Sunday, March 13, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cookies & A Winner

Happy Day-light Savings Day!
If only I could be as sure about the fact that March 13th kicks off National Chocolate Chip Cookie Week this year as I am about Mrs. Wakefield and the invention of the chocolate chip cookie. The way I figure it, what difference does it make. As far as I'm concerned, there's always room for one more chocolate chip cookie post, right?

...In 1930, dietician Ruth Graves Wakefield and her husband, Kenneth, purchased a Cape-Cod style house halfway between Boston and New Bedford, Massachusetts, just outside the town of Whitman. The house, built in 1709, had once been a "truck stop" of sorts, where travelers could rest, change horses, have a nice meal, and pay any necessary tolls for using the road. Ruth and Kenneth soon turned their new home into a lodge, "The Toll House Inn..."(History of Chocolate Chip Cookies)
So you think inventing the chocolate chip cookie was child's play do ya? Well, take a look at this Nestlé Chocolate Wrapper from the 1940s and then let me know what you think. (you can click it to make it larger)

Did you notice that the recipe calls for 2 economy size bars (7 oz) of Nestlé's Semi-Sweet Chocolate which has been "cut in pieces the size of a pea." Look, the wrapper even gives directions for cutting the bar up. It's Easy it says!
You see, when Ruth Wakefield was "playing" around in her restaurant with her favorite Butter Drop-Do Cookie recipe, those tiny bits of morsels that we have all grown so accustomed to, hadn't seen the light of day yet. Nestlé didn't start producing them until around 1939. Their first solution was to include a "special chopper" to make it easier to turn the pre-scored bars into bits.
    A Quick Timeline
  • 1866-Company founded by Henri Nestlé in Vevey, Switzerland
  • 1867-Pharmacist Henri Nestle develops the world's first infant food in Vevey, Switzerland. It's called Farine Lactee Nestle.
  • 1900-Nestlé opens their first U.S. plant In Fulton New York
  • 1929-Peter, Cailler, Kohler, the chocolate company founded in 1875 by Daniel Peter, who by the way, produced the world's first milk chocolate by mixing Nestlé's condensed milk with cocoa powder, merges with Nestlé.
    which I suppose explains the name on the reverse side of the wrapper.
  • 1938-Nestlé introduced the Crunch Bar. A candy bar made of milk chocolate with crisped rice mixed in. During World War II Nestlé Crunch Bars became a regular part of the American servicemen's provisions.
  • 1939-Nestlé begins selling tiny pieces of chocolate called "morsels" in a ready-to-use package complete with Ruth Wakefield's Original Toll House Cookie Recipe.
As the old proverb goes, "Necessity is the mother of invention" and in Ruth Graves Wakefield's day, that meant using a bar, or two, of semi-sweet chocolate that she just happened to have on hand. As stories go, and when it comes to Toll House Cookie Stories, they are numerous, whatever happened on that sweet day, the infamous chocolate chip cookie was "born."

Unless there's DNA available on the first chocolate chip cookie, I suppose we will never know the true origin of the first chocolate chip cookie recipe. Some say it was a "hyped" up version of a Butter Drop-do recipe included in Amelia Simmons' "American Cookery," first published in 1796, while others say it is a simple sugar cookie recipe with semi-sweet chocolate and nuts. All I know for sure is, there are many, many variations.

If I remember correctly, the recipe for Toll House Chocolate Crunch Cookies in Ruth Wakefield’s Toll House Tried and True Recipes, published in 1949, is almost the same as the recipe you see on the wrapper above. The only difference is in the physical shape of the chocolate; bars or morsels. I'm pretty sure about this because I seem to remember comparing them side by side when I still had my treasured copy of her book. (don't ask, tears may flow)

For certain we can compare these two recipes and see how they match up. One is from the Ford Treasury of Favorite Recipes from Famous Eating Places Vol. 2 first published in 1950 (1954 ed.) and the other from our wrapper.

Here's another recipe to have some fun with! It comes from Kids Cooking; A Very Slightly Messy Manuel published by the editors of Klutz Press and charmingly illustrated by Jim M'Guinness. Have FUN!!!

On July 9, 1997, Massachusetts designated the chocolate chip cookie the Official State Cookie after it was suggested by a third grade class from Somerset, Massachusetts.

FYI: Tomorrow is National Potato Chip Day!

