An Invention that was accidentally made!
It is difficult to imagine that chocolate chip cookies, one of the world’s most favourite sweet treats, was actually invented by accident! The invention happened in 1930 by Ruth Graves Wakefield and her husband Kenneth who were running an inn – ‘Toll House Inn’ – at Massachusetts. Mrs. Wakefield, a dietician and food lecturer, prepared food for the guests at the inn. She was popular for her impressive range of desserts. She had a special recipe called ‘Butter Drop Do’ cookies. Crumbled baker’s chocolate – a bitter chocolate – is one of the main ingredients for this special cookies’ recipe.
One day while baking away, Ruth realized she did not have any baker's chocolate on hand; but she did have a semi-sweet chocolate bar. She cut that up into bits and pieces and added to her recipe. Unlike baker's chocolate which melts down completely, the semi-sweet pieces only partially melted, retaining their solid form and leaving bits of chocolate. And… the world had its first known chocolate chip cookies! She called her new invention the ‘Chocolate Crunch Cookie’!
Needless to say, the accidentally-made cookies were a big hit with her guests. But the story does not end there…The semi-sweet chocolate bar that Ruth used was actually a gift to her from Nestle Chocolate Company. As her cookies grew popular, the sale of Nestle’s semi-sweet bars also soared! It wasn't long before Nestle and Ruth Wakefield struck a deal – In exchange for a lifetime supply of free chocolate, Nestlé printed Ruth’s recipe on the chocolate labels and even started to score their chocolate bars and include a special chocolate chopper so people could easily make the chocolate chips for their cookies.
Ruth published the recipe in several Boston and New England newspapers. The popularity of the cookies further grew when Ruth published her own cookbook called ‘Toll House Tried and True Recipes’, featuring the chocolate crunch cookies! The original recipe is still printed on their bag of chocolate chips. Nestlé owned the rights until 1983 when ambiguities were discovered in the original agreements with the Wakefields and Nestlé lost their exclusive rights to the trademark. The name ‘Toll House’, however continues to be a subsidiary brand of the Nestlé Company and is still used on Chocolate Morsels, chocolate chip cookie dough and coco powder – all products coming from that one accidentally delicious result! Ruth passed away in 1977 but continues to be so honoured into the 21st century. In 1984, on New Year’s Eve, the Toll House Inn, the birth place of the chocolate chip cookies, burned to the ground and was never rebuilt!
* The world’s largest cookie was a chocolate chip cookie, made by the Immaculate Baking Company, North Carolina – it weighed 40,000 pounds and was 102 feet in diameter.
* There are 7 billion chocolate chip cookies eaten in the United States every year, with about 50% being homemade cookies.