Under the right circumstances there is a little bit of a Cookie Monster in all of us. Homemade or store-bought, just about everyone has a favorite cookie. Then, many who agree with the song from “Finnian’s Rainbow, ” titled “If I’m Not Near the Girl I Love, I Love the Girl I’m Near.” Substitute cookie for the girl and you’ll get the drift.
Some groups estimate that the average American will eat 35,000 cookies in his lifetime, and others say the cookie counter puts the number at about half that or 18,000. Either way, that’s a lot of milk.
The top on most lists of favorites is the Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie. This simple idea came to be when Ruth Wakefield and her husband, Ken, bought the Toll House Inn between Boston and Cape Cod in 1930.
Wakefield was a trained home economist and an excellent cook, and the Toll House became a favorite stopping point for food critic Duncan Hines, who liked her Indian Pudding, and Joseph Kennedy Sr., who went for the Boston Cream Pie. The Kennedys (yes, those Kennedys) were so fond of Wakefield’s cooking that mother Rose sent regular Toll House packages to her children serving overseas during World War II.
Meanwhile, back at the cookie creation and years later after the Toll House cookie became America’s favorite, Wakefield told an interviewer that she want to enhance a recipe she already had for Butterscotch Nut Wafers with bits of chocolate, so she just started experimenting. Eventually she turned to a well-known recipe for brown sugar cookies added chopped up chocolate and came up with “The Cookie That Changed the World.”
Seeing a good thing, international chocolatier Nestle swooped in a bought the exclusive rights to the Toll House recipe and the name. They changed the design of their semi-sweet chocolate bars to include score marks to help cut the bars into the perfect size. A year later, Nestle introduced Toll House morsels aka chocolate chips. The recipe for the cookies has been on their chocolate chip package ever since.
It is no wonder then, that the most popular cookie from The Frosted Shoppe is the chocolate chip. Heather Shilling, the owner of the custom cake shop in Denison, said she offers six cookies — chocolate chip, peanut butter, M&M, white chocolate macadamia nut, oatmeal raisin, and occasionally a snicker doodle — on a daily basis.
“We use our own recipes,” she said. “We bake from scratch in small batches so you just might get a cookie warm from the oven; they’re large, soft and chewy, and always fresh.”
They also have an M&M cookie.
“It’s a chocolate chip base with M&Ms instead of chocolate chips,” Shilling said.
Cookies also make up a considerable part of the custom dessert orders that the Frosted Shoppe fills, especially during the holidays.
“We do decorated sugar cookies here in the shop, and of course for the holidays we do different themes,” Shilling said.
That means Santas, Christmas trees, snow men, snowflakes, and the like. Look for hearts and flowers for Valentine’s, bunnies at Easter, and flags on Independence Day. Each one of the Frosted Shoppe cookies is individually bagged in clear plastic.
For individual special occasions, the customer picks the shape and Shilling and her staff do the rest. On the decorating table when we were there were a pan of cookies shaped like hospital scrubs. They already had their purple icing and were waiting for Shilling to add a little stethoscope in white royal icing to each cookie.
That sounds like a prescription for a great cookie, once you add a glass of milk, of course.
Edward Southerland is a feature writer for Best of Texoma. For more information, visit BestofTexoma.com or www.facebook.com/BestOfTexoma.