A Glimpse Into The Time Before Morsels: A Recipe, A Realization, A Research Project

Maybe you know this already and I’m the last to know, but I’m going to tell you my story anyhow.

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I HAPPENED UPON A WRAPPER from a Nestlé Semi-Sweet chocolate product [see photo immediately above].

I found it among the recipes that my mother had saved, filed loosely in an old notebook. The recipes, ranging from the 1940s to the 1990s, are from her mother and newspapers clippings and friends and packaging. No rhyme or reason to them, just saved.

My best guess is the wrapper is from the early 1940s. It intrigued me.

After glancing at the front I looked on the back at the recipe. I skimmed the recipe and it initially looked about the same as any chocolate chip cookie recipe you’d see today.

The copy on the wrapper states that it’s THE ORIGINAL Toll House Chocolate Cookie recipe created by Ruth Wakefield of Whitman, MA. And it could be. However the current Nestlé website says that this recipe, a recipe that differs in one significant way, is the original Toll House Cookie Recipe.

You see, it wasn’t until I turned the package over again and looked closely at the front that I realized this WASN’T a package for Nestlé semi-sweet chocolate morsels [chips] that we have today. It WAS for a bar of chocolate that was to be cut into “pieces the size of a pea” by the person making the cookies.

As in if you want chips of chocolate in your cookies, do it yourself, darling [see photo immediately below].

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I HAD A DUH! MOMENT because I’d no idea that chocolate chips had not always existed, which is a rather lame thing to say. Obviously someone invented them. They don’t fall from the heavens above fully formed, now do they?

After a bit of research I discovered that chocolate chips were originally a kind of molasses chocolate-coated candy made popular in the early 1890s by Kauffmanns of Pittsburgh, PA. In 1897 a court case involving the use of the trademarked name “Trowbridge Chocolate Chips” also described chocolate chips as being molasses chocolate-coated candy.

However by the 1930s as Wakefield’s recipe grew in popularity the term *chocolate chip* morphed from being a kind of candy into being an ingredient in cookies, so much so that by the early 1940s Toll House cookies were often referred to as chocolate chip cookies.

Seeing an opportunity for increased sales, in 1940 Nestlé started making and selling manufactured chocolate chips that they called ‘morsels.’ This was in addition to the semi-sweet chocolate bars for which they were known.

So with that short history lesson on what I’d call the primary ingredient in Toll House Cookies, I’ll end this post by asking you:

Did you know there was a time when you created your own chocolate chips [aka morsels] to put in your cookies?

What do you call cookies that have chocolate chips [aka morsels] in them: Toll House Cookies or Chocolate Chip Cookies?

And more to the point, made any of them lately?

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SOURCES:

A Brief History of the Chocolate Chip via Mental Floss

Chocolate Chip Cookies Chip versus Morsel via New England Recipes

The First “Chocolate Chip” Was a Molasses Candy via Smithsonian Magazine

Who Baked the First Nestlé Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie? via Chowhound

223 thoughts on “A Glimpse Into The Time Before Morsels: A Recipe, A Realization, A Research Project

    • Judy, I was amazed when I realized that there was a time before chocolate chips. It changes everything– or maybe not! Thank you for realizing that this is a PSA about everyone’s NEED for chocolate chip cookies. Need, I tell ‘ya!

      Liked by 2 people

  1. I did know this, actually, because I had occasion to read the legend of how the Toll House cookie came to be. It was conceived to be a chocolate cookie, but the chopped up chocolate never melted fully into the batter as it baked. It was a huge success anyway. I know it’s *my* favourite of all cookies.

    I love that vintage wrapper. Quite a find!

    Liked by 1 person

    • nance, you are a wise woman and I bow to your expert knowledge on this very important subject. I was surprised when I figured out what was going on in that original recipe on the old wrapper. I like the vintage wrapper, too. Mom saved stuff.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s funny how our brain sees what it wants/expects to see. We read Nestles on a yellow bag and immediately assume chips or morsels, but right there the whole concept halts with nothing after “chocolate.” I haven’t made cookies of any sort in ages actually, but here they would be referred to as the simple chocolate chip variety. Cutting up bars of chocolate isn’t really for me either. Can you imagine what a pain that must have been.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Deb, you said it. I assumed that the old wrapper was for morsels, why wouldn’t it be? Only after a closer look did I realize what I had in my hand. I wonder about cutting a bar of chocolate into chips, too. It’d have to be cold enough to remain firm, but warm enough to be easily cut. Sounds like a mess to me.

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  3. This was quite the research project! It would have won an award in high school’s science fair but only if accompanied by the finished project. Among my mom’s recipes are several from newspapers or labels. Usually they are “long” methods of doing things rather than my preferred “short” method like buying the ingredients ready to go. We call them chocolate chip cookies and sadly I have not made them anytime lately.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kate, this research project took on a life of its own. I got interested in the topic, and considering I was enjoying learning about the history of chocolate chips, I kept researching. You’re right of course, a plate of Toll House cookies would be the perfect addition to this project. I’d get an A+ for sure in that science fair.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. My mother couldn’t cook but she could bake and cookies were her specialty but not, never chocolate chip cookies, never had them as a kid, don’t care for them as an adult, actually not any kind of a cookie fan. And yes, I have baked them using the Toll House cookie recipe with the adjustment of 1 cup of brown sugar and 1/2 cup of white sugar rather than 3/4 cup of each. Makes for a softer chewier cookie.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Grace, the thing about chocolate chip cookies, in my opinion, is that you either like them warm + melty OR cool + chunky. I prefer the latter, so when I make them even after I’ve taken them out of the oven, I have to wait until they get really cool before I eat one. I like your adjustment to the ingredients. A chewy cookie I like, just as long as there’s no melty chocolate in it. Will remember your idea. Thanks.

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  5. Being something of a food geek, yes I was aware that the original Toll House cookies were made with chopped chocolate instead of chips. If you think about it, it makes sense that chips as we know them today were not available until there was a purpose for them. Good old Ruth chopped her own chocolate for cookies she made for her Inn and they became so famous that Nestle, as you reported, started making the morsels we know today.

