Posts Tagged ‘Ruth Wakefield’

With the number of cookies that are baked and consumed each year (see Fact #2 below) there has to be tons of interesting information/history/facts out there.  I’m looking for those things.  If you have any interesting tidbit about cookies, please let me know.  If we wind up putting it on our website, My Kids’ Cookies will send you a thank you cookie.  All you cookie lovers, start your search engines!

Our current Cookie Facts:

1) Massachusetts named the chocolate chip cookie the official state cookie on July 9, 1997.

2) An estimated 7 billion chocolate chip cookies are eaten in the United States each year.

3) Half the cookies baked in American homes each year are chocolate chip.

4) Chocolate chip cookies are the favored cookies of Sesame Street’s Cookie Monster.

Email your fact to Barbara@MyKidsCookies.com.  cookie_with_bite

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The following was found at www.sallys-place.com.  Truly, I am thankful for Ruth Wakefield’s creation every day.

The Chocolate Chip Cookie: An American Icon

by Stephanie Zonis

Can you imagine an era before chocolate chip cookies existed? Do you really want to? Yet this all-American goodie was a relatively late arrival on this country’s food scene.

As usual, I’ll start with a little history, in this case, a little untruthful history. You may know that chocolate chip cookies were originally called “Toll House Cookies”. Years ago now, I was standing in the checkout line of a grocery store. I don’t even recall what I was buying, but three teenage girls were in line behind me. They were obviously going to make chocolate chip cookies in the near future, as they were buying all the necessary ingredients. One started reading the back of the package of chocolate chips, then suddenly looked up at her two companions and asked if either knew why they were called “Toll House Cookies”. One friend looked blank, but the second said that of course she knew; the cookie name stemmed from the fact that these cookies were used in the 1700’s and 1800’s as payment at tollbooths (then called “toll houses”) in place of money! I wish this story were true; it presents a wonderful mental image of early American commerce. But sadly, the accuracy just isn’t there.

Ruth Graves Wakefield was a dietician and food lecturer until she and her husband bought a guest lodge, called the Toll House Inn, in Massachusetts. Mrs. Wakefield prepared meals for the guests at her inn, and she became famous locally for her desserts. One fine day in 1937, she was making a favorite recipe for Butter Drop cookies (the name is usually listed as Butter Drop Do, the last word pronounced as “dough”. However “do” also meant “ditto” in those days; if the recipe had come from a list of recipe titles for cookies, the “do” might simply have meant it was another recipe for butter drop cookies, without having to write out the word “cookies” every time). The recipe called for the use of baker’s chocolate and there was none in the house, so she cut up a bar of semisweet chocolate that had been a gift from Andrew Nestle and mixed it into the dough, expecting that the chocolate would melt and run throughout the dough during baking. The chocolate bits softened, but didn’t melt. Mrs. Wakefield served the cookies anyway, and they were a big hit. She called them “Toll House Crunch Cookies”.

After the recipe for the cookies was published in a Boston newspaper, they became popular on a wider scale. Their fame spread even further in 1939, after they were discussed on a radio show. Mrs. Wakefield struck an agreement with Nestle, in which the company could print what became known simply as “Toll House Cookies” on the wrapper of their semisweet chocolate bar. Americans were so crazy for these cookies that Nestle even came out with a semisweet bar scored into small sections and sold with a special cutting implement—the precursor to their famous chocolate morsels. Supposedly, the agreement included a provision that Nestle would supply Mrs. Wakefield with as much of this chocolate as she wished for the remainder of her life!

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