fresh baked chocolate chip cookies on a cookie sheet

Biting into a soft, freshly baked cookie is an experience that brings your thoughts to home, which is what Frontier Communities offers guests every day. For visitors to their model homes, the Southern California builder stocks its kitchens with chocolate chip cookies, reminding visitors that there’s no place like home for good taste. 

While shopping for a new home is a sweet proposition, there’s even more cause for celebration on Tuesday, August 4thNational Chocolate Chip Cookie Day. It draws attention to an American favorite, which got its start at the Toll House Inn in Whitman, Massachusetts. If the warmth and fresh-out-of-the-oven taste seems like one of Grandma’s specialties, there’s a reason for that: the chocolate chip cookie made its first appearance in 1938.  

It hardly seems possible, but the edible sensation was created by accident. Ruth Graves Wakefield, who owned the inn with her husband Kenneth, was baking cookies according to her tradition but added chunks of chocolate bar (there is various lore about why she made the substitution). The chocolate didn’t infuse completely in the dough so the taste of her cookies included chunky chocolate bites. The result was a new and popular recipe for the chocolate chip cookie and the Toll House Company was born.

Cookie bakers in homes and establishments took the new flavor from a growing sensation to a tasty tradition when Nestle contacted Ruth Wakefield in 1939 and offered to place her recipe on their package of chocolate chips. According to history records, her reward was a lifetime of free chocolate.

First called the Toll House Chocolate Crunch Cookie when it was included in Wakefield’s “Tried and True” cookbook, it quickly became as iconic as apple pie. Nestle and Pillsbury sold chocolate chip cookie dough in the market’s refrigerated section in the 1950s and Nabisco put Chips Ahoy on the market in 1963. By the 1970s there were entire stores dedicated to cookies, such as Mrs. Fields and Famous Amos. The ‘80s followed with Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough ice cream. In 1997, it was named the official state cookie of Massachusetts.

The original Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe is:

  • 2 ¼ cups unsifted flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¾ cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 12-ounce package Nestle Semi-Sweet Real Chocolate Morsels
  • 1 cup nuts

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt; set aside. In a large bowl, combine butter, sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract; beat until creamy. Beat in eggs. Gradually add flour mixture; mix well. Stir in Nestle Semi-Sweet Real Chocolate Morsels and nuts. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 8 to 10 minutes.

The Toll House Heritage Cookbook has flavor variations you can use in place of nuts:

  • 2 cups raisins
  • 2 cups chopped dates
  • 4 cups crisp, ready-to-eat cereal
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange rind

If you’d rather have one giant, pizza-sized cookie, the book includes a frosting recipe to spread on top after baking it:

Bake the original cookie recipe in a 14-inch round pan. After baking for 25 minutes remove from oven. Sprinkle half of the top with 6 ounces of Nestle Semi-Sweet Real Chocolate Morsels and the other half with a 6-ounce package of Nestle Butterscotch Morsels. Let it set for 5 minutes to soften morsels. To frost, spread softened morsels evenly over cookie. Cool completely. Cut into wedges.

small child with a stack of giant cookies

There’s nothing like a home filled with the smell of freshly baked cookies. When your kitchen becomes the family’s gathering place you get the atmosphere you’re looking for and a great place to come home to. You can create that family culture at Frontier Communities.

And this month you can double the celebrating with chocolate chip cookies in your new home.