Happy National Chocolate Chip Day!
Everyone loves a good homemade chocolate chip cookie. They’re simple, sweet, and iconically American. And they pair perfectly with a cold glass of milk or a cup of coffee. But did you ever wonder where the idea came from? We did and decided to share the story with you.
The original Nestle Tollhouse chocolate chip cookie recipe - the one that appears on their semi-sweet morsels bag - was created by accident by Ruth Wakefield in 1938 for her popular Massachusetts restaurant , the Toll House Inn.
Trained home economist and dietician Ruth, with her restaurant cooking assistant Sue Brides, was experimenting with pecan drop cookie dough. Ruth felt there could be more interesting variations. She planned to melt baker’s chocolate and add it to the dough. When she discovered she was out of baker’s chocolate, she looked around her pantry and found semi-sweet chocolate bars. She chopped the bar into small bits and sprinkled them into the blond dough. When the cookies were baked, she discovered the chocolate had not melted or been absorbed. She named the cookies "Toll House Chocolate Crunch Cookies," and her diners loved them.
As customers began to request the cookies, word spread. The Toll House Inn featured the cookie recipe in some of their ads then in their cookbook. Marjorie Husted, who was publicized as Betty Crocker, featured the cookies on a popular radio program. As Nestlé’s sales went up, the company began coming up with product changes to encourage more sales. The first effort was to pre-score the bars to make it easier for home cooks to use the ingredient.
Stories differ as who approached whom, but one way or another, Wakefield and Nestlé entered a partnership. Nestlé gained permission to print Wakefield’s recipe on the back of their packaging. In return, it was said that Wakefield received a $1 payment for rights to the recipe, all the chocolate she would need for a lifetime of baking, and a consulting deal to work with Nestlé on other recipes. (Perhaps more money changed hands later.)
The chocolate chip/morsel we know today wasn’t actually invented until 1941, four years after Ruth Graves Wakefield decided to add cut-up pieces of a chocolate into cookie dough. Because of the popularity of Wakefield's recipe, Nestlé developed and began to sell their famous chocolate morsel drops under the Nestlé Tollhouse name.
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