135/365: National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day

You won’t cry when you’re eating today’s teardrop-shaped morsel of chocolatey goodness. May 15 is National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day!

It may also be National Chocolate Chip Day, depending on which source you believe. Either way, we’ve got the holiday covered.

Like several other of the foods we’ve honored already, chocolate chip cookies were created by accident. Ruth Graves Wakefield was a dietitian who graduated from Framingham State Normal School’s Department of Household Arts (home of the Fightin’ Spatulas!) (just kidding, but it ought to be) and gave lectures on food. She and her husband Kenneth opened a lodge called the Toll House Inn near Whitman, Massachusetts, and she was responsible for preparing meals for the guests. One evening she decided to make chocolate butter drop cookies, but found herself missing a key ingredient: baker’s chocolate. Undeterred, Ruth decided to substitute a Nestle semi-sweet chocolate bar. She broke it up into chunks, thinking it would mix together with the dough and create an all chocolate cookie, but the morsels only softened. The cookies tasted great anyway, so she served them, and they became a big hit. The chocolate bar had been a gift from Andrew Nestle himself, as Ruth’s reputation as a talented baker spread far and wide. Sensing a good marketing idea, Ruth contacted Nestle, and struck up a deal with the company: they could print her “chocolate chunk cookie” recipe on their chocolate bar labels if they supplied her with free chocolate bars for her cookies. This was a win-win for both: sales of Nestle semisweet chocolate bars increased, and Ruth ended up with free chocolate (and loads of publicity) for life. Nestle wanted to make it easy for home cooks to make the cookies and even included a tiny chopper in the packaging until 1939, when they introduced chocolate chip morsels.

Ruth and Kenneth owned the Toll House Inn until 1966, when they sold it to a family that turned it into a nightclub. A few years later it was sold again to another family who turned it back into a lodge, and continued to bake the original recipe Toll House cookies for their guests. The inn burned down on New Year’s Eve, 1984. As for chocolate chip cookies? Well, they went on to become the most popular cookie in America. Here’s Ruth’s original recipe.

Mrs. Wakefields Original Toll House Cookie Recipe

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 2/3 cups (11-oz. pkg.)
1 cup chopped nuts

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.

 
As for Tara and I, we picked up a couple of chocolate chip cookies from the farmer’s market over the weekend. No, they aren’t Ruth’s Toll House recipe, but there’s no such thing as a bad chocolate chip cookie, you know?
Chocolate Chip Cookie
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Categories: Desserts | Tags: , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

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6 thoughts on “135/365: National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day

  1. mom

    I wish I had a chocolate chip cookie right now–but its happy hour .. Doesnt go good with wine.

    Like

  2. Momma Tracy

    I thought about making them earlier today. Funny. I had no idea to day was National Chocolate Chip Day.

    Like

  3. Pingback: 216/365: National Chocolate Chip Day | Eat My Words

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