    There are chefs who still make chocolate chip cookies with chopped chocolate. It gives you a variety of chocolate sizes and you can use a significantly better chocolate. I am satisfied with Ghiradelli or Guittard chips but isn’t it wonderful that you can get a variety of chips? There are even some excellent sugar free chips which I’ve discovered on the Keto diet. Unfortunately, almond flour does not make a chocolate chip cookie that is worth eating.

    Oh, and I call them chocolate chip cookies. Poor old Ruth’s recipe has been slightly tweaked here and there giving us flat and crispy cookies, thick and chewy cookies, and so forth, and have mostly lost touch with the original Toll House cookie. As for me, I take the original recipe and add an extra half cup of flour, making the cookie a bit thicker and chewier than the original.

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    • Zazzy, leave it to you to know this fact! I am, as always, in awe of your knowledge about the important things in life. I’ve had chocolate chunk cookies that were sold in bakeries. To me they seemed more like a candy than a cookie. I like your idea of adding more flour to the original recipe, btw.

      I don’t usually buy Nestlé morsels, preferring the Ghiradelli or Guittard chips that taste more like chocolate to me. I know that I’ve made Toll House cookies using butterscotch chips but they didn’t seem worth the bother to me. Perhaps I’m a cookie traditionalist.

      I admit that now that I know about making your own chocolate chips I kind of, sort of, want to try it. But then I remember how lazy I am so it probably won’t happen. Wonderful to hear from you. 😊

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      • Yes, it makes me want to make chocolate chip cookies, with chopped chocolate, too. I am too lazy to chop my own chocolate and I can’t imagine chopping enough to make cookies for a whole Inn-full of guests!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. It’s amusing that today ‘chocolate chunk’ cookies are all the rage. No more chocolate chips — let’s have big chunks of chocolate in those cookies. (See: Pepperidge Farm.) As the saying has it, what goes around, comes around.

    Now, here’s the truth. Chocolate chips still were new, and a rage, when I was a kid, and the cookies still were called Toll House cookies by my mother and her friends. As a matter of fact, I have her hand-written recipe for them, copied from the package. As she said, you can’t trust a company to keep the recipe available on their packaging.

    My best chocolate chip story doesn’t involve cookies at all. I loved those chocolate morsels, and dedicated a good bit of my young life searching them out in the house, since my mother hid them to keep them away from me. Once, my dad decided to put them in a cupboard above the refrigerator. Silly man. It was easy: stepstool to counter, from counter to refrigerator top, to the prize in the cupboard. Where there’s a will, there’s a way!

    Liked by 3 people

    • shoreacres, good point about how the idea of chocolate chunk cookies seems new but it isn’t. I don’t really much like them, truth be told. I like a basic chocolate chip cookie, nothing fussy going on in it please.

      My mother referred to making Toll House cookies, not chocolate chip cookies. She majored in Home Ec in college so she might have felt it was the proper way to refer to them. Your mother was certainly right about not trusting a company to keep a recipe available on the package; I mean, both the old Nestlé recipe and the current recipe say they are ORIGINAL, but they are different. Just saying…

      I admire your spunk as a child while searching for the elusive chocolate chip. You knew what you wanted and how to get it. Great story.

      Liked by 2 people

    • May I interject here? I relate to the searching out of choco chips to munch on as a teenager babysitting the neighbors kids! True confession: I figured if I ate them (and not the obvious candy/chips that were out in the open) no one would know I had a snack and/or that I ‘broke’ my diet!!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Such an interesting history lessen! I love the wrapper. What a find! I’ve always called them chocolate chip cookies. I love them warm right out of the oven. Now I need to run and make a batch😁

    Liked by 1 person

    • Beth, I remember making chocolate chip cookies when we were girls. We were at your house and your dad was sitting in the TV room watching a game, but he was very interested in what we doing in the kitchen. Always a good taste tester, he was!

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  8. You fell into the research bin and came up with THIS, Ally, along with an ancient keepsake. Very impressive, Ally.

    In my kitchen 2 old items: Hershey’s chocolate syrup in the fridge conveyed from our former house 5 years ago, the syrup old even then. Also, a metal container for Saltine crackers, vintage also. A gift from my mother, I believe. By the way, Mom used the phrase “Toll House Cookies.”

    Very cool!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marian, you’re right I did get into researching this topic. I had no idea there was a time before chocolate chips, and felt I needed to know more. After all I did say I was going to write about flapdoodle and twaddle here, thus this post. 🤓

      I remember those metal saltine cracker tins. They were sturdy and pretty as I recall. If I had one I’d keep it around, too. As for your Hershey syrup container, how is it that you haven’t used all the chocolate syrup therein? How does that happen!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I do love chocolate chip cookies, but I prefer them crispy rather than soft. And I’m definitely a chuck kind of junkie rather than little chips. No point in wasting cookie dough to put in little when you can have big. 🙂

    Not that I’m suggestible or anything, but I do feel a batch of cookies coming on.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Deborah, what I love about any conversation about chocolate chip cookies is that no one agrees on which ones are the best. It’s a hoot to find out preferences, and why. I don’t like the chunky kind of chocolate chip cookies because I like the cookie part more than the chocolate part, but you do you.

      Hope your cookies, if you choose to make them, are of the perfect chunkiness to satisfy your palate. 🍪

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Yes I knew about the chunk thing because the recipe was created by accident. The baker thought that the pieces would melt in the oven creating chocolate cookies, not cookies with pieces of chocolate. I call then chocolate chip cookies. And I usually make a big batch of dough, freeze it in individual logs, and bake the cookies as needed!

    Liked by 2 people

  11. I did not know about the molasses chips! That is interesting.

    Because I bake with all kinds of chocolate, I did figure that at some point all baking chocolate was in bar form. If I want to use good chocolate, like Lindt, I have to break it up myself. It’s a pain. I was thrilled when Ghirardelli turned their 60% cocoa chocolate into chip form, making it much easier to melt for ganache.

