Friday, May 16, 2008

Chocolate Chips Discovered By Accident

A favorite snack for young and old alike is the chocolate chip cookie. How did the invention of the chocolate chip come about? Thank a Massachusetts inn owner.

Ruth Wakefield graduated from Massachusetts Normal School n 1924 and worked as a dietitian. But she and her husband purchased a tourist lodge and dubbed it Toll House Inn.

Ruth earned a reputation for her fancy desserts and sweets. Her favorite cookie recipe was the Butter Drop Do cookies. Usually, baker's chocolate was a staple for the recipe, but Ruth's pantry was void on that fateful day. Instead, she substituted baker's chocolate with a semisweet bar that she cut into pieces. The bar, incidentally, was a gift from Andrew Nestle of Nestle Chocolate Company.

Ruth assumed the semisweet chunks would melt into the cookies, but once she removed the cookie sheet from the oven, she discovered that the small chunks softened, and the Toll House Inn guests loved her cookies.

As Ruth's recipe gained popularity, she and Nestle made a deal. He would print her now-famous recipe on the package and in return, Ruth received a lifetime's supply of chocolate.

My favorite chocolate chip cookies are the ones my Grandma Larson used to bake. They were oh so moist and the chips would just melt in your mouth. She would line an old metal coffee can (yes, this was in the 60s) with a bread sack and fill it full of the delectable treat.

One time, we had friends over on a Friday night. Our parents were downstairs and we girls were upstairs, but we took a can of grandma's cookies with us. I think I ate 19 of them and my friend ate about 17. I was so "not-feeling-up-to-par" the next day. But I didn't let that setback deter me.

Now when I have the chance, I make chocolate chip cookies using the Toll House recipe, but I also like to add coconut and chopped nuts. Mmmm. Delicious!!

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