The Magic of the Tollhouse Pie

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Tom Murphy serves a slice of Tollhouse Pie to Rod and Beth Duralde, who met at Murphy’s when Rod came in for a slice.

It’s a sweet twist on that classic story. Boy meets girl. Boy eats pie.  Boy and girl get married and eat pie happily for every after.

That’s the story of Beth Ahern and Dr. Rod Duralde. It was Rod’s love initially for Murphy’s Tollhouse Pie that led him and a friend there one night for a slice. He and his friend were seated next to Beth and her friend, struck up a conversation and Rod asked Beth out a few weeks later.

Fast forward – the couple got married in the fall of 2009 with the Tollhouse Pie playing a prominent role, appearing in their wedding announcement and also serving as the dessert for their rehearsal dinner. They are now expecting twins in January.

After hearing similar sweet stories about people’s love for the Tollhouse Pie – it is one of the most popular desserts at Murphy’s – I decided to make a few for a recent Supper Club dinner where we were also celebrating my husband’s and my friend Laura’s birthdays. Which they didn’t know until the light-up tiaras came out at the end of the meal.

My version of the Tollhouse Pie served at our Supper Club to celebrate Laura and Chris’s birthdays. The plastic balloons, circa 1995, have become family heirlooms, with an approximate value of five cents.

The recipe, which is contained in the Murphy’s cookbook, is fairly easy. Although it did involve the purchase of Oreos, which is a divisive issue in our household. While the majority of members are firmly in the pro-Oreo camp, I remain in the adamantly anti-Oreo faction. But I make an exception for crust formation.

I made two of these delicious pies and carted them to the Calks for our celebration. After adding star-shaped candles and the small plastic balloons that were on my son’s birthday cake a zillion years ago and now have passed into family tradition on the cake, and light-up tiaras on the heads of Chris and Laura, we sang Happy Birthday and served them up.

The pies were a huge hit and the few leftovers we carted home were quickly eaten by my kids, home for Thanksgiving.

To borrow a phrase from the Lucky Charms slogan, Tollhouse Pies are magically delicious.

Check out the recipe yourself in just published Murphy’s: 30 Years of Recipes and Memories, available at Murphy’s and on * If you are more of a Bonzo fan, that recipe is in there as well.

I believe we may have added a new tradition to our household. And I’m figuring the Duralde twins won’t have to wait too long before they get a small taste of the pie that brought mom and dad together.

* Disclaimer: okay I did write and publish this book, but it’s a wonderful story about Tom Murphy’s 30 years in the restaurant business. It’s got it all – embezzlement, hold-ups, marital discord, Hotpants Donna, why Tom hates catering, plus plenty of wonderful recipes from many Atlanta chefs. And it makes a great gift for the holidays.

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