    I made 65 chocolate chip cookies on St. Patrick’s Day (I have my own recipe, more cake-y than Toll House, and I use cream cheese along with butter). Within a day, my kid had eaten 40 of them. Now that he’s playing soccer again, no sweets are safe.

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    • AutumnAshbough, I was amazed when I figured out that the recipe on the wrapper was telling me that I had to make my own chips of chocolate. I’d never considered that there was a time time before morsels. Of the many things I do not know, this one seemed like something I should know. But alas

      Your cookie recipe sounds delicious. Cream cheese in anything makes it better. However no matter how good the cookies are I cannot imagine eating 40 of them in a day. Of course, I’m more old lady than soccer playing kid.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. It never occurred to me that chocolate chips were not always readily available. I call ’em chocolate chip cookies. My mom is very well known for her chocolate chip cookie baking super powers. Her cookies are top notch. Growing up, she often brought a plate to a kid on one of my brothers’ baseball teams if they hit a homerun or made a double play the game before. Kids and families look for ward to receiving her cookies.

    Although I might sound braggadocios, I have carved out my own chocolate chip fan club. My cookies are thick thanks to a bit of extra flour. I bake them often – always doubling the recipe. I usually freeze most of them so they are ready to deliver to friends for birthdays or when we are invited somewhere or when my kids have friends over. When I bake, my kids and Coach ask which ones didn’t meet my high expectations and then they happily eat those. This might come as a shock, but my own children sometimes dip into those frozen bags of goodies without permission leaving me surprised when I open the freezer to pull some out. I know, shock – right?

    I love that wrapper.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ernie, you come from a good line of people. Obviously you are the Chocolate Chip Cookie Princess, daughter of the Chocolate Chip Cookie Queen. All hail your Highnesses!

      I’m laughing out loud here. I am shocked, as you predicted, that there are times when your frozen cookie stash is depleted. WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT THAT YOUR KIDS WOULD EAT THEM WITHOUT ASKING FOR PERMISSION? 🙄

      The vintage wrapper is a cool find. Thanks for noticing.

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  13. My latest batch of these cookies of the choc chip type was a few months ago when I experimented with my sourdough starter. I came up with plenty of successful sourdough adapted recipes like brownies and pancakes, etc so I delved into the cookie realm. Ick. For the record, the resultant sourdough choco chip cookies tasted okay, just less chocolatey and way more ‘cake-like’ than I like my cookies to be. So I chalked that up as a failure, but a fun adventure in cooking/baking!
    🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Laura, I never would have thought to try to make cookies with sourdough starter, yet under the circumstances it makes sense so I can understand why you did it. I enjoy trying/goofing around with recipes regardless of how successful they turn out. You learned something– and that’d be to not make those cookies again! 😉

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  14. My mother worked for Kauffman’s Department store in Pittsburgh. Not in 1897, but in the 40s and again in the 60s. I remember the candy counter at their flagship store in downtown Pittsburgh – oh yum.

    We call them chocolate chip cookies. Our daughter was known for snacking on the bag of morsels when she was a teenager.

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    • Anne, I’d never thought about this either, but once I did start thinking about it I got curious. I’m glad I found the old wrapper and how it prompted me to learn something new. Chocolate chips in brownies do sound irresistible, now that you mention it. Yum.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. What great research you did. This former science teacher, gives you an A+ for sure. The only time I heard them called Toll House cookies was from a Home Ec teacher. I also call them chocolate chip cookies.

    I made a batch not long ago after a year or more of not doing so. A friend informed me that I could freeze them after baking them. I put three in each freezer bag, nuke for 15 seconds after removing them from the freezer, and my heavenly reward is ready. I am not known for self-control when it comes to chocolate, so this works for me.

    I almost always have an open bag of dark chocolate chips in my fridge. I can put a few in my oatmeal, on top of ice cream, or eat just for the yum of it.

    When my adult children were kids I would make different recipes of chocolate chip cookies at the same time for “taste tests”. It would often vary as to which one they liked. In the end they would eat up everyone so I settled on the tried and true package directions most of the time. Now, I like to try new recipes again on the few occasions I make them.

    Thanks for taking me down memory lane.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lauren, thank you. Researching this topic was fun because, you know, CHOCOLATE was involved. My mother majored in Home Ec in college and she called these cookies Toll House cookies, so I think you’re right that there’s a connection there.

      I like your way of dolling out your cookies, thus forcing you to eat fewer at a time. I’ll remember that three to a bag in the freezer idea. We may lack self-control when it comes to chocolate chip cookies so this sounds like a good way to slow us down.

      I’ve tried a few different chocolate chip cookie recipes. One involved, of all things, a box of Jell-O brand instant vanilla pudding. The cookies were more crisp than chewy, but were eaten quickly even if there were few nibblers who said they didn’t like them. Ha!

      Liked by 1 person

  16. I honestly never gave it much thought but I am not surprised by this. It’s funny because I like the cookie more than the chocolate chips. I make them, double the cookie portion of the recipe and still use the same amount of chips. I made ‘chocolate chip cookies’ at Christmas. I always take mine out of the oven one to two minutes early and let them finish on the cooling cookie sheet. Great find and great post.

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    • Maggie, I’d never ever thought about this before either, but once you start thinking it makes sense. And of course I had to find out more about the topic of chocolate chips. I am a purveyor of flapdoodle and twaddle after all!

      I’m with you. I like the cookie more than the chocolate chips [which I fear may be a sacrilege to some of my readers]. I like your way of doubling the recipe and will do that in the future. No doubt, after talking about them here, I’ll be making some of these cookies soon.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Very interesting! I have never thought about the possibility of a life before chocolate chips, but it makes sense, doesn’t it? My cookies with those little delicious morsels are called chocolate chip cookies – and I think I’ve never used the Toll House recipe, although the one I do use probably doesn’t differ much. I wonder if that wrapper has any value?
    All of which takes me far off-topic to wonder why I haven’t watched more of the series about how some food items started – like cornflakes. And what streaming network was it on, anyway? Was it Netflix or Amazon Prime? Hmm, I shall have to go check that out.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Carol, I really did say “duh” out loud when it dawned on me what was going on with that wrapper. Never would have realized there was a time before morsels had I not found it.

