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Toll House vs NYT Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies

Just couldn't help myself...

A comparison between the original Toll House Cookies from Ruth Wakefield, as used to be written on the back of the Nestle's semi-sweet morsels packages (aka chocolate chips), and the "ultimate" chocolate chip cookie from the New York Times article 7/9/08, which was adapted from Jacques Torres.  I used Torres' conversions from volume to weight measures where applicable to convert the Toll House recipe to ounces, and then 454g/lb to convert all to grams, and divided the NYT by the TH grams to give the ratios, all standardized vs the quantity of egg.  

As you can see, the NYT recipe

•significantly increased the sugar overall, by more than half, and slightly increased the proportion of brown to white sugars, increasing the carmelized flavors even without accounting for baking techniques;

•doubled the vanilla;

•increased the butter by a third;

•increased the flour total by about half, but in combining the pastry and bread flours gave a pretty close approximation of all-purpose gluten content, so increased the proportion rather than really affecting the gluten content;

•increase the leavening by almost three fold, and since baking powder has more leavening power per unit than soda, increases the leavening effect by more than that;

•vastly increased the chocolate, which I think is beyond overkill, as I've never been fond of super extra chocolate in these cookies, because I *like* the cookie part, and if I really crave the chocolate so much, I'd rather eat it plain; but his higher quality chocolate vs the nestle chips is probably closer to her original, since she broke up a bar of chocolate for the first batches, and the mass market commercial chips have more stiffeners in them to stand up to baking without losing their shapes;

•left out the nuts;

•added saltiness in three ways--more salt directly in the dough, more sodium in the leavenings, and salt sprinkled on top;

but if you account for the increased sugar and butter, the increased flour essentially compensates for that, so the liquid/dry proportions are pretty similar (sugars count as liquids because they liquify at baking temperatures), but the proportion of egg is dropped.

Overall, a less eggy, mildly sweeter, outrageously more chocolatey cookie, depending more on salt for added depth of flavor and kick, where the Toll House added a different dimension by use of nuts.

He also drops the cooking temp from 375 to 350, probably a good thing to avoid scorched chocolate since his cookies will have more chocolate exposed at the edges; and does excess to excessive by vastly increasing the size of the cookie, the better to increase your girth.

Ingredient Toll House (Nestle) NYT Ultimate TH g per 2 eggs NTY g per 2 eggs Ratio NYT/TH
Butter 1 cup 1 1/4 cups 227 284 1.3
Sugar 3/4 cup 1 cup + 2 tablespoons 151 227 1.5
Light Brown Sugar 3/4 cup 1 1/4 cups 170 284 1.7
NET SUGARS 322 511 1.6
Large Eggs 2 2 n/a n/a 1
Vanilla Extract 1 teaspoon 2 teaspoons 5 10 2
All-purpose flour 2 1/4 cups - 326 - n/a
Pastry Flour - 2 cups less 2 tablespoons 241 n/a
Bread Flour - 1 2/3 cups 241 n/a
NET FLOURS 326 482 1.5
Soda 1 teaspoon 1 1/4 teaspoons 5 6.25 1.3
Water 1 teaspoon - (5) - n/a
Baking Powder - 1 1/2 teaspoons - 7.5 n/a
NET LEAVENING 5 13.75 2.8
Salt 1/2 teaspoon 1 1/2 teaspoons 2.5 7.5 3
Chipped Chocolate 1 cup (6 ounces) 1 1/4 pounds 170 568 3.3
Chopped Nuts 1/2 cup - 57 - n/a
Sea Salt - variable - ? n/a

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