Author Archives for Shawna

The Original Chocolate Chip Cookie: Toll House Chocolate Crunch Cookies

Here they are! This is the original recipe for chocolate chip cookies. You can find the history of this recipe in my last blog post:  Ruth Wakefield’s Toll House Tried and True Recipes. 

I’m pretty sure this is the chocolate chip cookie recipe I grew up with. These cookies are the perfect blend of cookie, chocolate, and nuts. They are a wonderful warm gooey after school treat. They are the ultimate portable snack and are great in lunch boxes or for office parties. Even if you have a favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe, trying the original is a fun way to touch a little bit of history. Enjoy!

Toll House Chocolate Crunch Cookies

1 c. butter

3/4 c. brown sugar

3/4 granulated sugar

2 eggs, beaten whole

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp hot water

2 1/4 c. flour

1 tsp salt

1 c. chopped nuts

2 bars (7 oz each) Nestlé semi-sweet chocolate cut into pea-size pieces

1 tsp vanilla

Cream the butter and add the brown sugar, sugar, and eggs. Dissolve the baking soda in the hot water and add to the mixture. Sift the flour and salt together and add to the batter. Add the chopped nuts, chocolate, and vanilla. Drop half teaspoons on a greased cookie sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes at 375°. Makes 100 cookies.

Thanks again to Addie at Sugar Addie’s.

 

Ruth Wakefield’s Toll House Tried and True Recipes

Ruth Wakefield’s Toll House Tried and True Recipes is a fairly recent addition to my vintage cookbook collection. I have the 1941 edition.  I used an included menu as this month’s First Monday Menu. After researching a bit, I thought the cookbook and its author deserved its own post.

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Ruth Graves Wakefield (1903-1977) was an American chef, educator, and author. She began her career in 1924 at Brockton High School as a home economics teacher. She lectured about food and was a hospital dietitian. She also had experience as a customer service director for a utility company. In 1930, she and her husband purchased the Toll House Inn in Whitman, Massachusetts. It was a historic location where travelers had once paid a toll, rested, changed horses, and had a meal before getting on their way. The Wakefields purchased the Inn and opened a restaurant there. She used family recipes and created new ones that became very popular. She invented chocolate chip cookies around 1938 and they became a popular staple.

Her chocolate chips were actually cut up pieces of Nestlé semi-sweet bars. She was deliberately trying to create a new kind of cookie for her customers. In 1930, she wrote the above-mentioned cookbook and began including her chocolate chip cookie recipe in the 1938 edition. Of course, I really want to try this recipe. I’m a big fan of chocolate chip cookies and would love to use the very first recipe. The recipe is called the “Toll House Chocolate Crunch Cookie” in the cookbook.

The cookie recipe was featured in the Boston Herald and in a radio program hosted by “Betty Crocker”.

Another fun link to this era is that the spread of the cookies began when WWII soldiers from Massachusetts would get care packages with Mrs. Wakefield’s cookies and would share them with their fellow soldiers. This resulted in nationwide requests for cookies and spread the word about the chocolately cookies coming out of the Toll House Inn.

Since the recipe called for Nestlé bars, Nestlé saw their chocolate bar sales go up. In 1939, Ruth Wakefield and Nestlé came to an agreement that they would print the cookie recipe on the chocolate wrappers. She let them use the Toll House name and recipe in exchange for one dollar and a lifetime supply of chocolate. Nestlé soon began making chips made just for cookies. I have some bars of Nestlé semi-sweet chocolate and the recipe is no longer printed on the wrapper. I’ll have to check to see if it is on the semi-sweet chip packaging.

I have the 1941 version of the cookbook. The book includes meal planning tips in addition to suggested menus for different occasions. There are instructions for canning and entertaining tips. Other sections helped the home front housewife with her laundry problems and gave first aid instructions. There is also advice on maintaining the kitchen and its appliances, as well as directions on proper table setting and service. I love that there are so many topics addressed in the book and I think it gives us a nice glimpse into the home front housewife’s daily life or at least some of the expectations of what it meant to be an ideal housewife in the early 1940s.

