Chocolate Chip Cookies
Like many great culinary discoveries, the “invention” of the chocolate chip cookie came from a casual event.
The Toll House Restaurant of Whitman, Massachusetts was once a real toll house. Built in 1709, it was a stop for stage coaches. Passengers could have food while the horses were changed. Toll was taken here for the use of the highway between Boston and the whaling town of New Bedford. Ruth Graves Wakefield (1905-1977) graduated from the Department of Household Arts of Framingham State Normal School in 1924. Together with her husband Kenneth, she bought the Toll House Inn, which was a tourist lodge by then. Ruth, like any good bed and breakfast owner, prepared food for her guests at the inn and gained local notoriety for her baking.
She baked traditional “Butter Drop Do” cookies often using a recipe dating back to colonial times. One day in 1937, she ran out of baker’s chocolate, one of the main ingredients. She thought that she could use chocolate chunks cut out of a semi-sweet chocolate bar. The chocolate would melt, she assumed, and would spread in the dough. Instead, the chocolate pieces blended into the cookies but maintained their consistency, creating a completely new texture. The chocolate chip cookie was born.
She called her new invention “Toll House Crunch Cookies,” and they became very popular when New England newspapers published articles about them. They became famous countrywide in 1939 when Betty Crocker mentioned them on her radio program.
Around that time, Ruth Wakefield approached the Nestle Co. and they reached an agreement. Nestle was allowed to print the recipe on the wrapper of their Semi-Sweet Chocolate. In exchange, Ruth received all the chocolate she could use to make cookies for the rest of her life. Nestle even developed a scored chocolate bar, and included a small chopper in the package so that cutting the chocolate chips out of it would be easy. The Wakefields sold their restaurant in 1966, and unfortunately, the building burned in 1984. Today, Chocolate Chip Cookies are a favorite choice among kids and cookie lovers.
Here is some interesting information. Americans consume seven billion cookies per year. Some vendors only sell chocolate chip cookies, and half of the cookies baked in American households are chocolate chip.
1 1/4 (175 g) cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
8 tablespoons (110 g) butter, softened
3/4 cup (150 g) sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
12 oz (340 g) semi-sweet chocolate chips
3 oz (90 g) walnuts, chopped
Preheat oven to 375 F (190 C). Stir the flour, salt, and baking soda together in a bowl.
Place the butter and the sugar in an electric mixer fitted with a paddle. Run the mixer until combined. Add the eggs and the vanilla.
Run the paddle until the mixture is smooth.
Remove the bowl from the mixer. Stir the flour mixture into the bowl with a rubber spatula.
Stir in the chocolate chips . .
. and the walnuts. . . .
until a dough forms.
Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper. Place one tablespoon of dough at a time on the cookie sheets, leaving about a 2 inch (5 cm) distance between them. Bake for about 12 to 15 minutes or until golden. Cool on a rack.