Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies With a Twist

Ahh… Rows and rows of soft, moist, freshly baked chocolate chip cookies with orange zest fill a kitchen with one of the best aromas on earth.

When I was in high school, one of my favorite after-school activities was hanging out with my friends baking cookies. Our go-to cookie recipe was the original Nestle Toll House chocolate chip cookie recipe right off the back of the bag. We enjoyed batches straight out of the oven. After years of experimenting with different recipes, I’ve returned to the original because it is simply the best. In a way, these cookies are a metaphor for a life in which I, too, have returned to many of the things that brought me joy as a young woman.

I was talking to a friend earlier this year who is working on a family cookbook. She is collecting recipes that, in some way, each tell a story about family members. Most of the recipes have been created by her family. But when the subject of chocolate chip cookies came up, they all agreed that the Nestle recipe is unbeatable.

So, I bring you the original Nestle Toll House chocolate chip cookie… with a very slight twist. I added a teaspoon of orange zest because, lately, I’ve been on an orange and chocolate kick. Chocolate just seems to taste better with the zing of orange zest. (Were we not in a dry village, Grand Marnier would work beautifully with chocolate, too.)

Nestle® Toll House® Chocolate Chip Cookies


  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (chocolate morsels)
  • 1 cup chopped pecans (or other nuts)
  • 1 tsp orange zest (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Combine flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl.
  3. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in a large bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in zest.
  4. Gradually beat in flour mixture.
  5. Stir in chocolate morsels and nuts.
  6. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto ungreased baking sheets.
  7. Bake for 9 – 11 minutes or until golden brown.
  8. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes. Remove to wire  racks to completely cool.

Makes about 4 dozen cookies.