The Sunday Scoop!

Celebrating & Remembering


My husband Mario and I enjoyed many lovely and magical years living in Princeton, New Jersey. With the historic University on one side, and the charming streets of Princeton on the other, it is the quintessential combination of “town & gown”.

One of the many landmarks of Princeton is The Nassau Inn, built in 1756. A hotel on Palmer Square, directly across from the University. A lovely hotel, and a Tap Room that offers good pub food, beer, and an atmosphere of palpable history. From the Inn’s recorded history :

Wine and argument flowed freely in Beekman's taproom, or drinking room, where his wife helped tend the punchbowls. Students and townsmen drank eagerly of the news and opinions of honored guests such as Paul Revere, Robert Morris, and Thomas Paine, who stayed the night more than once at the hospitable public house.

In 1775, the Committee of Safety met at College Inn, and a few weeks later, delegates were stopping overnight on their way to the first Continental Congress in Philadelphia. Signers of the Declaration of Independence, passing through Princeton in 1776, rested at College Inn.

As the war began, military men took the place of travelers. Officers of the Continental Army, as well as the British and Hessians (depending upon which side was in possession of the town), whiled away their time in the taproom. Months later the Battle of Yorktown and the signing of the Peace Treaty were properly celebrated over College Inn punchbowls. When the Continental Congress met in Princeton in 1783, the national celebrities of the day were guests of the Inn, which was just a few steps from the historic session in Nassau Hall.

Palpable history is an understatement! The same pub tables in which they carved their names were the very tables at which we were seated. The enormous hearth where the officers warmed their hands, with A fitting inscription, from an old English inn near Oxford, is carved in the lintel over the great hearth:

"Rest Traveller, Rest, and Banish Thoughts of Care; Drink to Thy Friends and Recommend Them Here."

Later on, the Tap Room was named the Yankee Doodle Tap Room. In 1937, Norman Rockwell was commissioned to paint a mural for the Tap Room, honoring its history.

From the Inn’s history - Rockwell captures in a humorous way the historical legend of Yankee Doodle, the gay, young blade who came to town upon his pony, amid the jeers of the Hessians and townsfolk, but had the love and admiration of the Innkeeper's daughter, who

is visible in the window on the left side of the painting. Norman Rockwell also painted the Yankee Doodle sign (at the entrance).

As overnight guests of the Inn one evening, we were treated to amazing home-made cookies. While we were at dinner, I imagined that the Inn-keeper’s wife, came in to turn-down the bed, and left us these warm, delicious cookies. When I mentioned to the front desk how much I would love to have the recipe for the cookies, they gladly obliged!

I am certain that the recipe does not date back as far as the Inn’s history, but a great chocolate chip cookie is as American as Yankee Doodle Dandy!

Here is a copy of the cookie recipe as it was presented to me. Enjoy!


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