The chocolate chip cookie as we know it was accidentally developed by Ruth Graves Wakefield in 1930. The name comes from her ownership of the Toll House Inn, in Whitman, Massachusetts which featured, as did many restaurants, home cooking including desserts baked on the premises. Her cookbook, Toll House Tried and True Recipes, was published in 1936 by M. Barrows & Company, New York. This work included the recipe ‘Toll House Chocolate Crunch Cookie’ which rapidly became a favorite to be baked in American homes.
Like jazz, they would arrive in Europe courtesy of the GIs who fought in the Second World War. And like those GIs adding to the music culture of post-war Europe, they added something to the European cooking culture.
The most popular origin story holds that Wakefield is had been making chocolate cookies and on running out of regular baker’s chocolate, substituted broken pieces of semi-sweet chocolate from Nestlé thinking that they would melt and mix into the batter. They did not, resulting in the chunky cookie we now know and love. Wakefield sold the recipe to Nestlé in exchange for a lifetime supply of chocolate chips. Every bag of Nestlé chocolate chips sold in North America has her original recipe printed on the back.
A chocolate chip cookie is a drop cookie which are made from a relatively soft dough that is dropped by spoonfuls onto the baking sheet so that during baking, the mounds of dough spread and flatten. The traditional recipe combines a dough composed of butter and both brown and white sugar with semi-sweet chocolate chips.
Served just from the oven with a glass of milk, there is nothing better for a late afternoon snack.