America’s original chocolate chip cookie recipe is over 75 years old. A Massachusetts woman named Ruth Wakefield owned the popular Toll House Inn that featured home-style cooking. It's believed that she decided to develop a special cookie to serve alongside her dishes of ice cream. Wakefield chopped up some chocolate and add it to the dough, thinking that the entire cookie would come out chocolate. Instead, she discovered that the chocolate remained chips and didn’t distribute throughout the dough as they baked. The chocolate chip cookie was born.
Its popularity soared, especially after many households in Massachusetts with soldiers overseas in World War II sent their loved ones care packages containing tins of chocolate chip cookies. The soldiers shared them with their fellow servicemen from around the country. When they returned home after the war, everyone wanted more of that great cookie from Massachusetts.
In 1939, Ruth Wakefield gave the Nestlé company rights to use her cookie recipe and the Toll House name for the bargain price of one dollar. However, she did receive free chocolate for life.
This recipe for chewy chocolate chip cookies may not be Ruth Wakefield’s original, but it does have a secret ingredient to keep them soft and tender: vanilla instant pudding mix. The cookies are great for a school box lunch treat or after school snack. They sell out quickly at bake sales and potluck meals. Give them your own spin by adding nuts or using your choice of chocolate chips.
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup butter (softened to room temperature)
- 3/4 cup brown sugar (firmly packed)
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 (3.5-ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- 1 (12-ounce) package semisweet chocolate chips
Gather the ingredients. Preheat oven to 375 F. Prepare baking sheets by lining with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, combine the flour and baking soda. Set aside.
In a large mixer bowl, combine butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, instant vanilla pudding mix, and vanilla. Beat until smooth and creamy.
Beat in the eggs until well combined.
Gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture.
Stir in the chocolate chips.
Drop by heaping spoonfuls about 2 inches apart on prepared cookie sheets. Bake in the preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned.
Cool on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container if not eating right away.
If you love the incredibly soft and chewy texture of these chocolate chip cookies, try other flavor variations.
- Instead of a box in instant vanilla pudding mix, try using butterscotch pudding instead. Then, instead of chocolate chips, use butterscotch chips.
- For a chocolate peanut butter twist, use chocolate pudding and peanut butter chips in the recipe.