Baking · Cookies · Nation Cake Challenge · North America

Massachusetts, America: Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Chocolate chip cookies. Possibly one of the most evocative recipes, and one that will be likely to take you back to your childhood, whether they be soft chewy American-style cookies or the small crisp Maryland cookies(/biscuits, depending on your definition of cookies!) For such a popular recipe, it seems surprising that the original chocolate chip cookies were actually an accidental creation by Ruth Graves Wakefield, owner of the Toll House Inn in the 1930’s. Running out of chocolate for her famous chocolate biscuits, she substituted chocolate chips, hoping that they would melt into the chocolate cookie batter which they did not, thus creating the chocolate chip cookie. Apparently she then sold the recipe to Nestle in exchange for a lifetimes supply of chocolate chips – sounds like a good deal to me!

Ruth Wakefield’s recipe is still in use today, printed on the back of every bag of Nestlé chocolate chips (I’m sure many of you will be familiar with the F.R.I.E.N.D.S. episode where Monica spends days trying to recreate Phoebe’s grandmother’s fabulous cookie recipe only to find that it is the Nestlé Toll House recipe!) The cookies were also sent to US troops during WWII, and became so popular that a national craze was started, continuing today. It has also been designated as the Official State Cookie for Massachusetts, though I am not convinced that other states have this honour, so it isn’t really so important!

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Chocolate chip cookies are one of those recipes that everyone will have made at some point, and as a consequence everyone thinks that their recipe is the best! Type ‘chocolate chip cookies’ into Google search and most of the returned results will be titled (or at least mention!) some form of plaudit, that their recipe is ‘the best ever!’ Now at some point when I have more time I feel that I may need to actually test out these recipes and choose a victor, but for the moment all I can say is that these cookies are delicious, and you will not be disappointed!

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Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 115g/40z butter, softened
  • 115g/4oz caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 100g/3.5oz porridge oats
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 125g/4.5oz plain flour
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 175g/6oz plain chocolate, chopped
  • 175g/6oz milk chocolate, chopped
  • 56g/2oz hazelnuts, roughly chopped

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4. Line three baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside for later.

Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy before beating in the egg. Add the oats, milk and vanilla extract and beat together until well blended. Stir in the flour, cocoa and baking powder before adding the chocolate chunks and nuts.

Place tablespoons of the mixture onto the baking sheet, leaving about 2 inches in between each cookie. Bake for 20 minutes before removing from the oven and allowing to cool for 10 minutes. Remove from the baking sheet and allow to cool completely before diving in – I know it’s hard, but it’s so much better to eat them when cool!

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