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OP: Ruth Wakefield’s Toll House Tried and True Recipes

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by Ruth Wakefield
M. Barrows & Company, Inc., 1944. Hardcover. Very Good. Signed, nineteenth printing.


Unlike cocktails, most of the fine and memorable dishes of the world cannot be attributed to a single creator. But, like their potable counterparts, if enough lore surrounds a novel culinary creation, a name inevitably becomes associated.

Such is the case with Ruth Wakefield (1903–1977) and the chocolate chip cookie.

Ruth and Ken Wakefield’s Toll House Inn, established in 1930, was a well regarded establishment, serving socialites, politicians, and celebrities before their famous cookie made the Whitman, Massachusetts restaurant a household name.

Of course, a fair amount of mythology surrounds the creation of the classic confection, but Wakefield’s success is truly creditable to business savvy and one of the best co-branding schemes of the twentieth century. 

Ruth Wakefield’s Tried and True Recipes—first published in 1931 and retitled Ruth Wakefield’s Toll House Tried and True Recipes when US publisher Barrows & Co. took over the printing in 1936—added the Toll House chocolate crunch cookie recipe in 1938. By 1939, Wakefield had sold the recipe to her preferred chocolate supplier, Nestle, for $1—as the story goes—and a lifetime supply of chocolate. The recipe and the Toll House name have been printed on Nestle’s packaging ever since. 

Because of its ubiquity, it’s fair to say one need not purchase a copy of Wakefield’s book for the cookie recipe. Rather, one might seek a token of the American entrepreneurial spirit and an iconic piece of culinary history. Although we wouldn’t sleep on the dishes that fed the likes of Cole Porter, Ethel Merman, Joe DiMagio, and several Kennedys and Astors, either.

We are pleased to offer a signed 1944 nineteenth printing in Very Good condition. Scattered food stains and shelfwear show the book’s age and use, but it remains sturdy. We’ve made minor repairs to secure the spine, which was fraying at the hinge.

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