Nestle Toll House Trick

In food on 02/14/2009 at 9:27 pm

The perfect chocolate chip cookie. One of my favorites. Want to know the secret? Follow the directions exactly according to the package, though I don’t add the nuts. Then, refrigerate the dough for at least two days, wrapped in saran. This lets the flour absorb the butter on its own sweet time.

From the nefarious mind of our resident baker:

Q: Why let the dough sit when I want to eat cookies now?

A: Butter is fat, and it’s the main source of moisture for the cookie while it’s baking. “Marinating” the dough makes it chewy and succulent. Only other thing is make sure the oven is up to temperature before you pop the cookies into the oven. Otherwise they will be dense, and not have the crisp crust offset by the chewy center.

Q: What if I can’t wait?

A: Plan ahead.

Q: But I want cookies now!

A: Too bad.

Next, you have two options, you can either cut them with a knife straight from the fridge, cold, OR let the dough sit before you form them into balls. Perfect, chunky, chewy, ooey, gooey, crisp outside, so QQ, hits the spot every time! Any other tips you read anywhere are not necessary if you use this top secret trick.

The story:

“Back in 1930, Kenneth and Ruth Wakefield purchased a Cape Cod-style TOLL HOUSE located halfway between Boston and New Bedford, on the outskirts of Whitman, Massachusetts. Originally constructed in 1709, the house served as a haven for road-weary travelers. Here, passengers paid toll, changed horses and ate much-welcomed home-cooked meals. It was also here, over 200 years later, that the Wakefields decided to open a lodge, calling it the TOLL HOUSE Inn.

In keeping with the tradition of creating delicious homemade meals, Ruth baked for guests who stayed at the TOLL HOUSE Inn. As she improved upon traditional Colonial recipes, Ruth’s incredible desserts began attracting people from all over New England.

One day, while preparing a batch of Butter Drop Do cookies, a favorite recipe dating back to Colonial days, Ruth cut a bar of our NESTLÉ Semi-Sweet Chocolate into tiny bits and added them to her dough, expecting them to melt.

Instead, the chocolate held its shape and softened to a delicately creamy texture. The resulting creation became very popular at the Inn. Soon, Ruth’s recipe was published in a Boston newspaper, as well as other papers in the New England area. Regional sales of our delicious NESTLÉ Semi-Sweet Chocolate Bar skyrocketed.

Ruth eventually approached NESTLÉ and together, we reached an agreement that allowed us to print what would become the TOLL HOUSE Cookie recipe on the wrapper of our Semi-Sweet Chocolate Bar. Part of this agreement included supplying Ruth with all of the chocolate she could use to make her delicious cookies for the rest of her life.

As the popularity of the TOLL HOUSE cookie continued to grow, we looked for ways to make it easier for people to bake. Soon, we began scoring the Semi-Sweet Chocolate Bar, and packaged it with a special chopper for easily cutting it into small morsels. Shortly after, in 1939, we began offering tiny pieces of chocolate in convenient, ready-to-use packages and that is how the first NESTLÉ TOLL HOUSE Real Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels were introduced.”


  • 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 (blech!)

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.


PREHEAT oven to 375° F.

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.

  1. […] ‘ripen’ for a week after baking. That concept has been modified for our trick for Nestle Tollhouse cookies. It’s the second edition, printed in 1966, pre-dating the other half sufficiently to […]

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