Tollbooth Cookies – Lighter Alternative to The Traditional Chocolate Chip

“The most important reason for going from one place to another is to see what’s in between, and they took great pleasure in doing just that”

Norton Juster, The Phantom Tollbooth


The Phanton Tollbooth is a wonderful children’s book about a bored boy who is given a magic tollbooth. He drives through it into a magic world where he begins to understand that all around him there are all kinds of interesting things to see and experience.

I have no idea why these cookies are called Tollbooth Cookies – there is no connection with the book because I found the recipe in a file belonging to my mother which dates back before the book was written (1961).

They’re a good alternative to the classic chocolate chip cookies, being thinner and slightly crunchier, a bit lighter.


The note in the file advises “they are scrumptious eaten while still just warm”


  • 250g/8 oz brick of butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla paste
  • 200g/7 oz/1⅔ cup flour
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 100g/4 oz/⅔ cup chopped walnuts or pecans
  • 180g/6 oz/1 cup soft brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 200g/7 oz plain chocolate chips


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C
  2. Using an electric whisk, cream the butter, sugar and vanilla paste together until light and fluffy.
  3. Add the egg and beat in.
  4. Then fold in the flour, the baking powder and the salt
  5. Then add the nuts and chocolate chips
  6. Drop a couple of teaspoons onto a greased baking tray allowing lots of room for them to spread
  7. Bake for about ten minutes – until golden. Because these cookies are thinner than normal chocolate chip cookies it’s important not to overcook them or they get hard.


This post is dedicated to Penelope Makins (aka ELA) who gave me the book

chocolate chip and pecan cookies recipe

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michael westra

I think the name is a play on words with the old tool house cookie recipe that has been around for many decades . Seeing these are thinner tool booth is the appropriate name for them.

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