A Kinrowan Estate story: Toll House cookies

Oh ymmm!

Mrs. Ware and her staff just made Toll House cookies. Well sort of. But I’ll get to that later.

The chocolate chip cookie as we know it was accidentally developed by Ruth Graves Wakefield in 1930. The name comes from her ownership of the Toll House Inn, in Whitman, Massachusetts which featured, as did many restaurants, home cooking including desserts baked on the premises. Her cookbook, Toll House Tried and True Recipes, was published in 1936 by M. Barrows & Company, New York. This work included the recipe ‘Toll House Chocolate Crunch Cookie’ which rapidly became a favorite to be baked in American homes.

Like jazz, they would arrive in Europe courtesy of the GIs who fought in the Second World War. And like those GIs adding to the music culture of post-war Europe, they added something to the European cooking culture.

The most popular origin story holds that Wakefield is had been making chocolate cookies and on running out of regular baker’s chocolate, substituted broken pieces of semi-sweet chocolate from Nestlé thinking that they would melt and mix into the batter. They did not, resulting in the chunky cookie we now know and love. Wakefield sold the recipe to Nestlé in exchange for a lifetime supply of chocolate chips. Every bag of Nestlé chocolate chips sold in North America has her original recipe printed on the back.

A chocolate chip cookie is a drop cookie which are made from a relatively soft dough that is dropped by spoonfuls onto the baking sheet so that during baking, the mounds of dough spread and flatten. The traditional recipe combines a dough composed of butter and both brown and white sugar with semi-sweet chocolate chips.

Mrs.Ware thinks Nestle semi-sweet chocolates chips are mediocre at best, so instead she uses Barry Callebaut Semisweet Chocolate Chips which she gets from the King Arthur folks. She also cuts the amount of sugar used as it is her belief that the sugar can overwhelm the chocolate, so her cookies are not really Toll House cookies as Nestle would define them.

Served just from the oven with a glass of milk, there is nothing better for a late afternoon snack.

Gus the Estate Head Gardener

I'm the person responsible for both the grounds and the livestock which are raised here. I live with my wife in one of the cottages that has been here for centuries. I actually enjoy Winters here as my work load is considerably reduced as I let the younger staff members handle the needed work which leaves me time for reading, ice skating and skiing, not to mention just being with my wife. Bliss!

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