Many of the recipes in the book do not have an ingredient list followed by instructions for making the recipe. You have to read the recipe carefully to make sure you know the ingredients and the correct amount of each. I have found that to be frustrating because it’s very easy to miss something. A few times, there is just an ingredient listed and no amount. When I use these recipes on my blog, I’ll do my best to come up with ingredient lists for you to follow.

I do love this cookbook. Watch for the original Toll House cookie recipe taste test in a day or so. I also have other cookbooks that I will showcase in the coming weeks. They are more like household manuals than cookbooks, and I find that a wonderful way to look into the past.

 

 

First Monday Menu: Vegetable Chowder, Popovers, and Dutch Apple Cake with Lemon Sauce

For the first Monday of August, we went with something light as the main dish. This menu is from Ruth Wakefield’s Toll House Tried and True Recipes (1941)It was listed in the  “inexpensive everyday meals” section. This recipe book deserves a post of its own, so I’ll have that ready for you later this week.

The recipes in this book are written a bit differently than I’m used to, so it was a little more difficult to determine what the ingredients were and how much of certain items was needed. In fact, the apples in the apple cake were only mentioned once when the recipe called for pressing apples into the batter. There was no other mention of how many apples we needed, or if they were to be peeled and sliced, and so on. I’ve tried to fix that for you here because these are great recipes that should be tried in today’s kitchens.

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Vegetable Chowder

1/3 c. half-inch cubes salt pork

1 onion, finely chopped

1 1/2 c. half-inch potato cubes

1/2 c. diced celery

1/2 c. half-inch parsnip cubes

1 c. carrots, cut in thin strips

1/2 c. green peppers, chopped

1 qt. boiling water

3 c. hot milk

2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1/4 c. dried bread crumbs

1 tsp chopped parsley

Serves 6.

Cook the salt pork in a saucepan until crisp. Remove the pork. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes. Add the potato cubes, celery, parsnip cubes, carrots, green peppers, and the water. Cook about 20 minutes until vegetables are tender. Add the milk, salt, pepper, bread crumbs, and parsley.

Popovers

2 c. flour

1/2 tsp salt

2 c. milk

2 eggs, beaten until light

Mix and sift the flour and salt. Add the milk gradually so the mixture doesn’t get lumpy. Add the eggs. Beat 3 minutes with an egg beater. Pour into hot, well-greased iron gem pans at 450°, then decrease heat to 350° for 15 minutes. This recipe makes 2 dozen.

Note: We baked ours in muffin pans and adjusted the time in the oven accordingly.

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Dutch Apple Cake

2 1/2 cups flour

3 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

3 tbsp sugar

4 tbsp butter

1 egg

1 1/4 milk

2 apples, peeled and sliced

1/4 c. sugar

1/2 tsp cinnamon

Mix and sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, and 3 tbsp sugar. Cut the butter into the dry ingrediants. In a separate bowl, beat the egg and milk. Stir into the first mixture. Put this in a shallow buttered pan and press the edges of the apple slices into the dough. Sprinkle with a mixture of 1/4 cup sugar and 1/2 cup cinnamon. Glaze with lemon sauce.

Lemon Sauce

1 c. sugar

3 tbsp flour

pinch of salt

2 c. boiling water

Juice and zest of 1 lemon

2 tbsp butter

Mix sugar, flour, and salt and gradually add the water, stirring consistently to keep the mixture smooth. Boil for 5 minutes. Add the lemon zest,  juice, and butter. Pour over cake.

Results

The vegetable chowder was very bland. We added onion powder, garlic powder, and beef bouillon to try to add some flavor. It helped, but if we made it again, we would use broth instead of the water. It was a nice light soup for a hot summer day. The popovers were light and fluffy and went well with the soup.  They had little air pockets in them that would have been a great place to put some jam and butter.

The cake was the star of this menu. Three different people commented that it looked like a giant apple cinnamon roll. It was sweet and warm and gooey. The lemon sauce added a bit of tartness. It would make a great weekend breakfast and would shine in a brunch spread. Addie (@sugaraddies) placed the apples in a rosette, an idea that really worked well in the round pan. We’ll definitely make this again.

