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Ellen’s Kitchen & Garden

The accidental cookie turns into an American classic

Posted Saturday,
January 23, 2016
Like 1 · 0 ·
Photo/Ellen Fox Emerson
After the dough has chilled, it takes only 12 minutes to bake these beauties.
Click here for information about Ellen’s new cookbook, “No Sacrifices — Entertaining Gluten-Free.”
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

With the blizzard of 2016 here, we’ll probably remain housebound for several days.

What better way to spend some of that time than baking chocolate chip cookies? Even a novice baker will find this recipe easy.

An American classic, the chocolate cookie dates to the 1930s. Ruth Graves Wakefield invented them, and quite by accident.

She and her husband owned the Toll House Inn, a tourist lodge in Whitman, Massachusetts, where Mrs. Wakefield’s desserts earned acclaim.

One day while making cookies that called for baker’s chocolate — one that contains no sugar, the cook discovered she had none in her pantry. Mrs. Wakefield substituted a chocolate bar that she received as a gift from her friend Andrew Nestlé — yes, of the famous candy company.

She discovered that the chopped candy bar did not melt or mix into the batter like the baker’s chocolate did. The Nestlé bits softened but maintained their shape, hence the first batch of chocolate chip cookies.

They became known as Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies. Mrs. Wakefield sold her recipe to Mr. Nestlé for one dollar, and he in turn provided her with a lifetime supply of Nestlé’s chocolate.

While my recipe is not the original, I adapted it to make gluten-free cookies. The original recipe appears on the back of the Nestles’ semi-sweet morsels package.


Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies — Gluten-free
Makes 6½ dozen

¾ cups unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup Crisco shortening
1¼ cups dark brown sugar, packed
¾ cup sugar
3 extra-large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3½ cups flour, gluten-free*
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
3 cups semisweet mini chocolate chips


Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter, shortening and sugars starting on low speed, increasing to medium speed and beating until well blended. Occasionally scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until mixed.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda and xanthan gum. Once blended, scoop the flour, one cup at a time, into the butter mixture, using medium/low speed. Then add the chocolate chips. Blend well.

Cover and place the dough in the refrigerator overnight or for at least 4 hours. After chilling the dough, preheat oven to 375°F and line cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Using a 1-teaspoon melon ball scoop, drop dough on the cookie sheet. Bake 12 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely. Store in a cookie jar or in plastic re-sealable bag and freeze up to 3 months.

*Flour Blend:
1¼ cups sorghum flour
1¼ cups white rice flour
1 cup potato starch
1 cup sweet rice flour
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