      Years ago I remember seeing a TV show on the Food Network [I think] that was about how various processed foods came to be. It was talking about candy and cookies and ice cream. Now I’m curious, too, if there’s something on somewhere about the creation of food items. 🤔

      Liked by 1 person

  18. That was interesting Ally…..and that wrapper could be worth something to the Nestle company…..maybe it could be auctioned at Sotheby’s as I hear an original Super Mario game went for $600,000 the other day! I call them chocolate chip, not Toll House, and I cheat and use the Betty Crocker mix with the chips already in it, as I’m lazy and it just makes 12 which is more than enough. I like LA’s idea though of freezing the dough above.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joni, somehow I’m doubting that Sotheby’s will be auctioning off this vintage wrapper, BUT if it does happen I hope it brings $600,000. I’ve not tried a cookie mix, but I take your point about it’d be a good amount for you– or us. I like LA’s idea, too.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Here in the Great White North, they are called chocolate chip cookies. I remember coming across the term “Toll House cookies” and wondering what these exotic beasts could be. Disappointed to learn it was another term for good ol’ chocolate chip cookies. I remember baking these for my family when my kids were young, in a misguided attempt to save money. Yes, they cost less (fractionally) to make but people ate twice as many, so there went that idea….and the entire neighbourhood came over because they could smell the baking (when the windows were open).

    Deb

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    • Deb, just about all the commenters here call them chocolate chip cookies. My mother called them Toll House cookies, though– so sometimes that’s what I call them. [And really did you need to know that? Probably not.]

      I always like to think that making my own cookies is less costly than buying them, but your memories are spot on. You bake the cookies at home and suddenly you have friends you didn’t know you had. Especially if you take a plate to work…

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  20. Such an interesting post! My only bow to domesticity is that I bake for my husband (he does most of the other cooking and ALL of the cleaning, so I come out way ahead on this deal). Last week, I made him chocolate chip cookies, using the Nestle chips. Would I have chopped a big block into morsels if the chocolate chips didn’t exist? Considering that he just washed the kitchen floor and vacuumed while I was typing away in my den, you betcha. This week, it’ll be brownies, then oatmeal raisin cookies, peanut butter cookies, snickerdoodles, then maybe a chocolate cake. And I won’t have a bite. Cookies and cake don’t interest me. Ice cream, on the other hand….

    Liked by 1 person

    • Donna, I agree it does sound like you’ve got the better end of the bargain. Let him clean and vacuum to his heart’s content. I take your point about how you’d make your chocolate chips if’n that kept him vacuuming. Priorities, of course. I’m the opposite of you, I can always pass on ice cream, but a cookie or brownie calls to me. In fact now that you mention it I need to bake some snickerdoodles… NEED I tell you.

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  21. It seems like chocolate chunk cookies have become very popular; we’re going back to the old ways. I am too lazy for that, so I call them chocolate chip cookies and use the morsels.

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    • Margaret, I don’t like the chocolate chunk cookies and prefer the ones with morsels in them. So much easier to make, like you said, plus I’m there for the cookie part not the chocolate part.

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  22. I am lucky enough to have a copy of Ruth Wakefield’s “Toll House Tried and True Recipes,” 1941, and have baked her Toll House Chocolate Crunch Cookies. The chocolate ingredient is “2 (7 oz) Nestles yellow label chocolate, semi-sweet, which has been cut into pieces the size of a pea. The recipe also includes a cup of nuts. Interesting note. I inherited this book from my mother-in-law and it is signed. I’ve since seen several other copies of the cookbook at sales, etc., and every one of them was signed. Perhaps she had a rule about signing them all? She is described as being a dietitian and lecturer.

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  23. Hmmmmm…. I guess if I had thought about it – which I hadn’t – I would have assume that the chocolate chips we now use in our CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES (who the heck calls them Toll House?) were developed at some point. The gourmet CCCs you see now at crazy prices are mostly made with big chunks (I guess, at $2 per cookie, one expects chunks)… and salt… chunks of salt… too. Anyhoo, I just picked up a big-o bag of chocolate chips at Costco and now I am inspired to create some magic in my kitchen. My hips thank you.

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    • Janis, I admit that I’d never thought about how chocolate chips came to be. It was a strange moment of realization when I figured out what that recipe was telling me. Thus I went researching.

      I’m not crazy about chocolate chunk cookies, but I know I see them for sale. To me they seem more like candy than like a proper cookie. Now that you have all your chocolate chips, you are good to go. Very impressive that you buy them at CostCo. I’m sure your chocolate chip cookies, that are definitely not Toll House cookies, will be delicious.

      Liked by 1 person

  24. It’s great that you have that collection of history in your family – lovely.

    I’m a great lover of chocolate chip cookies, and I always assumed that they were a manufacturing response to the popularity of the cookies (chocolate chips were never marketed as snacks, I don’t think). But the name Toll House – interesting. Were chocolate chip cookies something that you could stop at a toll house to buy, maybe along with other snacks? Were toll houses the convenience stores of their day? (Not necessarily asking you for an answer – just things that popped up as I was reading your piece. 🙂 )

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lynette, the collection of recipes I have are a true hodgepodge of things saved. That’s why finding this Nestlé wrapper didn’t surprise me at first, until I looked at it further, of course. A toll house was a building near a toll road or canal wherein the toll keeper lived. Ruth, the woman who created the recipe, lived in one and had a restaurant in it. I believe the restaurant was popular in and of itself, besides being located where it was. The cookies were an experiment that went wrong, yet they became a big hit.

      Liked by 1 person

  25. That was interesting! Today’s chocolit chips are certainly a labor saver! I make chocolate chip cookies pretty regulary, using the recipe in an old cookbook…plus adding 1 to 2 extra tablespoons of flour to make them softer. 🙂 They are one of my husband’s favorites.

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  26. I would call them chocolate chip cookies but I do not bake them or eat them really. I try to avoid chocolate as it can trigger a headache. I am a big fan of all things LEMON! I am not much of a baker, tho, so mostly I buy yummy looking lemon treats.

