The chocolate chip cookie still shines after 75 years, and has brought us many sweet memories over the years from our youth, and now through Christmas, too. Remember when mom would make a batch, and while she was not looking you put the spoon in the cookie batter to sneakily indulge? Let’s not stop there cookie fans! With Christmas around the corner, the cookie remains a star, and is America’s favorite cookie every holiday. Who is responsible for this cookie that warms our emotions all year and during holidays? Ruth Wakefield created the Toll House cookie, which later became the chocolate chip cookie. The cookie was discovered by accident when Ruth and Kenneth ran the Toll House Inn in Massachusetts.
She dug up a cookie recipe called Chocolate Butter Drop Do in 1937—a colonial recipe from 1796 made originally with rosewater. She reportedly didn’t have Baker’s chocolate and grabbed what she had on hand with the Nestle Semi-Sweet Chocolate. “Ruth then chopped up a block of Nestlé semi-sweet chocolate that had been given to her by Andrew Nestlé of the Nestlé Company. Ruth had expected the chocolate to melt and disperse through the cookie dough as regular baking chocolate would. Instead, the chocolate pieces retained their individual form, softening to a moist, gooey melt, and the world had its first known chocolate chip cookie,”
Today I found Out shared. Originally, Wakefield named her invention Toll House Crunch Cookies, and news spread all over the state of the recipe, even the press covered the cookie. The trend followed during the WWII and the Great Depression. The cookie offered in what the New Yorker was a perfect “antidote to the Great Depression. In a single inexpensive hand-held serving, it contained the very richness and comfort that millions of people were forced to live without in the late nineteen-thirties. Ingesting a warm chocolate-chip cookie offered the eaters a brief respite from their quotidian woe. America’s entry into the Second World War only enhanced the popularity of Wakefield’s creation.”
Today, popularity remains especially as we bake this season. There are not many lists that don’t suggest the cookie for Christmas treats. They are in ice cream, cakes, and other deserts—it seems endless.
Here is the original Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie
PREHEAT oven to 375° F. COMBINE flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels and nuts. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets. BAKE for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely. PAN COOKIE VARIATION: Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease 15 x 10-inch jelly-roll pan. Prepare dough as above. Spread into prepared pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool in pan on wire rack. Makes 4 dozen bars.
SLICE AND BAKE COOKIE VARIATION: PREPARE dough as above. Divide in half; wrap in waxed paper. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until firm. Shape each half into 15-inch log; wrap in wax paper. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.* Preheat oven to 375° F. Cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices; place on ungreased baking sheets. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely. Makes about 5 dozen cookies. * May be stored in refrigerator for up to 1 week or in freezer for up to 8 weeks. FOR HIGH ALTITUDE BAKING (5,200 feet): Increase flour to 2 1/2 cups. Add 2 teaspoons water with flour and reduce both granulated sugar and brown sugar to 2/3 cup each. Bake drop cookies for 8 to 10 minutes and pan cookie for 17 to 19 minutes.
What are your favorite memories of the chocolate chip cookie? Can you recommend a great recipe?