Friday, June 18, 2010

Maddie's Toll House Cookies

 I was thinking about Kelly, which I do a lot lately, and remembering a special occasion that involved a restaurant called Mrs. K's Toll House, in Silver Springs, Maryland.   My Aunt Millie and Uncle Lou took me, Erin and Kelly out to dinner one evening to say good-bye before we moved cross-country.  (My husband had left to take a job in California and I was still in Maryland waiting to close on our house.)  The Tudor building, the restaurant is located in, dates back to 1709 and it functioned as a toll house.  The price to pass on the road was two-cents...the same as the price to send a letter that year! The restaurant is still opened and the gardens are just beautiful.  This occasion came to mind because Kelly said to me later, "we never got our Toll House cookies."  She was, however, very impressed by the lemon sorbet she was given between the salad course and entree to cleanse the palette! 

This memory reminded me of the first cookies I ever made with my mother--Toll House Cookies; a creation of Ruth Wakefield, who in 1930, along with her husband Kenneth, purchased a Cape Cod-style toll house located halfway between Boston and New Bedford.  The Wakefield's called the lodge the Toll House Inn and Ruth loved to prepare treats for the visitors.  One day, while preparing her Butter Drop Do Cookies (a recipe that dates back to Colonial days) she cut up a Nestle's Semi-Sweet Chocolate bar into tiny bits.  The cookies were an instant hit; even the Boston newspaper wrote about these unusual cookies.  Ruth approached Nestle's about making the bar easier to break into pieces--which they did.  However, in 1939, they developed what we now know as Semi-Sweet Morsels.  I think the Toll House Cookie is a good recipe to start with and before I leave to fly back to Seattle on Monday,  I wanted Maddie to be able to make them with me, like I did with her great grandmother.

Maddie's Toll House Cookies

1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 T vanilla extract
2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups crushed Cosmic CoCo's (a Whole Food's brand of cereal, but you could also use CoCo Puffs)
1/2 cup chopped dried cranberries
1 12oz bag of mini or regular Semi-Sweet morsels
1/2 cup chopped white chocolate

In the KitchenAid with the paddle attachment (or use a hand-held mixer and large bowl) beat the butter and sugars until fluffy.
 Add the eggs, one at a time and beat well after each addition.  Add the vanilla extract and beat again.   Place the Cosmic CoCo's in a plastic bag and let your children crush them, like Maddie did with her little rolling pin.

Add the flour, baking powder, and salt to the mixer and combine completely.  Add the crushed Cosmic CoCo's, mini chips, chopped cranberries, and white chocolate and mix well.

I chopped the cranberries a little so the pieces would be more uniform with the mini chips and easier for a toddler to digest!  Preheat oven to 375F-degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment.  I just used a large tablespoon to drop the dough on the baking sheet and Maddie flattened them a little.

Ready for the oven...bake for 12 minutes or until golden brown.  Let cool, 5 minutes on the pan before moving them to a baking rack to cool completely.

Maddie wanted her's with a glass of milk, of course, and just like the time Kelly watched Ari "dunk" for the first time...I watched how instinctively Maddie did the same with her cookie.
This has definitely been a memorable week for me and my little baking buddy.  I hope you're inspired to bake something with your children or grandchildren and make memories to pass along.  Enjoy!


  1. Good Evening Susan

    It has been a very cold week for us. I have three fire places burning tonight..My fondest memories are always in my kitchen baking and cooking. Always a willing hand to help. I purchased a very beautiful white apron with red poppies all over it yesterday. I believe it is from the late 70's..I have it on right now as I am preparing the dinner..

    Sending love and kisses from my little old french South Africa ( isn't that funny~!)

    Love to you

  2. Suzanne ~ I think Julia Child would love to know you have a little old French kitchen! I think they're the most practical and efficient. And, I'm envious of your gorgeous-sounding apron. When I get home I'll make you some paper ones and send them.
    It's hot and humid, here in New Jersey and even though I'll miss Maddie, I miss my beautiful weather in Seattle. I'm only back 3 days before I fly to Kentucky (more hot, humid, and mosquitoey)for Ari's 2nd birthday. Love to you, Susan

  3. Maddie is so cute! Love her pink rolling pin!