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    • Ellen D., funny you’d mention lemon. I adore lemon meringue pie and cookies and cakes and breads. I prefer that flavor to chocolate, but once in a while I make chocolate chip cookies because I like one or two– and my husband, who does not like lemon, eats many more.

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    • Donna, I don’t remember this clip from Friends and it’s WONDERFUL. I always adored Phoebe and she’s perfect in this. Thanks for sharing it here.

      You’re the first commenter to say you’ve made chocolate chips. I’d never thought about their origin until I read this vintage wrapper and got wondering. Now, if need be, I’ll know how to create chocolate chips on my own. The things I learn!

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  27. That packaging is one cool find, I love things like that. Not always having chocolate chips is something I’ve never thought about. When I saw the packaging my brain said old chocolate chips packaging lol. I always call them chocolate chip cookies even when I’m baking toll house cookies… and now I’m craving some!

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    • Martha, I was thrilled when I found the vintage wrapper for no other reason than it’s so old and in good shape. Now that I realize that there was a time before morsels, I know it makes sense. But I was shocked the moment I realized it. I want to make some chocolate chip cookies now too. A day of talking about them here has really made me hungry for them.

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  28. Pingback: Tea and cookies – Just Tawkin'

  29. I did not realize there was a time before morsels. How interesting. When my husband was working at Guittard Chocolate he worked on the chocolate making machines and would bring home bags of disks or wafers, which are bigger than morsels. All I know is that chocolate tastes good.

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    • Janet, I was amazed when I realized thee was a time before morsels. Seems obvious once you start thinking about it, of course. I don’t know anything about disks or wafers of chocolate, but like you say if it tastes good, go with it.

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  30. I’d never heard of Toll House cookies until now; they’re always chocolate chip in NZ.

    I still make chocolate chips if I need them in baking. That way I get to use real chocolate from an ethical source. Can’t remember the last time I bought a Nestle (or Cadbury) product.

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    • Su, calling the cookies Toll House cookies is old-fashioned, but some people still do, I guess.

      So you knew about making your own chocolate chips! It never occurred to me to do that, but you raise a good point about being able to choose your preferred kind of chocolate. That never occurred to me either. All chocolate is not equal, so I can see the sense in that.

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  31. Funny – because I was reading a cc cookie recipe online that called for you to “make” your own chips out of dark chocolate bars. Supposedly the cookies taste better with chunks instead of chips …. ha!

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    • Jan, talk about kismet. It is the day of chocolate chip cookies, I guess. I wouldn’t like chocolate chunks but if the bar of chocolate was chopped into smaller pieces that’d be good. Of course I’m more about the cookie than the chocolate part, so I would say that.

      Like

  32. I’m Team Chocolate Chip Cookies, all the way. I love that wrapper. As for recipes, I discovered one that uses pudding in it, and it’s the only version I make now: https://www.iheartnaptime.net/pudding-cookies/

    It would not be a fav for those who prefer a crunchy cookie, but that’s not me! Oh, and I’ve been known to add extra chocolate. Because, if you’re going to eat chocolate chip cookie, eat a CHOCOLATE chip cookie. (I eat a square of dark chocolate almost every night with my evening tea. I can dispense with the cookie part easily.)

    Cool post, btw. I love history.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Rita, thanks for the link. I have an old recipe for chocolate chip cookies made with pudding mix in them. This recipe looks similar to it. I’m not much for chocolate, truth told. So I prefer fewer chocolate chips, BUT I take your point. I’m probably an outlier on this point.

      Like

  33. Answer to Q1: No.
    Answer to Q2: Chocolate chip cookies 🙂
    Answer to Q3: No.
    I gave up baking cookies a long time ago. Mine were ALWAYS either underdone or overdone. Fascinating history. Makes me want to try again 🙂🙂🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  34. I haven’t made chocolate chip cookies in ages…I’ve never made toll house cookies, though I have made chocolate chip cookies with Nestle chocolate chips.

    My favorite chocolate for chocolate chip cookies, though, is Guittard, and if they don’t have that at the grocery store, I also love Ghirardelli. I recently found out that famed candy maker Sees uses Guittard chocolate, which was a shock to me, I thought they made their own. I’m not sure how national either brand are, they’re both ubiquitous here and based in California.

    Liked by 1 person

    • J, we can get Ghirardelli chips here sometimes. And I’ve seen Guittard brand but never bought anything from them. I know of Sees from vacations in California, but I don’t think it’s around here. I’ll look for it now, though. I’m not big on chocolate, but do like quality brands when I eat it– or bake with it.

      Like

  35. Oddly enough, when I was in Switzerland, home of chocolate, in the mid-seventies, I had my mom mail me (real mail, no email then) her chocolate cookie recipe. BUT there were no chocolate chips to be found. So I had to chop up a chocolate bar to make the cookies. True story.

    janet

    Liked by 1 person

  36. Pingback: A Glimpse Into The Time Before Morsels: A Recipe, A Realization, A Research Project – MobsterTiger

  37. That is just so neat to find that wrapper. I love old stuff like that! That makes sense, after all “chip” indicates “chipping” something, i.e., chipping a big old block of chocolate. I have never thought Toll House cookies, only Chocolate Chip cookies, I am strongly Team Chocolate Chip.

    Although…you know…chocolate CHUNK cookies are really good.

    Mmmm. Now I want some cookies. I love a good chocolate chip cookie – a SOFT one, not a crisp one. I have strong preferences there.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nicole, I was charmed by the wrapper when I saw it. Obviously at first I didn’t realize what I had in my hand, but when I did I had to research it.

      I’m not fond of the chocolate chunk cookies, but then I’m more into the cookie itself, preferably soft, than the chocolate in it. I know that’s odd, but there you have it.

      Like

  38. I love that video more than anything. Great choice. I enjoy looking at old packaging whenever we go into an antique store, but I must admit to never looking at any recipes that might be on them. More to the point, I for one always figured chocolate morsels always existed! – Marty

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marty, I thought the video was delightfully hilarious. Apparently that pop song is popular right now somewhere on this planet. The vintage wrapper was an accidental find, but when I realized there was a time before morsels I needed to know more. The whole idea seemed inconceivable to me.

      Liked by 1 person

    • The Gentle Donkey, I’m with you about old recipes. They are charming and informational. We live different lives now. No recipe should cost $250 to 1K, no matter how glorious it is supposed to be.

      Like

  39. What an interesting deep dive! I’m 65 & I don’t recall there ever not being chocolate chips. My mom baked twice a week and chocolate chip cookies were a regular thing. She never called them ‘tollhouse’…I think that may be an American thing?? (I’m Canadian). Just last week I was making some healthy treats to keep in the freezer and wanted to add a few chocolate chips to it. I didn’t have any but found a bar of dark chocolate & chopped up 1/2 of it. Worked great, but I would not want to chop enough chips for a batch of cookies!

    Like

    • Pat, I don’t remember a time before chocolate chips either. You’re probably right that Toll House cookies may be an American name for chocolate chip cookies. Funny how you just lately chopped up some chocolate to make your own chips. I can only imagine how much work it’d be to chop enough chocolate into pieces the size of a pea to make these cookies. 😳

      Like

  40. Yes, I had the feeling that the chocolate chip, like the microchip, was a more recent invention. But I didn’t know how recent.
    Old recipes are fascinating. I watched a series of videos on Tasty’s YouTube channel in which a young woman tried to follow recipes from well over 100 years ago–to mixed success!

    Liked by 1 person

    • L. Marie, I’d never given one thought to the chocolate chip origin story. It was interesting to research it so I shared it here. I’m not familiar with Tasty’s channel but I like the sound of it. Sheryl at a blog called A Hundred Years Ago finds then tries/modifies 100 year old recipes. It’s fascinating.

      Like

  41. Oh, if only chocolate chips DID fall from the heavens above fully formed! What a glorious world it would be.

    For Easter, I made a slightly different version of the Chocolate Chip cookies. I browned the butter before using it, increased the brown sugar: granulated sugar ratio, and sprinkled the tops of the cookies with just a few flakes of sea salt after they came out of the oven. They were yummy!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Laurie, we’re on the same wavelength about chocolate chips falling from the heavens above. If only… *le sigh*

      Your adaptation of the recipe sounds delicious. I like your idea of sprinkling some sea salt on top. I’ll remember your idea when I make these cookies the next time. Thanks for sharing it here.

      Liked by 1 person

  42. Ally – no, I didn’t know that little factoid/morsel that you just shared with us. It makes you appreciate all the more what work our moms went through to make the family treats. I’ve heard them referred to as “Toll House cookies” but I grew up calling them/eating “chocolate chip cookies” and sadly I’ve never baked any chocolate chip cookies to date. I once made slice-and-bake cookies and they burned to a crisp. Just for kicks, if I were you, I’d send this post, which clearly shows the pictures of that vintage wrapper, to Nestle since they’s been churning out the chocolate morsels since 1940. They’d likely get a kick out of it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda, I agree this revelation makes me admire the effort put into making chocolate chip cookies back in the time before morsels. I was/am fascinated by this discovery.

      You can’t bake a cookie, eh? Well, they can be difficult once they go into the oven. Also, I’ve learned over the years that ovens vary. We had one in which I couldn’t make a decent cookie, then we got a new one and voilà I am a cookie baker.

      Liked by 1 person

  43. An interesting history lesson, Ally. So, the recipe came first. I’ve seen chocolate chunk cookies, which are supposed to be special. The chunks are bigger than morsels. Nothing is better than a warm-from-the-oven chocolate chip cookie. That’s what we always call them, although I know they’re also called Toll House cookies. I try not to have too many cookies around the house, but a few days ago I baked three individual chocolate chip cookies from frozen dough.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nicki, I’d no idea about any of this history and the *controversy* about whether it’s a chip or a morsel. I like learning things so I kept on researching until I’d learned more than enough.

      My mother called them Toll House cookies, but I realize few people do. We limit how many cookies we have around the house, too. It’s only through the comments here that I’ve learned you can freeze the dough, so that’s what I’m going to do the next time I make some.

      Like

  44. I have to admit, I never thought about when chocolate chips came into existence. Seems like one of those things one assumes has always been around. I call them chocolate chip cookies and I haven’t made any since my children were living at home, maybe in the 1990s at the latest. 1940, then, so I learned something new today. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  45. I, for one, certainly thought chocolate chips fell from heaven–heavenly as they are! Seriously though, I’d never thought about it. It kind of makes you appreciate the original bakers’ dedication and the fact that we now have the lovely chocolate chip perfectly preformed. Thanks for the history lesson.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Christie, it was such a strange moment when I realized what the recipe was telling me. I’d never, ever thought about where chocolate chips came from because they’ve always existed in my lifetime. I agree with you that I have a renewed appreciation for what cooks of old went through to make a chocolate chip cookie.

      Like

  46. Of course I have made them lately — they are my absolute fav and seems I am into stress eating…. as to not having chocolate chips – always have had them but in a pinch I have cut up chocolate if I don’t have any chips. And 100% they are chocolate chip cookies — there was no toll house near me… funny post. Wish I had time to read the 151 comments as I am late to the party!

    Liked by 1 person

    • bernieLynne, I’m proud of you for making these cookies with homemade chocolate chips. Having always used morsels, I’d no idea such a thing could be done. This vintage wrapper turned out to be the start of a research project– and you know I always love that. Thanks for stopping by to comment.

      Like

  47. I missed this post….it just slipped through my feed.
    What a find! My mom has all of my grandma’s old recipes and cookbooks. I can imagine something like this falling out of the pages. That wrapper is a treasure. I feel you should almost frame it.

    I had no idea chocolate chips weren’t ever a “thing”! So I learned something new today. Think I will make some cookies tonight. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kari, my mother had saved this wrapper along with all sorts of recipes. I figure it must be from my grandmother’s time, but that’s a guess. It certainly was an eye-opener for me once I caught onto the idea that there was a time before morsels. The things you learn, huh?

