cereal mix with syrup.
    Party Mix
  5. Place in oven and bake for a total of 1 hour. Every 15 minutes gently stir the mix so that the syrup is as evenly distributed as much as possible. After the 2nd. 15 minutes switch the tray on the bottom rack to the top so and the top one to the bottom so it doesn't burn. (Ovens are usually hotter closer to the bottom, so to bake both trays evenly switch them.)
    Party Mix
  6. When done remove from oven and lift the parchment paper from the corners and transfer it to your counter. Using a spatula separate the cereals and make a thin layer to cool. If you don't do this you will end up with a huge clump that will be hard to separate without breaking the pieces. Do the same with the other tray.
  7. When it's cool, about 10-15 minutes, gently toss in the M&M's.
  8. Store in sealed containers. It will keep in sealed containers for at least a month, that is if you can keep from snacking on it!
Recipe Notes

When done, you have to work quickly because the syrup hardens fast.  I take the bottom tray out first and turn off the oven.  Keep the other tray in until you're ready to work with it.

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White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

White Chocolate

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

Always popular are these White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies!  White Chocolate + Mac Nuts, what’s not to love?  They are a bit pricey to make, mac nuts are a bit expensive.  Use the bagged nuts usually found in the baking aisle instead of the canned nuts they sell for snacking.  The ones made for baking aren’t salted and work better for this recipe.

These cookies are excellent for cookie buffets and exchanges.  They freeze and pack very well.

 

Ingredients:e

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1/2 cup  sugar
  • cup  softened butter
  • large eggs
  • teaspoons vanilla extract
  • cup coarsely chopped macadamia nuts
  • 1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • In medium bowl combine flour, soda and salt. Mix well, set aside
  • In a large bowl with a mixer blend sugars at medium speed. Add butter and mix to until it forms a grainy paste, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Add eggs and vanilla, and beat at medium speed until fully combined.
  • Add the flour mixture, macadamia nuts and white chocolate chips, and blend on low speed until just combined. Do not overmix.
  • Drop by rounded spoonfuls or with a 1 oz. scoop onto parchment covered cookie sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until ed
  • Move immediately to cooling rack.
White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies
Print Recipe
Yummy Cookies! White Chocolate and Macadamia Nuts make an awesome combination!
Servings Prep Time
2 Dz. 15 Minutes
Cook Time
12 Minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 Dz. 15 Minutes
Cook Time
12 Minutes
White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies
Print Recipe
Yummy Cookies! White Chocolate and Macadamia Nuts make an awesome combination!
Servings Prep Time
2 Dz. 15 Minutes
Cook Time
12 Minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 Dz. 15 Minutes
Cook Time
12 Minutes
Ingredients
Servings: Dz.
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In medium bowl combine flour, soda and salt. Mix well, set aside
  3. In a large bowl with a mixer blend sugars at medium speed. Add butter and mix to until it forms a grainy paste, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Add eggs and vanilla, and beat at medium speed until fully combined.
  4. Add the flour mixture, macadamia nuts and white chocolate chips, and blend on low speed until just combined. Do not overmix.
  5. Drop by rounded spoonfuls or with a 1 oz. scoop onto parchment covered cookie sheet.
  6. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until Browned
  7. Move immediately to cooling rack.
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