Congratulations to Pam! Send me your info Pam and I'll get your "new" book off in the mail, ASAP. acalenda [at] gmail.com. For those of you who didn't win this time, don't fret. I'll be having another cookbook give-away real soon, "good Lord willing and the creek don't freeze," literally:)


  1. Thanks for sharing the recipes and the history! Great post!

  2. chocolate covered potato chips?! sounds fun!

  3. National Potato Chip Day tmr? I just made potatoes today!

  4. Yum. I love chocolate, chocolate chip cookies, but chocolate covers potato chips? Potato chip cookies? I'm just not sure...

  5. chocolate chip cookie...yummy, yummy :)

  6. Love, love Chocolate Chip Cookies..and your posts. Those cookbooks are so adorable. I might go through and find some vintage ads and recipes for Chocolate Chip Cookies.. and maybe do a round-up later in the week!

  7. Oh duh... I did have a vintage Toll House Recipe Ad & recipe in December on National Cookie Day. Here's the link: http://dyingforchocolate.blogspot.com/2010/12/toll-house-cookies-vintage-ad-and.html

  8. I have that kids cookbook! I used it to make dishes for a kid I nannyed for in hs!

  9. Yeah!!! I am so excited that I won... thank you Louise!

    I love the old chocolate chip cookie recipes. Can you imagine cutting the chocolate into pea sized bits? Yeah for chocolate chips.

  10. That painting is wonderful!

    How are you?

  11. Love the chocolate post, Louise :) Thanks for pointing us to the potato chip/chocolate chip cookie recipe, too -- I've gotta try that, it sound deeee-licious!

  12. forget-the cookies-just-give-me-that-batter cookie recipe? that's flippin' hilarious! great homage to a classic, louise. :)

  13. I never gave it a thought why they're called Toll House - I can't wait to tell my friend who's always making these cookies this story. I hope she doesn't know! I like the original recipe with vanilla. I'll have to try that. Thanks for sharing!

  14. Those Nestlé cookies must taste special but here in Belgium we aren't familiar with them at all!

    I love reading & learning more about your country, the big USA!!!

    Thanks for sharing the history, lovely pictures & good recipes too!

  15. I can do better than chocolate covered potato chips - I have made choc chip cookies with potato chips - they were a little greasy but delish!

    Am very grateful to mrs wakefield - would make choc chip cookies even if not able to buy morsals - actually we usually have a bar of chocolate but not always choc chips so if need be I chop up chocolate today quite happily - but sampling is very tempting

  16. Thanks for visiting, yummychunklet. I'm delighted you enjoyed yourself. Your Potato Chip Tortilla sounds fabulous!!!

    They sure are mighty tempting, SimpleLife.

    Mark your calendar for next year, tigerfish!

    Oh Channon, be adventurous, give them a try!!!

  17. Don't you wish you had a home made chocolate chip cookie right now, Sidney?

    Janet, You are just too funny. Thanks for the link!!!

    Dang! I did forget Pi(e) Day, trashmaster. Noted...

    Why does that not surprise me, duckie? That was one lucky kid having you for a nanny!!!

    Enjoy Pam. I can't wait to see what you share with us...

    Hi Cynthia!!! So nice to see you again. Have FUN at your book signing. We're just chugging along over here...

    I haven't tried thos potato chip chocolate chip cookies yet either Lynn. However, I have email from a very reliable source who says they are "uniquely deeee-licious"

    Thanks, Grace, Catch the flying Batter, it's coming your way!!!

    So, Lin Ann, what did your friend say? Did she like the story?

    No Nestlé! or no chocolate chips, Sophie? Uh, oh. We just may need to do something about that. I mean, Belgium. Isn't Belgium famous for its chocolate??? I'm delighted you enjoyed your visit. Thanks for stopping in...

    Oh goodness, Johanna You must share that recipe. It sounds quite intriguing, albeit "greasy good."
    No morsels??? No fair!!! Chopped up was good enough for Mrs. Wakefield, thank goodness:)

  18. Neat! Thanks for sharing their original recipe, Louise! This is great!

  19. You are more than welcome, Jamie. Delighted you enjoyed it:)

  20. This really looks delicious. I'm definitely craving for a plate of that right now. Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe. This is definitely a must do recipe this weekend since I got my ISO 22000 Training.

  21. Thanks for visiting, ISO. Delighted you liked the recipe!


Through this wide opened gate,
none came too early,
none returned too late.

Thanks for dropping in...Louise