Butter Drop Do Cookie Recipe

Ruth Wakefield Butter Drop Do Cookie Recipe

Ruth Wakefield, Chocolate Chip Cookie Hero

When Ruth Wakefield of the Toll House Inn decided to make her Butter Drop Do Cookie recipe in 1937, she reached for the Baker’s chocolate and discovered she didn’t have any. She decided to substitute Nestle Semi-Sweet Chocolate instead.

Unlike Baker’s chocolate, Nestle Semi-Sweet Chocolate did not melt completely into the cookies. Ruth inadvertently created the world’s first chocolate chip cookie.

(This story doesn’t make a lick of sense to me, since I doubt Baker’s chocolate would have fully melted, either.  Some stories say she ran out of nuts, so she chopped up some chocolate instead.  Read more about the history of chocolate chip cookies here.)

Butter Drop Do Cookies are an old Colonial recipe, and I was unable to find it for quite some time, until alert reader Mary Gage, of the very yummy NewEnglandRecipes.org, was kind enough to send a copy. Thanks, Mary!

Mary writes:

The only reference to this recipe I know of is Amelia Simmons’ “American Cookery,” published in 1796, page 36:

“Butter Drop Do No. 3. Rub one quarter pound of butter, one pound sugar, sprinkle with mace, into one pound and a quarter flour, add four eggs, one glass rose water, bake as No. 1. [Bake 15 Minutes]”

Apparently, there are several versions of this recipe, this being number three… I wonder whether recipe number one or number two included chocolate?  Or if, like the recipe below, it used nuts instead.

A Modernized Butter Drop Do Cookie Recipe

1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg
3/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
About 18 whole nuts


Preheat oven to 400 F; grease a cookie sheet.

Cream butter and sugar.

Beat in egg, then beat in flour, then add vanilla.

Drop by spoonfuls on to cookie sheet, and top each cookie with a nut.

Bake 10 minutes.

I guess we need Ruth Wakefield to really know the original Butter Drop Do cookie recipe!

Comments 6

  1. Janet August 22, 2012
  2. Elishia February 7, 2018
    • Facts About Chocolate February 8, 2018
  3. Jennifer N. June 3, 2018
  4. Jerel Crosland June 17, 2019
    • Steeeve January 10, 2020

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