 

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Small Summer Fruits: Fruit Crumble

The August 1943 issue of Woman’s Day included an article called “The Small Summer Fruits” in the war food section. The article included a selection of recipes for berries, cherries, currants, and other small fruits. I thought this would be a great time to try these 75-year-old recipes since fruits and berries are plentiful right now. We will start with a fruit crumble. Without the fruit, this recipe would have cost 8 cents in 1943.

We used raspberries, blackberries, and strawberries in our crumble. We also doubled the recipe because we were feeding 9 people. I’m including the original recipe here.

Fruit Crumble

2 c. prepared berries, cherries, or currants

2/3 c. sugar*

Juice of 1 lemon

3 tbsp margarine

2/3 c. sifted flour

1/8 tsp salt

Place the fruit in the bottom of a 1-quart baking dish with half of the sugar. Sprinkle with lemon juice. Blend the margarine, remaining sugar, flour, and salt together. Sprinkle this mixture over the fruit. Bake for 40 minutes at 350°. Serve hot or cold.

*If currants or gooseberries are used, increase the sugar to 3/4 cups.

Results

We ate this shortly after it came out of the oven. It was very sweet and the topping was lightly crunchy. The strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries we used were fresh and sweet, but the added sugar took that sweetness up a notch. This is the kind of recipe that just begs to be eaten with ice cream, so a few of my testers added some vanilla ice cream to their serving. It would make a nice ending to an outdoor neighborhood get-together or would top off a night of board games or stargazing. I like how the taste experience will change depending on the fruits chosen. Plus, it’s super easy to make.

I’d like to include one or two more of the recipes from this article. There were some less familiar dishes that I’d like to try. Addie from @sugaraddies lent her hand with this crumble. As always, I appreciate her talents.

Enjoy your weekend!

 

Baking without…Eggs: Prune Cake

This prune cake is the final recipe in the “Baking without…Eggs” series. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from a prune cake, so I was excited to bake this one.

If you missed the first two recipes, you can find them here:

Baking without…Eggs: Cocoa Cake with Chocolate Glaze

Baking without…Eggs: Crumb Cake

Prune Cake

1/2 c. shortening

1 c. brown sugar, firmly packed

1 c. chopped, pitted prunes

2 1/4 c. sifted flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp allspice

1/2 tsp salt

3/4 c. prune juice

3/4 c. water

Cream the shortening and sugar. Add the prunes. Add the sifted dry ingredients alternately with the liquid. Pour the batter into a greased and floured 9 x 9 x 2 inch pan and bake at 325° for 1 hour.

Results

This prune cake had a texture similar to a banana or zucchini bread. I wish we had baked it in a loaf, sliced it, and eaten it warm with melted butter. The prunes added a nice texture, almost like we had added a soft nut. There was a mild prune flavor, but it was light enough to be enjoyed even by people on the fence about prunes.

A new First Monday Menu is coming up next week. There will be some fresh fruit recipes later this week. August will bring some history topics and a look at some of my vintage kitchen items. We’ll also have some lunch box recipes and menus. I’m looking forward to a fun month.

 

 

Baking without…Eggs: Crumb Cake

The second recipe in the “Baking without…Eggs” series is a crumb cake. If you missed the first in the series, you can find it here: Cocoa Cake. The final post in the series can be found here: Prune Cake.

Let’s jump right to today’s recipe.

Ingredients

1 c evaporated milk

1 tbsp vinegar

1 1/2 c sifted flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 c brown sugar

1/4 c shortening

1 tbsp molasses

Crumb Topping

Crumb Topping

2 tbsp shortening

2 tbsp sugar

1/4 c flour

1/4 c dry bread crumbs

1/2 tsp cinnamon

dash nutmeg

Mix the evaporated milk and vinegar. Set mixture aside for a moment. In another bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon together. Add the sugar. Cut in the shortening to the consistency of course meal. Then add the molasses and evaporated milk mixture. Pour into a well greased 9 x 9 x 2″ pan.

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For the crumb topping, cream the shortening and the sugar, then mix in the remaining ingredients. Sprinkle this mixture on top of the cake. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes.

