Amy S.'s The Holidays Really Take Their Toll (House) Cookies

Our latest Chow Bella showdown: a traditional holiday cookie exchange. Today: our final entry, Amy Silverman's "The Holidays Really Take Their Toll (House) Cookies."


Let's face it: You've made it this far in the holiday season and all you really want right now is a stiff drink (we've got plenty of coverage to that end, here on Chow Bella). But you've got one more batch of cookies to whip up. Might I suggest a classic? The Nestle Toll House cookie.

The best part: You can't lose the recipe. It's right there on the freaking bag. I like to go to Safeway, pick up a bag of chocolate chips and use that as my shopping list.

You really can't go wrong with these, as long as you let the butter soften enough (otherwise, and I know this from experience, you'll have big lumps of butter in your cookies; or if you nuke the butter to liquid they'll be hard as rocks).

I won't share the recipe -- that's ridiculous, you can pick up a bag of chips yourself, Walgreen's even carries them -- but I'll offer up my secret for making perfect chocolate chip cookies. It's one I learned quite by accident. A few years ago, my Toll House cookies were receiving rave reviews and I couldn't figure out why. It was simply the recipe on the bag. Then I realized I was unintentionally doubling the amount of chocolate chips I put in each batch.

Having poor math skills can pay off sometimes.

I tried to get creative with this batch, and tossed not only semi-sweet but also white chocolate chips in the batter, along with some peanuts and pistachios I happened to have in the cupboard. Frankly, I think I prefer the original version, but these were okay, too.

Warning: M&Ms are fine to put in your cookies, but I don't recommend adding candy corn (I know, different holiday) unless you want a real mess.

Another tip for saving time: Press your dough into a well-greased brownie pan and make cookie bars. Enjoy!

The Chow Bella Christmas Cookie Exchange -- so far:
7. Ando Muneno's Totally Ethnic Ginger Chocolate Cookies
2. Amy Morris' Snickerdoodles and Spritz Cookies
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Amy Silverman is a two-time winner of the Arizona Press Club’s Journalist of the Year award. Her work has appeared on the radio show This American Life and in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Lenny Letter, and Brain, Child. She’s the co-curator of the live reading series Bar Flies, and a commentator for KJZZ, the NPR affiliate in Phoenix. Silverman is the author of the book My Heart Can’t Even Believe It: A Story of Science, Love, and Down Syndrome (Woodbine House 2016). Follow her on Instagram (@amysilverman), Twitter (@amysilvermanaz), and at