      I want to make some of these cookies now, too. Maybe this weekend I’ll get it in gear and do it. Commenters have made many suggestions about how to improve the basic recipe. Now I want to try some of those adaptations.

      Liked by 1 person

  48. To be honest, I hadn’t really thought about it. I call them chocolate chip cookies, and sure enough, I made some about a month ago. I’m much more of a cake baker than a cookie maker, but I made them because there were four half full packs of various “morsels” in the cupboard leftover from a different batch I’d made the husband a month or two before that. Trouble was, I kept eating the “morsels.” Not good, I said to myself, so I bought one more pack (little Heath bits morsels) and threw them in the chocolate chip cookie recipe with all the half bags of misc. morsels. So, a sugar bomb, really. Gave some to colleagues at work to celebrate our mutual “vaccine superpower day.” The end.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Travel Architect, I can assure you I never thought about the origin story of chocolate chips until I found this vintage wrapper. I just used chips aka morsels with nary a need to know from whence they came.

      I like your idea of using a variety of chips in your cookies. I only buy a bag of chips when I am sure I’m going to make cookies because we’d just nibble them away, a handful at a time. I’d forgotten about the Heath bits and rather liked them, but they do make for a very sugar-y cookie. You celebrated your “vaccine superpower day” in style. When our day comes I’ll do the same thing. Great idea.

      Liked by 1 person

  49. I have learnt something today. Thanks Ally. Let me find some cookies to nibble on while I process this new information.
    Oh, and that music video at the end – not sure what I just watched, and not sure if I’ll ever understand it, but maybe another cookie will help me comprehend it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Pistachios, I was amazed when I found out about that there was a time before morsels. It’s one of those random facts of no value but seems valuable to know. As for the video, according to NPR it’s a popular one although I’m not sure where or with whom. Had to add it here because… well, it’s about chocolate chips, maybe.

      Liked by 1 person

  50. I didn’t know this information at all. For me it was always chocolate chips. It is surely my favorite kind of cookie and it’s great to learn about chocolate and the wrapper looks cute.

    Like

  51. I agree with the earlier post about the chocolate covered molasses candy! My godmother makes these cake-y molasses cookies that are unreal (she gave me the recipe but mine NEVER come out like hers – they’re kind of finicky) and I would take those over chocolate chip cookies any day.

    Also, I just wanted to say how much I loved this post!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Katie, I love the flavor of molasses so the old-fashioned chocolate-covered candy sounds good to me, too. I’m happy that you liked this post. It was fun to research and write. Who knew there was so much to learn about chocolate chips, huh?

      Like

  52. This was a fun post! I love that someone (Mom or G’ma) saved this little piece of history for you (and us) to find. Can you imagine if she thought way back then, that you, Grownup Ally would share this on a little magic piece of glass for the world to see?
    I never thought about the invention of the chips, but like you said: DUH, someone had to do it.
    We call them chocolate chip cookies and I did make some early on in the pandemic.
    Fun fact: My mom could make the best Chocolate chip cookies without looking at the recipe on the bag of morsels. Suzanne however, can read the bag 47 times and they still don’t come out that great.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Suz, I know what you mean about how amazing it is the someone saved this recipe and here I am sharing it with the world. The ways in which communicate now are so different from when that vintage package held chocolate bars.

      I got into researching chocolate chips because once I get curious I get into finding out things. I’m like you. When I bake I quadruple-check the recipe, but it sounds like your mother was more confident. Oh to be so good at baking!

      Liked by 1 person

  53. I never really considered that there was a time before we had chocolate chips as we know them today, but it does make sense! When I was growing up I do remember them being called Tollhouse Cookies, but now we just call them chocolate chips cookies. Interesting read and history – thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ray, it surprised me when I realized what the old recipe was telling me. Make my own chocolate chips? Never have I ever, but at one time cooks did just that. The things you learn, eh?

      Like

  54. 194 comments! I love reading threads but this’ll have to wait. The bell is *tolling*. But to get in my 2c worth. I’m salivating for who does not love a chocolate chip cookie. Heaven on earth when properly made and with the best ingredients. I found a large packet in my daughter-in-law’s kitchen (our old one – now my son and D-I-L are the owners) a few weeks ago. I wondered for several days what that large packet was, at the very top of the cupboard. It was Lindt pellets, I don’t know how else to describe them. Thousands of them in this large packet. My husband & I had a feast every now and then. My d-i-law is a chef and these were clearly for her choc chop cookies. I doubt she will notice the dent. Or hope that she does not. My point being that good quality store bought choc chips makes life easier if you’re gonna make them yourself. What a lovely story thank you Ally Bean & have a great week ahead!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Susan, I’m as amazed as you about the number of comments on this post. Unbeknownst to me chocolate chips are a popular topic on which everyone has something to say. I love it, mind you– but I almost didn’t post this because I thought it might be too dippy. Wrong-o!

      As for you and your husband sneaking Lindt chocolate I am sure that’s a good thing. One must do what one must do to survive and feel whole. Also I wish I could get Lindt chocolate chips at our local grocery store. They’d make an absolutely heavenly chocolate chip cookie. Happy Monday to you, too. 🍪

      Like

  55. I had no idea that chocolate chips were/are called morsels, but not coming from a family who bake, I may have just been living under a stone 😉

    I love the fact that your post was inspired by an old wrapper you found in your mother’s old recipes folder. My family have moved so many times, we don’t have those anymore. My Mum had an old exercise book in which she wrote down recipes taught to her by her mother’s Indian cook, but it fell apart. I managed to salvage only a couple of recipes and wish she’d given it to me to transcribe instead.

    Like

    • Deb, from what I can tell Nestlé is the only company that calls chocolate chips ‘morsels.’ They have done so for close to 80 years, so I don’t suppose they’re going to change that now.

      Old recipes are endlessly fascinating. I’m sorry you lost so many of your mother’s old recipes, but at least you have a few. Transcribing them would have been great, but if it didn’t happen then so be it. You can only do what you can do.

