A chocolate chip cookie is a drop cookie that features chocolate chips or chocolate morsels as its distinguishing ingredient. Chocolate chip cookies originated in the United States around 1938, when Ruth Graves Wakefield chopped up a Nestlé semi-sweet chocolate bar and added the chopped chocolate to a cookie recipe.
Generally, the recipe starts with a dough composed of flour, butter, both brown and white sugar, semi-sweet chocolate chips, eggs, and vanilla. Variations on the recipe may add other types of chocolate, as well as additional ingredients such as nuts or oatmeal. There are also vegan versions with the necessary ingredient substitutions, such as vegan chocolate chips, vegan margarine, and egg substitutes. A chocolate chocolate chip cookie uses a dough flavored with chocolate or cocoa powder, before chocolate chips are mixed in. These variations of the recipe are also referred to as ‘double’ or ‘triple’ chocolate chip cookies, depending on the combination of dough and chocolate types.
The chocolate chip cookie was invented by American chefs Ruth Graves Wakefield and Sue Brides in 1938. They invented the recipe during the period when she owned the Toll House Inn, in Whitman, Massachusetts. In this era, the Toll House Inn was a popular restaurant that featured home cooking. A myth holds that she accidentally developed the cookie, and that she expected the chocolate chunks would melt, making chocolate cookies. That is not the case; Wakefield stated that she deliberately invented the cookie. She said, “We had been serving a thin butterscotch nut cookie with ice cream. Everybody seemed to love it, but I was trying to give them something different. So I came up with Toll House cookie.” She added chopped up bits from a Nestlé semi-sweet chocolate bar into a cookie. The original recipe in Toll House Tried and True Recipes is called “Toll House Chocolate Crunch Cookies”. Wakefield gave Nestle the recipe for her cookies and was paid with a lifetime supply of chocolate from the company.
Wakefield’s cookbook, Toll House Tried and True Recipes, was first published in 1936 by M. Barrows & Company, New York. The 1938 edition of the cookbook was the first to include the recipe “Toll House Chocolate Crunch Cookie” which rapidly became a favorite cookie in American homes.
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