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12 days of Christmas Cookies: Tollhouse and M&M Cookies

12 days of Christmas Cookies: Day 7

If memory serves me correctly, Cook’s Illustrated recently did an article on how to make the best chocolate chip cookie and found that the Toll House Cookie recipe that we’ve all come to love is as close to perfection as one could get (at least when it comes to chocolate chip cookies).

That’s not to say that one cannot nor should not tamper with a classic, all in the name of “The Holidays”. To wit, add red and green M&M’s in place of some of the chocolate chips and voila!…Instant holiday cookies.

Part of me is fascinated by the fact that one can add red and/or green ingredients to a cookie, and suddenly it’s thought to be a “Christmas Cookie”. It’s amazing to me that these two colors are so iconic.

Equally amazing to me is the fact that legend the “red” in the red and green comes from the representation of the blood of kings and then later the King of kings. Note that this is probably not a good tidbit of trivia to share with children and the more fundamentalist of Christians.

Thanks to Tara for pointing this tidbit out. Oh, and the color green? As best as I can gather, it roughly represents the fertility of soil extrapolated from any number of myths and traditions revolving around death and rebirth.

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup plain M&M’s
  • 1 cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat your oven to 375° F.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine your flour, baking soda and salt.

In a large mixing bowl, beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract until creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in the M&M’s, chocolate chips and walnuts. . Drop by rounded tablespoon onto parchment lined baking sheets.

Place the cookie sheets in the oven and bake between 9 and 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes and then remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Makes 4 dozen, give or take

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