Category Archives: Events

In the Cradle of the Cookie

Ended Chocolate Chip Cookie Week 2014 by delivering a Powerpoint at the Boston Public Library, located just about 20 miles from where the cookie was invented. During the Q&A that followed, I learned of some Jordan Marsh department store chocolate chip cookies that at least one woman in the audience missed as much as their famous blueberry muffins. After that everyone rushed to the back of the room for some delicious cookies from talk partner bakery Kilvert & ForbesĀ  (featured on pages 98 and 100 of the book). Visit the contact page to inquire about having me deliver this talk to your company or group!

I talk about Gov. Weld's love of the Fig Newton.

I talk about Gov. Weld’s love of the Fig Newton.



Ink From the Inky

Me and David A. with his cookies

David A., me and Famous cookies

My visit with food guy Michael Klein and David Auspitz at Auspitz’s Famous 4th Street Cookies last week resulted in this great post that also appeared in the print edition of the Philadelphia Inquirer’s (aka Inky’s) Food section today under the headline “The Book on a Favorite Food” (ironically placed beside a story titled “Why Can’t We Make What We Like?). Hope to see you Saturday at Reading Terminal Market!

Whitman Library Tolled for Me This Weekend

Welcoming library sign

Welcoming library sign

Tons of fun in Toll House-land this weekend. Learned a number of new things about the Toll House during my panel discussion with former Toll House employees I interviewed, and others who turned out for the event. Like what else besides the beloved pecan rolls came standard in the Toll House bread basket (cornbread, gingerbread, even rum bread). Former Toll House waitress/panelist Carol Cavanagh amused the SRO crowd with a story about the customer who tried to test her ability to memorize their orders (a requirement for waitresses at the Toll House) by playing musical chairs when she went into the kitchen to place them. But Carol was too good for them and after she matched up every dish with the right person, one of the mischief-makers sighed and said, “Young lady, you just cost me $5.”

Saturday's panel (L to R): Me and ex-Toll House waitresses Marguerite Gaquin, June O'Leary and Carol Cavanagh

Saturday’s panel (L to R): Me and ex-Toll House waitresses Marguerite Gaquin, June O’Leary and Carol Cavanagh

Entries in the event’s chocolate chip cookie contest were almost all flat and soft and nutless (despite published judging criteria that called for fidelity to the classic Toll House taste, which includes walnuts).

1st place winner gets his prizes: my book, cookies and Nestle morsels to practice his craft

1st place winner gets his prizes: my book, cookies and Nestle morsels to practice his craft

Could excessive sensitivity to people with nut allergies be driving the chocolate chip cookie with nuts from our land? (Say it’s not so!) No surprise — me being one of the judges and all — that the top-scoring cookie contained walnuts and all the other ingredients and amounts Toll House cookie inventor Ruth Wakefield called for. But big surprise that their baker was 14-year-old Matthew Kelcourse, who beat out all the adults with his complex-tasting, pleasantly textured beauties, this contest having no separate youth category. His recipe is here.