Want to bake cookies that turn out delicious every time? With a kitchen scale and the correct ingredients, you can easily follow our Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe anywhere in the world including Europe and the United States.
“Boy, you two have the life!”
It’s a phrase we’ve heard a lot. Sure, we’ve built a new life in Europe’s sunny wonderland, Portugal, where the wine flows freely along with loads of fresh seafood, oozey raw milk cheeses and some of the finest cured meats in the world. But, as Americans, we sometimes get homesick for comfort foods we enjoy eating in the States.
Mexican food is at a premium here. Good luck acquiring jalapeño peppers with the kind of consistent heat of the chilies sold in the USA. Bagels are just better on the East Coast, especially in New York. While we can find all of those things, there’s one childhood item that’s surprisingly difficult to find in Europe.
That hard-to-find item is a good Chocolate Chip Cookie.
Sure, we can find good Chocolate Chip Cookies at the occasional Lisbon cafe or at modern Parisian patisseries. But we never realized how much we’d miss real deal Chocolate Chip Cookies until we couldn’t find them so easily.
Feeling nostalgic, we decided to bake Chocolate Chip Cookies for a dinner party with expat friends. How hard could it be???
We quickly realized that the original Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe uses American measurements and ingredients. It makes sense since the recipe was invented in Whitman, Massachusetts back in 1939. However, the recipe format can be a barrier to cookie bliss for people who don’t measure and use food the American way.
We’re fortunate that we have measuring implements which we brought from home. However, we still had challenges since some European products come in different packaging than in the United States. Plus, there’s that pesky metric system which every country except the US seems to use.
While lamenting over the challenges while eating the cookies that we ultimately baked, our little group agreed that it would have have been so much easier if we had found a recipe with ingredients measured by weight, particularly in grams. We looked hard for a chocolate chip recipe measured by weight but couldn’t find one online.
We also agreed that other expats must feel the same way. Fast forward a few weeks and we’ve now constructed a version of the Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe that lists every ingredient, except for the eggs, in grams.
And the best part? Not only does this recipe makes baking easier, but the by weight approach also creates consistently great cookies whether you’re in Europe or America.
How Our Recipe Works
Our recipe is so easy to follow.
You don’t have to worry about measuring the flour with a measuring cup. You don’t have to wonder if you’ve properly packed the brown sugar. All you have to do is weigh the ingredients.
And, so long as you use a fine salt like Morton’s and don’t forget to take the cookies out of the oven, you should achieve ideal results every time you follow it. Hooray!
Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies Ingredients
The list of necessary ingredients is super simple if you’re baking Chocolate Chip Cookies. Here’s the full list:
If you’re an expat, you may need to make some extra efforts since some of the ingredients, namely dark brown sugar and chocolate chips, aren’t always easy to find. Surprisingly bags of Nestle’s Semi-Sweet Toll House Morsels aren’t commonly sold in European grocery stores.
If you can’t find brown sugar or semi-sweet chocolate chips at an international grocery store, you should be able to order them from an internet shopping site like Amazon.
Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
As we noted above, Nestle’s Semi-Sweet Toll House Morsels are not a common grocery store item in Europes since European supermarkets more typically sell dark chocolate chips. Unless you want to use dark chocolate chips, the better move is to buy semi-sweet chocolate chips at an American expat store.
Another option is to chop chocolate chunks but be aware that the chunks need to be small enough to mix in the dense cookie dough. Also be aware that this option creates extra work.
Any American all-purpose flour will work in this recipe. Stay away from bread flour since the higher protein content in these flours will cause your cookies to become too chewy.
Since we live in Lisbon, we typically use a common flour labeled 55 non self rising for bolos (i.e. cakes in Portuguese). It’s similar to the flour classification system found in France. This flour type works great.
Check out this chart showing worldwide flour equivalents for a number of countries including Japan and China. Isn’t the internet great? We think so!
Finding the right butter to use seems difficult but it should be fairly simple. You can buy a tub or package of good quality butter and then weigh it.
We’ve found 227 grams of butter to be ideal in this recipe. Also, we consider salted butter to be a ‘better butter’ for this recipe. We love salt and the flavor that it adds to our cookies.
Make sure your butter is softened to a moderate room temperature of around 70°f / 21°c before using it. Also, make sure not to over mix your butter or your cookies will spread and flatten.
Granulated sugar is readily available throughout most of the world. If you can’t find white granulated sugar, you could use a course sugar. However, you would need to grind it in a food processor.
Don’t use powdered sugar or confectioner’s sugar as it’s commonly called around the world.
Dark Brown Sugar
Since, for whatever reason, dark brown sugar is not commonly used in Portuguese baking, we were fortunate to find an excellent British made dark brown sugar product at a local expat-friendly supermarket. That being said you can find dark brown sugar on most of Amazon’s worldwide websites.
The original Tollhouse recipe calls for the brown sugar to be packed and we packed ours before we weighed it. The flavor of our cookies reflects this step. However, our finished cookies spread a bit. It’s a tradeoff we accept since brown sugar adds a rich flavor that we love.
While we’ve noticed that large eggs are a few grams heavier in Europe than in the United States, we’ve noticed no material impact in this recipe. In other words, our recipe calls for two large eggs. Period.
In our experience, the precise size of the eggs makes a nominal difference in the finished product. Let us know if you find otherwise.
Baking Soda / Sodium Bicarbonate
Baking soda or Sodium Bicarbonate, as it’s known around the world, adds rise to the cookies.
We simply weighed a teaspoon of baking soda and it measured 5 grams. You could add an extra gram if you want fluffier cookies. However, 5 grams of baking soda works just fine in this recipe.
We also use 5 grams Vanilla Extract in this recipe.
