Saturday, May 7, 2011

Recipe: Nestle Toll House Cookies

Baking cookies, in addition to being relaxing and tasty, can be a nostalgic activity. I myself remember a time at camp during winter holiday where we were having ridiculous storming outside and to distract us campers, the camp owner's wife took us back to her place and had us bake cookies to pass the time. And when we bake cookies, a natural starting point for many are Nestle Toll House cookies - the recipe's right on the bag, and it's classic.

But is it any good?

The Description
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
  • 1 cup chopped nuts (optional)
Preheat oven to 375

Combine flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels and nuts. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.

Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

The Review

As far as baking goes, this recipe is pretty well foolproof and beginner friendly, which makes it nice for those who simply don't bake very often. This recipe is also incredibly versatile: you can play with the fat, sugar, and flour and create endless variations depending on personal taste. Alton Brown (Good Eats) demonstrated this in the episode "Three Chips for Sister Marsha" where in he made chewy, crispy and cakey cookies all from the same base recipe.

On the other hand, the cookies just aren't my favorite. They're good, but not always the most memorable. Personally, my current favorite recipe is an adapted version of Jacques Torres' - it has a better texture and more depth of flavor (it's also more complex and more time consuming) in my opinion. That said, cookies are are very personal choice. My mom loves loves loves Tollhouse and when she wants a fresh cookie, this is what she wants me to make. And really, I have no issues with obliging with that request. I've made this recipe so many times now that I've got it memorized making it a nice, no fuss recipe when I just want to relax and tune out the rest of the world.

At the end of the day, nostalgia I think helps elevate the recipe from good to great.

My grade: B (A if you factor in nostalgia)

1 comment:

  1. I always change the sugars to 1c brown and 1/2c granulated. Perfect sweetness from that combo, for me that is. :)