Posted in Daily, Food, Stories Around the World

Chip it In, Bake It

Whitman, Massachusetts, 1938

“We had been serving a thin butterscotch nut cookie with ice cream. Everybody seemed to love it, but I was trying to give them something different. So I came up with Toll House cookie. Add up chopped up bits from from a Nestlé semi-sweet chocolate bar into a cookie. The original recipe is called “Toll House Chocolate Crunch Cookies.”
– American Chef Ruth Graves Wakefield, Toll House Inn
(Wakefield, Ruth Graves (1942). Ruth Wakefield’s Toll House Tried and True Recipes. M. Barrows & Company, Inc.)

One of the famous drop cookies, “the chocolate chip cookie” had its’ origins in the early 1900s; wherein chocolate chips or choclate morsels were added to the regular cookie dough as the distinguishing ingredient. With a dough composed of butter, both brown and white sugar, semi-sweet chocolate chips and vanilla; the traditional recipe had evolved. Originally invented by the American chef Ruth Graves Wakefield and chef Sue Brides (1938) when the former owned the Toll House Inn (Whitman, Massachusetts); a popular restaurant that featured home cooking. Wakefield credited Brides with helping her make the famous chocolate chip cookie.

Over the years, variations with different varieties of chocolate, change of ingredients like nuts, oatmeal, raisins and the like paved way. Variations on the original recipe may add other types of chocolate, vegan substitutes as well as additional ingredients such as nuts or oatmeal. The ‘double’ or ‘triple’ chocolate chip cookies are so called when dough flavored with chocolate or cocoa powder are used before chocolate chips are mixed in. These variations of the recipe are often referred to as , depending on the combination of dough and chocolate types.

“If you can’t change the world with chocolate chip cookies, how can you change the world?” Pat Murphy

As the popularity grew, especially during WWII, soldiers from Massachusetts who were stationed overseas shared the cookies they received in care packages from back home with soldiers from other parts of the United States. Soon hundreds of soldiers asked their families to send them some Toll House cookies. Thus began the craze for the chocolate chip cookie with Wakefield receiving letters around the world requesting her recipe.

In proportion to the increased popularity of the choclate chip cookie, the sales of Nestlé’s semi-sweet chocolate used rose. Andrew Nestlé offered Ruth a deal to buy the rights to her recipe, as well as the rights to use her and the Toll House name when advertising his acquisition. The business proposal was accepted by Ruth for one whole dollar and a lifetime supply of Nestlé chocolate. Nestlé quickly launched a new marketing campaign that advertised the chocolate chips primarily as main ingredients for cookies, engraving the recipe for the Toll House Cookie on the package print.

“ One of the best things in life- warm chocolate chip cookies.” Anonymous

In an interview (2017), Sue Brides’ daughter, Peg shared the original recipe that was passed down to her.  The original Toll House cookie recipe, according to Peg:

1 1/2 cups of shortening
1 1/8 cups of sugar
1 1/8 cups of brown sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoon of salt
3 1/8 cups of flour (Peg prefers King Arthur all purpose)
1 1/2 teaspoon of hot water
1 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
Chocolate chips (and walnuts)
Bake at 350 degrees for 12-13 minutes
[The Tried and True Recipes cook book specifies “2 bars (7 oz.) Nestlé’s yellow label chocolate, semi-sweet, which has been cut in pieces the size of a pea.”]
(Source:Stephanos, Maria (2017-06-21). “Secret’s out! Here’s the ‘real recipe’ for Toll House chocolate chip cookies”)

With Chocolate Chip Cookie Day being celebrated by foodimentarians tomorrow (August 4th), making similar or own variations of this delectable treat would be a lovely weekend surprise and fun event.