The Chocolate Chip Cookie: A Timeless Discovery
~ Nestlé.com ~
On Nestlé’s website, they have some history of the Chocolate Chip Cookie and how it was created by Ruth Wakefield in 1939. Ruth chopped up a bar of Nestlé chocolate for her cookies, so Nestlé got in on the act and started producing chocolate morsels. If you are interested in the history you can read up on CulanaryLore’s website. They also explain where the Toll House fits into the story. If you see a classic chocolate chip cookie recipe on an American website, it is very often the Nestlé one. And it’s definitely not the same as the choc chip cookies we can buy in supermarkets in South Africa. These are crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside and the chocolate chips are creamy drops inside the cookie.
You might wonder where I got my Nestlé Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie knowledge from? I worked as a pre-school teacher for 12 years. Our school was one of the few English medium ones in the East of Pretoria and we therefore often had children from ex-pats working in South Africa. Luckily for us, there was a large contingent of American families at one stage and we got introduced to proper American Chocolate Chip Cookies. So we taught the little American toddlers South African rhymes, how to drink Rooibos Tea and eat rusks, and their moms taught us about these most delicious cookies! All the American mommies baked us Chocolate Chip Cookies for cake sales and birthdays – we couldn’t get enough of them!
Sugar and choc chips
When she went back to US shores, Tyanne, mom of Michael, Thomas and Joseph let us in on the secret of her extra delicious cookies. She had American ingredients stashed away in her Pretoria kitchen! No, all cookie ingredients are not created equal. American soft brown sugar is fine, slightly sticky and a beautiful light brown colour. Unlike our brown sugar which is free-flowing and not as fine. The special Nestlé Toll House Chocolate morsels were also a cut above the average choc chip in South Africa. In fact, until recently, most choc chips made for baking in South Africa was actually “chocolate flavoured”. Not real chocolate at all. So Tyanne told us to use chopped up Nestlé chocolate bars instead of choc chips – as Ruth did. She also suggested using South African treacle sugar which is sticky although coarser and darker than American brown sugar.
A result to go to trouble for
So what happens if you use Tyanne’s clever ZA Substitutes as she calls it? You get amazing chocolate chip cookies that are close to the American originals. The cookies have a softer centre and the chocolate is sweet and creamy. I have even experimented and found that if you blitz the treacle sugar in a food processor for a few seconds, the grains are finer and the end product is getting closer to what the famous Nestlé Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies are like. Yes, it’s a bit of work, but the recipe make around 40 cookies, so there’ll be plenty to go around. And you won’t want to try any other recipe after you have tasted these cookies!
Nestlé Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 2¼ c all-purpose flour
- 1 t baking soda bicarbonate of soda in SA
- 1 t salt
- 1 c butter, softened 225g
- ¾ c granulated sugar
- ¾ c American packed brown sugar ZA substitute finest grain treacle or muscovado sugar (or blitz in food processor)
- 1 t vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 2 c Nestlé Toll House Chocolate morsels ZA substitute 340g chopped up milk chocolate or Woolworths 45% milk chocolate chips
- Pre-heat the oven to 190°C
- Combine the flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl.
- Beat the butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in a large mixer bowl until creamy.
- Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Gradually beat into the flour mixture.
- Stir in chocolate chips.
- Using a tablespoon, drop rounded spoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets.
- Bake for 7 to 9 minutes until lightly browned on the edges.
- Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes, then remove to wire racks to cool completely.