Five grams doesn’t seem like a lot but it’s just the right amount. This recipe is proof that a little bit of Vanilla Extract goes a long way.
As we noted above, we love salt for the zing that it brings to Chocolate Chip Cookies. Whether or not you love salt too, this ingredient is essential.
Some chefs we know add a layer of flake salt to their finished cookies for even more zing.
How to Bake Chocolate Chip Cookies by Weight
Essentially, like countless people before us, we typically follow the legendary Toll House recipe when we bake chocolate chip cookies at home. Nuts are optional in that recipe and we’ve chosen not to add them to our version since we’re pure chocolate chip cookie people at heart.
Our cookies spread a little due to heat, over mixing or too much brown sugar. This doesn’t mean that we didn’t love our cookies because we did. We plan to revisit this recipe in our ongoing quest for a more perfect cookie.
Logically, the first step of our recipe is be to weigh out the ingredients. However, if you have a good kitchen scale, you could conceivably zero out your weight after adding each ingredient to your respective mixing bowls. We don’t recommend this method but it would work.
Click here to buy the same type of digital kitchen scale that we use in this and other recipes.
Note that we place our cookie mixture in the fridge overnight before baking our cookies.
While you could bake your cookies immediately after making your dough, we encourage you to give your cookie mixture some time to rest in the refrigerator. We recommend chilling the dough for at least 2 hours or overnight (maximum 24 hours). This extra step improves the flavor and texture of the cookies.
Okay, now it’s time to preheat your oven to 375°f / 190°c. and bake the cookies!
The first step is to place the flour, baking soda and salt in a small mixing bowl and whisk these dry ingredients.
Buy a wire whisk if you don’t have one or need an upgrade.
Next, place the brown and white sugars along with the butter into a large high-sided mixing bowl.
Use an electric mixer to mix the sugars and butter until these ingredients are just incorporated. Be careful not to over mix.
Buy an electric mixture for this and other recipes.
Add the two eggs, one at a time until they’re incorporated too. Again, be careful not to over mix.
Gradually add the flour, baking soda, salt mixture until just combined. Yet again, be careful not to over mix the cookie dough.
Once the dough is mixed, gradually add the chocolate chips. Mix them into the cookie dough with a rubber spatula or large spoon. We like to use a blue rubber spatula but the color doesn’t matter.
Use a tablespoon to ‘drop’ the cookies on a baking sheet.
Oven sizes vary so the amount of cookies you’ll be able to bake on each sheet will vary too. In the USA, you may be able to fit 12 cookies (or more) on a half sheet pan but baking sheets are smaller in Europe.
Placing a sheet of parchment paper on the pan is not necessary but it makes the pan easier to clean.
Bake the cookies in your pre-heated oven for 8 to 12 minutes until the cookies are browned to your liking. We know that may seem like a large spread of time, but every oven varies. We have a convection oven which tends to bake the cookies faster.
In other words, KEEP AN EYE ON YOUR COOKIES!
Once the cookies are baked, remove them from the oven and let them cool for about 5 minutes. When they’ve cooled sufficiently, remove them to a cooling rack to finish cooling.
Some people like their cookies hot out of the oven and others prefer to eat them when they’re cool. Only you can decide when your cookies are ready. It’s also up to you to decide if you want to dunk them into milk or not.
How to Bake Chocolate Chip Cookies with a Kitchen Scale
- 278 grams all-purpose flour
- 227 grams butter, softened
- 157 grams granulated sugar
- 171 grams dark brown sugar
- 5 grams baking soda
- 6 grams salt
- 5 grams vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 340 grams semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Preheat your oven to 375°F / 190°C
- Combine flour, baking soda and salt in a small mixing bowl.
- Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar & vanilla extract in a larger mixing bowl.
- Add the eggs and continue beating.
- Gradually add the flour mixture and continue beating until it's fully integrated.
- Add chocolate chip morsels and stir into the batter.
- Use a tablespoon to drop the batter on to an ungreased cookie sheet.
- Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until cookies are golden brown in color.
- Cool cookie sheet for 2 minutes and transfer to a wire rack to fully cool.
- Don't over mix your cookies and always mix them in a cool space.
- Refrigerate your cookie dough for at least 2 hours to achieve the best results.
- Keep your eye on the cookies while baking so that they brown to your preference.
- If you add nuts, be sure to reduce the flour by about 10 grams.
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Braun HM5130WH MultiMix Hand Mixer, White
Silicone Spatula 4-piece Set, Heat-Resistant Spatulas, Non-stick Rubber Spatulas with Stainless Steel Core
Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls (Set of 6) Stainless Steel Mixing Bowl Set - Easy To Clean, Nesting Bowls for Space Saving Storage, Great for Cooking, Baking, Prepping
USA Pan Half Sheet Baking Pan and Bakeable Nonstick Cooling Rack, Metal
Magnetic Measuring Spoons Set of 8 Stainless Steel Stackable Dual Sided Teaspoon Tablespoon for Measuring Dry and Liquid Ingredients
Nestle Toll House Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips
McCormick All Natural Pure Vanilla Extract, 4 fl oz
Domino Dark Brown Sugar 16 oz (Pack of 2)
Domino Sugar Granulated Canister, 1 lb
Morton Iodized Table Salt, 26 Oz, pack of 2
ARM & HAMMER Pure Baking Soda 8 oz
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About the Authors
Daryl & Mindi Hirsch
Saveur Magazine’s BEST TRAVEL BLOG award winners Daryl and Mindi Hirsch share their culinary travel experiences and recipes on the 2foodtrippers website and YouTube. The married Food and Travel content creators live in Lisbon, Portugal.
Original Publication Date: May 30, 2022