Chocolate Chip Cookies Creator
Ruth Graves Wakefield invented the Toll House brand of chocolate chip cookies.
The creation of chocolate chip cookies was a complete accident. Ruth Wakefield was all out of baker’s chocolate, so she used a semisweet chocolate bar instead. To find out more about the differences between these kinds of chocolate and on how chocolate is made, head to the Cookie production page.
She graduated from the Framingham State Normal School Department of Household Arts in 1924. She worked as a dietitian and lectured on food until 1930 when she and her husband bought a tourist lodge in Whitman, Massachusetts. The tourist lodge was named the Toll House Inn.
Ruth cooked and served all the food for the meals served to the guests at the Inn and gained local notoriety for her deserts. One day while making cookies, she realized she was out of an ingredient for the recipe she was using. She had run out of baker’s chocolate, so she substituted it with a semisweet chocolate bar from Nestle. However, unlike the baker’s chocolate, the chopped up chocolate bar did not melt and mix into the batter like Ruth thought it would. The small pieces of chocolate only softened and the chocolate chip cookie was born.
It turned out that the chocolate bar Ruth used in her cookie mix had been a gift from Andrew Nestle of the Nestle Chocolate Company. As the Toll House chocolate chip cookie recipe became popular, sales of Nestle’s semi-sweet chocolate bar increased. Ruth sold the chocolate chip cookie recipe Andrew Nestle, who then provided her with a lifetime supply of Nestle chocolate.
Nestle also printed the Toll House Cookie recipe every bag of Nestle chocolate chips sold in North America. Ruth died in 1977, and the Toll House Inn burned down New Year’s Eve of 1984. Although there are many manufacturers of chocolate chips today, the agreement to publish the recipe of Ruth Graves Wakefield on the back of each Nestle Toll House chocolate bar package is still honored in the 21st century.
Production of chocolate chip is very labor intensive. The process involves removing cacao beans from pods, then fermenting, drying and roasting them to develop flavor and reduce bitterness.
The cacao beans are then crushed to a thick paste known as chocolate liquor. The liquor can be further processed into two components: cocoa solids and cocoa butter. There is about 53 percent cocoa butter and 47 percent cocoa solids in the liquor.
Chocolate liquor is blended with cocoa butter in varying quantities to make different types of chocolate, including: dark, milk and white. The chocolate liquor can also be cooled and molded into blocks known as unsweetened baking chocolate.
Dark chocolate is produced by adding fat and sugar to cacao. It is chocolate without milk as an additive. Milk chocolate is chocolate with powdered or condensed milk added to it. White chocolate does not contain any cocoa solids as it is made with sugar and fat (like cacao butter or vegetable oils).