 

A couple notes: If you are a fan of cinnamon, you might add a bit more in both the cake batter and the crumb topping. Also, we ended up cooking the cake a bit longer than 30 minutes, so you might double check yours when you pull it from the oven at the 30 minute mark.

 

Results

I keep waiting for one of these recipes to not be a smashing success at my house, but this cake definitely wasn’t it. It was moist with a nice cinnamon crunch. With nine of us testing it, it was completely gone within an hour. This would be nice as part of a weekend breakfast or brunch. A couple of my taste testers ate it warm with vanilla ice cream and said that was a nice way to eat it. We enjoy that combo of hot and cold when it comes to baked goods. You’ll probably see the addition of ice cream mentioned numerous times in the future. Perhaps I should look for a period ice cream recipe. It’s nice to have options when serving a dish.

Addie from Sugar Addie’s (@sugaraddies) helped with the baking again, and as always, I appreciate her lending her talented helping hands.

The next, and final, recipe in this egg-free series is a prune cake. I’m not sure what to expect with a prune cake, so I’m excited to get started. Enjoy your weekend!

 

Baking without…Eggs: Cocoa Cake with Chocolate Glaze

By 1945, rationing and shortages had created challenges for home front housewives. Cooking practices changed due to the lack of ingredients needed for certain recipes or meals. It was difficult for families that were used to eating meat and potato meals to adjust to less appealing cuts of meat and dishes made with ingredient substitutions.

Women’s magazines of the time period often had articles that helped women figure out how to make new wartime meals appealing to their families. In the January 1945 issue of Women’s Day, there is an article called “You Can Bake Without…” and has ideas for recipes made without eggs, sugar, milk, or shortening. As a series, I’m going to make the recipes from each of these categories. This month, I’ll bake without eggs. Next month I’ll bake without sugar, and so on. Join me this week for the egg-free desserts.

Cocoa Cake with Chocolate Glaze

The cocoa cake recipe recommended using a large loaf pan, but we chose to use a bundt pan instead so we could add a glaze. The cocoa cake recipe was from the Woman’s Day article but the glaze was from a period cookbook. A fun tidbit–this cake cost 23 cents to make in 1945.

Addie from Sugar Addie’s baked this cake. She makes more than just wartime food and is an especially talented baker. You can follow her on Instagram: @sugaraddies. Of course, History in the Kitchen is also on Instagram. Come join me at @history.in.the.kitchen.

On to the recipes!

Ingredients

1/2 c. shortening

2 c. brown sugar, firmly packed

1 tsp vanilla

1 c. buttermilk

2 1/2 c. sifted cake flour

1/2 c. cocoa

1 tsp soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 c. hot water

Cream the shortening, sugar, and vanilla. Then you add 1/4 cup of the buttermilk and beat well. Then add the sifted dry ingredients, alternating with the water and remaining buttermilk, and mix well. The recipe calls for a greased and buttered 12 x 8 x 2-inch pan, but the bundt pan worked great for us. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes.

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Chocolate Coating

We thought the cake needed something to top it off, so we looked through my cookbook collection to find the perfect chocolate glaze. This one came from The Good Housekeeping Cookbook‘s 1944 edition. It’s actually a chocolate coating to cover frosting, but it worked perfectly as a glaze for this cocoa cake.

2 oz. unsweetened chocolate

2 tsp butter or margarine

Melt chocolate and butter and blend.  Let the cake cool. Use a spoon to pour the frosting over the cake. The recipe says that this frosting can also be used as a coating for other types of frosting, as well. We used it by itself for this cake.

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Results

The cake was fluffy, bouncy, and moist with a fudgy layer at the bottom. It had a nice milk chocolate flavor, and the frosting was smooth and mild. This was a big hit with everyone who tried it. I liked that the chocolate isn’t too intense. It was pretty quick to throw together, but the bundt cake pan and the chocolate glaze made it attractive enough to take as a potluck dish or to a family get-together.

Looking for part 2 of this series? Here it is: Crumb Cake Part 3 is here: Baking without…Eggs: Prune Cake