Chocolate chip cookies are a dessert classic and it’s hard to imagine life without them. However, the famous cookie recipe has a pretty interesting history. Did you know that chocolate chip cookies were actually created accidentally?
An Inn Owner’s Famous Mistake
The recipe was created by Ruth Wakefield while she baked cookies for her and her husband’s business, the Toll House Inn (sound familiar?). One day, probably in 1938, while making a batch of Butter Drop Do cookies, Wakefield added some chopped up pieces from a Nestle semi-sweet chocolate bar.
She thought that the chocolate would melt and disperse throughout the cookies, making them completely chocolate. However, she got a sweet surprise when she took them out of the oven and chocolate chip cookies were born.
The recipe, originally called the “Toll House Crunch Cookie,” was published in a Boston newspaper and quickly became a national sensation. The recipe was also published in Wakefield’s Tried And True cookbook. Wakefield soon sold the rights — and the Toll House name — to Nestle.
How The Cookies Took Over The World
The recipe was even featured on Betty Crocker’s hugely popular radio show, prompting people all over the nation to try out their own version of the chocolate chip cookie recipe. There was another reason the recipe spread like wildfire.
The cookies gained popularity in Wakefield’s native Massachusetts. During WWII, soldiers received care packages from their families, and the ones from Massachusetts got chocolate chip cookies. After sharing the treats with their fellow soldiers, men started writing to their families, asking if they could send them the new chocolate chip cookies. Wakefield received letters from around the world, asking her to share her recipe.
In addition to creating chocolate chip cookies, Wakefield is also responsible for the way chocolate bars look today. After the recipe got popular, Nestle started producing chocolate bars that could be broken into smaller pieces — the Nestle “morsels.”
Chocolate chip cookies have been made all over the world, with many variations on the original recipe, from adding nuts to using gluten-free ingredients. However, no matter how you make your chocolate chip cookies, you have Wakefield’s happy accident to thank for your treat.