      Liked by 1 person

      • My mother was very stubborn about not passing on the recipes she got from “Cookie”. It was only when she decided that my daughter was a deserving person to pass them onto that she got the book out of its hiding place and we found it had crumbled to pieces. Fortunately, she’d written a couple of her favourite recipes into another book, which is how we managed to rescue those, but its a great sadness that we lost the rest. Families eh?

        Like

  56. Ally, your lovely chocolate and biscuity post has made me peckish and luckily I have some Chocolate Chip Cookies inthe house! … A few moments later and I’m now sorted with tea and biscuits!😀 🍪

    It is funny when we have those ‘duh’ moments – and I worry because I seem to have them a lot more often these days! I just adore the cute recipes on the wrapper – what a terrific idea and thank you for the fascinating history lesson on chocolate chips!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Annika, I apologize for making you peckish. I understand your predicament. I’ve been talking about chocolate chip cookies for days here and I’m hungry for some. The next time I get to the grocery I’ll get some chocolate chips, oh yes I will!

      I know what you mean about having more *duh* moments, especially in this last year. I’ve decided it’s because I’m taking things slower, thus paying more attention to what’s going on around me. Not everything about the pandemic has been awful.

      Liked by 1 person

  57. (I’ve been by and read this post 3 times and have gotten sidetracked by some “immediately” needed to deal with crisis – like the cat unhappy about her food and the dog wanting out to chase the squirrel. Geesch how would I know if I had COVID vaccine related side effect of memory – it’s just normal chaos and distraction around here.,)
    Anyway this is such a cool post., I get curious about weird stuff at weird times, too. While mom rarely cooked cookies – we had very few sugar treats and she hated cooking anyway -and if those Nestle chips were in the house “somebodies” would sneak in and quietly eat them before the baking urge struck.
    I do remember when I was little there was some sort of lawsuit where the original Toll House cookie baker/company was taking to court any one using the term “toll house” with their chocolate chips or cookies. (and back then I was told to go get our World Book Encyclopedia and figure out what a toll house was…anything to get me out from under foot)
    Wish I had that old red encyclopedia as well as a two of my grandmother’s cookie recipes- she made them every Christmas despite my mother being annoyed she was in the kitchen. They were made by memory, so no paper trail.
    Fun post!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • philmouse, thanks for making the effort to comment here. I appreciate it. I understand what you’re saying about not knowing if it’s a Covid vaccine memory loss– or just a normal life-is-chaotic memory loss.

      I don’t remember eating Nestlé morsels from the package until I lived on my own. Growing up I don’t know where my mother hid ours, but I never found them. I didn’t find any mention of a lawsuit involving the words ‘Toll House’, but my research was narrow focusing only on the term *chocolate chip* which was enough info for me.

      I’m sorry you don’t have your grandmother’s cookie recipes. That’s a shame. My family was big on writing all recipes on paper, often with extra notes as points of clarification. Considering the folks I come from is it any surprise I write a blog like this one? Wordiness is in my blood.

      Liked by 1 person

  58. I had heard a related story, and I don’t know if it’s true AT ALL! If only I had access to some sort of global information network! But no: instead I will just pass on the possibly untrue story, which is that a cook was in a hurry and didn’t take time to melt the chocolate to make chocolate cookies but just threw the chunks into the cookies—and it failed, but also the guests/family/customers LOVED it, and voila! The birth of the chocolate-chip cookie! …Now that I think of it, it doesn’t SEEM like that would be true. Why would she think the chocolate would spread throughout the cookies? She’s a COOK. She would KNOW BETTER.

    Like

    • Swistle, you know I found that apocryphal story mentioned in some of the articles, too– but it sounds doubtful to me. I agree with you that it makes no sense. The cook would know beforehand what the chocolate would do, BUT why let reality get in the way of a good narrative? Repeat it often enough and it’s the truth, right? 😉

      Like

  59. Like you, I kind of thought chocolate chips arrived with Eve. I mean who has the time to cut up a whole chocolate bar? I’m being kind of funny but kind of not. I make chocolate chip cookies all the time. And that’s what I call them. I use different chocolate chips. Sometimes Nestlé sometimes Ghirardelli ‘s. But if I had to cut up the chocolate bar each time I know we would have a lot fewer chocolate chip cookies.

    Liked by 1 person

  60. For me, they’ve always been chocolate chip cookies. I recently made a “new to me” recipe using browned butter – the taste was AMAZING but, I prefer a crispier chocolate chip cookie; so I will be experimenting with that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Gigi Rambles, another commenter mentioned browned butter and so with your comment I HAVE TO try it. I love the idea and am sure I can make it so. I tell you at this point I’m ready to make and eat all the chocolate cookies. Talking about them every day has been great, but also made me hunger for them. 🍪

      Like

    • I’d no idea about the origin of chocolate chips either. I can’t see me cutting up chocolate bars so I’m glad the chips aka morsels exist. Most of the commenters have said they call the cookies chocolate chip cookies which doesn’t surprise me but I had to ask the question.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Diaryofawearymom, that’s a wonderful project. Even if one batch isn’t perfect it’s edible which means it’s not a complete failure. In fact the more you fail at perfection the more cookies you get to eat, right?

      Like

  61. Wow, this is a popular subject. I have 3-4 choc. chip cookie receipes, and made them about a month ago.
    The best to buy I found, are the ones from Trader Joe -kinda pricey though..
    Am glad you didn’t mention the Oreos. On one of the youtubes I frequent, they showed a page with the symbols on the Oreo’s: freemasonry, satanic cross, and zodiac wheel. I was so disgusted I was unknowingly eating all these symbols that my open Oreo cookies package went immediately in the garbage bin, lol. Jesh
    PS I saved one of my moms (written) recipe binders with Indonesian recipes…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Junie-Jesh, I’d no idea talking about chocolate chip cookies would be this popular. They are delicious of course and people do like to talk about food, BUT this many comments? I’m pleased, but surprised.

      We’re not big fans of Oreos so there are none to toss aside. I didn’t know about the symbols on them. Kind of weird, eh?

      Glad you have some of your mother’s recipes. There’s a joy and comfort in something like that.

      Like

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