Who invented chocolate chip cookies? What is the story behind it?

Chocolate chip cookies are one of the most loved sweets in the world. Even though most of the people who enjoy this crunchy sweet know that it was invented, barely a few seem to know the inventor of it. The chocolate chip cookie was born in the USA during the days of great depression. It was invented by Ruth Graves Wakefield, an accomplished chef and the owner of Toll House Inn, a popular restaurant in Massachusetts.

There are various versions of the story behind the invention of chocolate chip cookie. Many of the stories say that the invention was accidental while people who knew Wakefield refute those claims. According to the popular version, she was making chocolate cookies when she ran out of baker’s chocolate. In a state of panic, she substituted it with the semi-sweet chocolate she had got from Andrew Nestle of Nestle Company. She thought that the chocolate would melt and mix into the batter but it didn’t, leading to the birth of chocolate chip cookie.

However, a major shortcoming of this story is the history of the protagonist herself. Ruth Wakefield was an accomplished chef and author of a cookbook. She was aware of the mechanics of chocolate or cookie dough and should have known the Nestle chocolate would not melt. It points to a deliberate invention and Wakefield herself admitted so. In an interview given in 1974, she said that the chocolate chip cookie was the result of an attempt to give something different to her customers who all enjoyed her butterscotch nut cookie.

In a version contrary to those above, George Boucher, once head chef of Toll House Inn, claimed that the chocolate chip cookie was born when the bars of the semi-sweet chocolate fell into the chocolate dough from shelf due to the vibrations of an electric mixer located nearby.

In any way, the sweet dessert became instantly popular and Nestle bought the rights to the recipe. The recipe was first published in the 1938 edition of Wakefield’s cookbook, Toll House Tried and True Recipes under the name Toll House Chocolate Crunch Cookie. She became almost a celebrity in those days. Nestle still prints a variation of her recipe on their every packs of chocolate chip cookie sold in North America, as a tribute to her. However, the restaurant Toll House Inn no longer exists. After the death of Wakefield in 1977, its popularity began to dwindle, and it was eventually demolished on the New Year day of 1985.

Interesting facts about Chocolate Chip Cookies

They were initially called ‘Toll House Crunch Cookies’

The chocolate chip recipe by Ruth became popular instantly when it was published in a Boston-area newspaper. Named after the Toll House Inn Restaurant, which she owned with her husband, her cookies gained immense popularity within a short period of time. It was when Nestle jumped into the scene and helped turn her invention into something much bigger, the current name was perhaps the biggest contribution.

Luxurious item during World War II

During World War II, food rations that consisted of baking cookies were considered quite the luxury. However, thanks to Nestle and its clever marketing, many bakers were inspired to speed up the production to send overseas to soldiers. This perhaps might be the only reason behind the recipe’s popularity across the country and even beyond.

Morsel flavor versatility

When Ruth came up with the Toll House chips back in 1958, it did not only contain chocolate. There were various other flavors as well, such as butterscotch, dark chocolate, white chocolate, and pumpkin spice. Furthermore, they even have what is called ‘Delighfulls.’ These are baking morsels filled with peanut butter, caramel, mint, and cherry flavoring.

Nestle may have done some tweaking

Dedicated bakers have come up with claims that the recipes they use today are no longer the same in terms of taste. They are off the opinion that the recipes they have baked using Toll House semi-sweet morsels for years have changed. Furthermore, the blame is put on Nestle for giving the recipe some tweaks and keeping it concealed. However, Nestle maintains that they have indeed made the changes, but they are minimal. Moreover, the brand further explains that any recipe flops might be due to moisture, improper temperature, and shelf life.

You might also like: