The original Toll House Cookie recipe – the chocolate chip cookie that changed the world (1939)

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The now ubiquitous chocolate chip cookie came to be back in 1938, and by 1939, those tasty little treats were already being called “famous.”

Here is the original Toll House Cookie recipe that was syndicated to newspapers nationwide during 1939, along with an ad that ran at the time. Note that this is before the chocolate had been made into chips, so home bakers had to cut chocolate bars into pieces to make them work in this recipe.

By 1943 — right in the middle of World War II — chocolate was in short supply… but the company still urged people stateside to use what little of that deliciousness that they had to make Toll House chocolate chip cookies to send off to the boys out on the front. See that request below, too!

Deliciously different chocolate cookies (1939)

The problem of what to give the kiddies coming home from school, or to serve the bridge club the next time it’s your turn to entertain, can be solved by a batch of these delicious cookies.

They’re “Toll House Cookies” because Ruth Wakefield of New England’s famous Toll House Inn originated them. These cookies are sure to delight your bridge club and the family too, they’re new and different.

Crisp, tender, golden brown cookies, and when you bite into one — surprise! There’s a rich bit of semisweet chocolate and a taste of walnut in that bite, and the next and the next. A perfect flavor combination!

Toll House cookies are as much fun to make as they are to serve.

Deliciously different chocolate cookies

The original Toll House Cookie recipe (from 1939)


1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter or other shortening
1 egg
1-1/2 cups sifted flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons hot water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 economy-size bar semisweet chocolate (7 ounces)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

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Important: Cut each small square of semisweet chocolate into four pieces.

Cream butter or other shortening and add sugars and beaten egg. Dissolve soda in the hot water and mix alternately with the flour sifted with the salt. Lastly, add the chopped nuts and the pieces of semisweet chocolate. Flavor with the vanilla and drop by half teaspoons on a greased cookie sheet. Bake 10 to 12 minutes in a 375 degree Fahrenheit oven. Makes 50 cookies.

>> Also see: Toll House cake with vanilla and chocolate (1949) & Toll House Pie: Chocolate chip pie recipe (1986)

Famous Toll House Cookies

This unusual offer is made to acquaint you with Nestle’s semi-sweet chocolate — delicious to eat, and delicious in those famous Toll House Cookies.

The original Toll House Cookie recipe (1939)

World War II: Send your soldier some chocolate chip cookies (1943)

His one weakness… Toll House cookies from home. Now that Nestle’s semi-sweet chocolate is harder to get — because so much of it is going to the fighting forces in emergency and combat rations — put it to the best possible use.

Make up a batch of those golden-brown, crunch Toll House Cookies and send it to that soldier boy of yours. He always did go for those crisp, brown cookies…

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