Baking Adventures: Tollhouse Pie

It’s not a cookie, and it’s not your typical pie, but it sure is yummy. And since this past Tuesday was apparently National Chocolate Chip Day, I wanted to share my latest baking adventure with you: Tollhouse Pie.

 

If your restaurant has this on the menu, you’ve guaranteed that I’m order dessert. It doesn’t taste exactly like a warm chocolate chip cookie, but taste of the pie is similar. The slightly crackly top rests on a gooey delight of chocolate and walnuts with a slight hint of cookie dough batter.

It’s best served with ice cream or whipped cream in my opinion. Adding a bit of chocolate syrup or even hot fudge would not be out of the question, although the pie has plenty of chocolate inside.

As you may have guessed from the pie’s name, the original recipe came from Nestlé and is modeled off the cookie recipe on the back of the familiar yellow bag.

The internet has a bunch of variations and I cobbled together my recipe from a few of them. It’s very easy to make, especially if you use a frozen, premade pie crust. It takes a little over an hour from start to finish, but almost all of that is baking time. Making the batter takes about 10 minutes or so.

I know not everyone likes walnuts. To be honest, I don’t want them in my cookies, but they lend the pie a slightly bitter undertone and provide some crunchy bits. You could leave them out if you have a nut allergy or just hate the darn things, but do some web searches to find out whether you want to increase the flour to compensate for the loss of walnuts.

I found the key to making this super-easy is to spend a little time prepping your ingredients. Let’s face it: this always makes cooking and baking easier anyway.

1. Preheat the oven to 325° with an oven rack in the middle of the oven. Put a baking sheet that will hold your pie crust in the oven while you preheat it. Leave your 9″ premade pie crust in the freezer until you’re ready to fill it.

2. In a medium bowl, mix together a dash of salt and  1/2 cup each of all-purpose flour, granulated sugar, and brown sugar, light or dark, your call.

3. Chop walnuts until you have 1 cup of walnut pieces. I liked a fine chop but if you want some bigger pieces, go for it. Put these in a small bowl.

4. Add 1 cup chocolate chips to the walnuts. I used Ghirardelli mini chips, but you can use whatever type of semi-sweet or sweet chocolate you want.

5. Beat 2 eggs at high speed until light and foamy. Use the paddle attachment for your stand mixer if you have one.

6. Add the flour-sugar mixture and mix on medium until thoroughly combined.

7. Add 3/4 cup of room-temperature butter. You want this to be soft but not oozing. Mix again on medium until fully combined.

8. With a spoon, stir in your walnuts and chocolate until they look well distributed. Note: they will sink toward the bottom of the pie as seen in the picture above.

9. REMEMBER THE BAKING SHEET IS HOT so use an oven mitt to take it out of the oven. Move the pie crust from the freezer to the baking sheet and fill with the batter. The batter will be thick so you’ll have to smooth it to level it off.

10. Pop it back in the oven for 50 minutes, turning the cookie sheet 180° about halfway through the cooking time. At the end of the full time, test for doneness with the tip of a chef’s knife or other sharp knife not quite in the center of the pie. If it comes out clean, you’re done. If not, give it another 5 minutes and then test again. You may need another 5 minutes, but probably not. The top of the pie should be crisp and somewhat shiny. Thanks, butter.

11. Put the pie on a wire rack to cool for at least 10-15 minutes.

A fresh-from-the-oven slice will be a little loose but oh so tasty, especially with some vanilla ice cream melting into the top. I actually liked my version better the next day when it was room temperature, although ice cream was still a great add.

I kept mine in a plastic cake container with a lid that locks down. It’ll probably be good for a week, but mine isn’t going to last that long.

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