The Amazing Invention of the Chocolate Chip Cookie

The Amazing Invention of the Chocolate Chip Cookie

No cookie is as sacred to us as the Chocolate Chip Cookie! This best-selling, all-American favorite is a classic, and we're thrilled to celebrate it on May 15th for National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day!

Popular lore has it that the cookie was first invented in the 1930s by accident. Their inventor, Ruth Wakefield, owned and managed the Toll House Inn along with her husband (ring a bell?). Rumor has it Ruth was attempting to make chocolate cookies for the inn when she ran out of baker's chocolate. As a frantic substitute, she grabbed a Nestlé chocolate bar and broke it into chunks, hoping the melted chocolate would mix in with the dough. The surprising result, however, was the Chocolate Chip Cookie we know and love, featuring soft, unmixed chocolate chips. She then sold the recipe (and the Toll House name) to Nestlé for $1 and a lifetime supply of chocolate.

Only recently, though, has research begun to uncover the truth behind the "Accidental" invention of the Chocolate Chip Cookie! As food writer Carolyn Wyman underlined in her Great American Chocolate Chip Cookie Book, Ruth Wakefield was far from being a casual baker, holding a degree in "household arts." Looking at Ruth Wakefield's personal life, Wyman contends that it's far more likely that her most famous invention was not an accident at all, but rather the result of some careful thinking, brave experimentation, and smarts.

As big fans of girl power, we LOVE this version of the invention story - almost as much as we love the invention itself!

Want a longer read on this beloved cookie's genesis? Check out Jon Michaud's New Yorker article for the Chocolate Chip Cookie's 75th anniversary!