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Old-Fashioned, Chocolate-Infused Cookies Recipe From My Grandma

I grew up watching and helping my mother make homemade cookies. They were always in our school lunch boxes. Here, I share some family faves.

My grandma's homemade, chocolate-infused cookie recipe contains no chocolate chips.

My grandma's homemade, chocolate-infused cookie recipe contains no chocolate chips.

What? No Chocolate Chips?

That is correct folks: This old-fashioned chocolate cookie recipe of my maternal grandmother's predates chocolate chips! Chocolate lovers take note. This will satisfy any kind of a chocolate craving you might be having, so keep reading.

I remember my mother telling me about the days following the Great Depression from her perspective as a child. Many things became great luxuries for homemakers who did the cooking for their families due to the gradual rebuilding of people's lives and fortunes after the stock market crash of 1929 and numerous bank failures. People who still had resources became very frugal in how they spent their money, since much of the world as they knew it had been turned upside down.

My mother told me that chocolate was a rare treat in their home during those times.

My grandmother would occasionally purchase a bar of chocolate and sneak it into the house and try to hide it. That was to keep my mother and her siblings from immediately begging for pieces of the chocolate, until the time was right to present small pieces of it to them as a treat, or use it in baking cookies such as the ones featured in this post.

My grandmother's efforts at subterfuge were often thwarted by their family dog Jiggs who could smell the chocolate from a mile away! That might be a slight exaggeration, but Jiggs would have his nose up in the air, tail wagging, and always drew attention to the cabinet or closet where she hid the chocolate.

Recommendations are not to give chocolate to dogs. The theobromine contained in chocolate, if consumed in large enough quantities, is toxic. In a worst-case scenario, it can even cause death.

The Origin of Chocolate Chips

Did you know that Nestle and other competitors only started selling chocolate chips in 1941?

Prior to that time people like my grandmother and other cooks and bakers purchased their chocolate in bar form and broke or shaved off pieces of the chocolate to be utilized in whatever manner was best for the preparation desired.

A dietitian by the name of Ruth Wakefield actually invented what became known as Toll House chocolate chip cookies in 1937. She did it the same way as my grandmother using bits of chocolate off of a larger bar. Because her recipe became so popular this spurred the company of Nestle to go on and invent the chocolate chips widely available ever since that time.

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When I first looked at this old recipe of my grandma's, I considered substituting chocolate chips in the same amount of ounces called for, but then decided to follow it exactly as she had done so many years ago.

I can almost imagine seeing my grandma now, with her hand sewn apron wrapped around her waist and the pleasant smile upon her face that seemed ever present in all the years that I saw her bustling around her kitchen preparing meals. She was an excellent cook!

Now that you have a little bit of trivia history regarding the origin of chocolate chips and Toll House Cookies, you may be able to dazzle your friends or co-workers with your increased knowledge of this subject.

Let's proceed with this recipe.

Cutting up the chocolate for this chocolate cookie.

Cutting up the chocolate for this chocolate cookie.

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

15 min

1 hour

1 hour 15 min

5 dozen cookies ( 60 )


  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, unsalted
  • 1 egg, large
  • 1 1/2 cups flour, sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons hot water
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 7 ounces bar of semi-sweet chocolate
  • 1/2 cup nuts, chopped ( I used walnuts )


  1. Start by slicing the chocolate bar into pieces. (The recipe says to cut in large pieces, but since the directions also suggest dropping the batter by 1/2 teaspoons full onto the baking pan, I slivered the chocolate into smaller pieces as you can tell from the photo that I took.)
  2. Cream the butter, brown sugar, white sugar and egg. Blend together well.
  3. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together in a bowl.
  4. Dissolve the baking soda in the hot water.
  5. Alternate putting the flour mixture and dissolved baking soda into the creamed mixture and continue blending.
  6. Add the vanilla.
  7. End up by adding the ground nuts and slivered pieces of chocolate and stir with a spoon until well mixed.
  8. Drop by half teaspoons onto a greased cookie sheet. ( I used the spray Pam. )
  9. Bake 10 to 12 minutes in a 375 degree Fahrenheit oven until golden brown. ( If you happen to have a convection oven, you can cut the baking time to around 7 minutes and bake several cookie sheets at the same time. )
  10. When removed from the oven, place onto wire racks to cool. This makes a flat and delectable crisp cookie.

Ready to Do Some Baking?

These chocolate cookies with the nuts are buttery in flavor and delicious. They were quite crisp at first and would probably remain so in many parts of the country without high humidity such as we have in Houston, Texas. Let me know your results after you give them a try.

Hope that you enjoyed learning about this old fashioned chocolate cookie from my Grandma. It is sure to satisfy any chocolate lovers in your circle of family and friends.

Let me know what you think about my family's chocolate cookie recipe!

Let me know what you think about my family's chocolate cookie recipe!

© 2012 Peggy Woods

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