At some point after I started this blog and started baking on a semi-regular basis, my parents mentioned something I never knew. They had my grandfather’s handwritten recipe notebook. I knew he had been a baker when my dad was growing up but I had no idea that a notebook existed. In all honesty it’s not the Holy Grail of family heirlooms: it’s modest and simple. And somehow that seems just right. Because he was a baker by profession, with his own bakery in the late 1940s, all of the recipes are for production of very large quantities. My parents said they’d tried scaling down one of the recipes at one point but hadn’t had success. And being the daughter that I am, I ignored them and decided I could do better.
With the help of some spreadsheets and simple mathematics, I scaled down a recipe for chocolate chip cookies. While there are some other neat recipes in the notebook, I figured let’s start with something simple and classic: chocolate chip cookies. I, of course, had to take some liberties (i.e. my scale doesn’t allow me the precision of measuring eggs to the sixth decimal place). The 3.5 batches was scaled down to 0.05 batches, which is kind of funny.
Where it called for “fat” I used a stick of unsalted butter and made up the difference with shortening. If I made the recipe again, I would use strictly unsalted butter and it would still be less than is in the Nestle Toll House recipe. (Although this is for a smaller batch.) I didn’t have enough unsalted butter this time which is why I substituted shortening. The recipe is fairly similar to the Nestle Toll House one but there are differences, such as no vanilla.
Similar to the homemade oreos, the cookie dough started really, really dry but I let the mixer do its job and sure enough it came together really nicely. The cookies also baked really nicely and really evenly. Taste-wise they’re similar to a regular cookie, maybe a bit heavier though. Perhaps a hard chocolate chip cookie instead of a soft one.
Honestly, I wasn’t sure what to expect. But I kept hearing myself saying “they sure look like chocolate chip cookies…” and “they sure taste like chocolate chip cookies.”
Now the only thing left is to call my parents and gloat…