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Chocolate chip cookie

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Chocolate chip cookie
Chocolate Chip Cookies - kimberlykv.jpg
Chocolate chip cookies
Course Dessert
Place of origin United States
Region or state Whitman, Massachusetts
Creator Ruth Graves Wakefield, Toll House Inn
Invented circa 1938
Main ingredients Flour, sugar, brown sugar, butter or shortening, chocolate chips, eggs, vanilla, baking soda, salt
Variations Multiple
Cookbook: Chocolate chip cookie  Media: Chocolate chip cookie
A close-up view showing the texture of a chocolate chip cookie
A chocolate chip cookie prepared with chocolate dough

A chocolate chip cookie is a drop cookie that originated in the United States and features chocolate chips as its distinguishing ingredient. The traditional recipe combines a dough composed of butter and both brown and white sugar with semi-sweet chocolate chips. Variations include recipes with other types of chocolate as well as additional ingredients such as nuts or oatmeal.


The chocolate chip cookie was invented by Ruth Graves Wakefield. She owned the Toll House Inn, in Whitman, Massachusetts, a very popular restaurant that featured home cooking in the 1930s. Her cookbook, Toll House Tried and True Recipes, was first published in 1936 by M. Barrows & Company, New York. The 1938 edition of the cookbook was the first to include the recipe "Toll House Chocolate Crunch Cookie" which rapidly became a favorite cookie in American homes.[1]

Differing versions of discovery

Ruth Wakefield stated that she deliberately invented the cookie. She said, "We had been serving a thin butterscotch nut cookie with ice cream. Everybody seemed to love it, but I was trying to give them something different. So I came up with Toll House cookie."[1]

A different version of events says that Wakefield is said to have been making chocolate cookies and on running out of regular baking chocolate, substituted broken pieces of semi-sweet chocolate from Nestlé thinking that they would melt and mix into the batter.[2] They did not and the chocolate chip cookie was born.[3]

A still different history of the cookie derives from George Boucher, who was at one time head chef at the Toll House Inn, and his daughter, Carol Cavanagh, who also worked there. Contradicting Nestlé's claim that Wakefield put chunks of chocolate into cookie dough hoping they would melt, the daughter stated that the owner, already an accomplished chef and author of a cookbook, knew enough about the properties of chocolate to realize it would not melt and mix into the batter while baking.

Boucher said that the vibrations from a large Hobart electric mixer dislodged bars of Nestlé's chocolate stored on the shelf above the mixer which caused the chocolate to fall into the sugar cookie dough mixing below. He claims to have overcome Wakefield's impulse to discard the dough as too badly ruined to waste effort baking them, leading to the discovery of the popular combination.[citation needed]

Nestlé marketing

Every bag of Nestlé chocolate chips sold in North America has a variation (butter vs. margarine is now a stated option) of her original recipe printed on the back.[citation needed]

During WWII, US soldiers from Massachusetts who were stationed overseas shared the cookies they received in care packages from back home with soldiers from other parts of the US. Soon, hundreds of soldiers were writing home asking their families to send them some Toll House cookies, and Wakefield was soon inundated with letters from around the world requesting her recipe. Thus began the nationwide craze for the chocolate chip cookie.[4][5]

Present day

Although the Nestlé's Toll House recipe is widely known, every brand of chocolate chips, or "semi-sweet chocolate morsels" in Nestlé parlance, sold in the U.S. and Canada bears a variant of the chocolate chip cookie recipe on its packaging. Almost all baking-oriented cookbooks will contain at least one type of recipe.

Practically all commercial bakeries offer their own version of the cookie in packaged baked or ready-to-bake forms. There are at least three national (U.S./North America) chains that sell freshly baked chocolate chip cookies in shopping malls and standalone retail locations. Several businesses—including Doubletree hotels, Citibank, Aloha, and Midwest Airlines—offer freshly baked cookies to their patrons to differentiate themselves from their competition.

There is an urban legend about Neiman Marcus' chocolate chip cookie recipe that has gathered a great deal of popularity over the years.[6]

To honor the cookie's creation in the state, on July 9, 1997, Massachusetts designated the chocolate chip cookie as the Official State Cookie, after it was proposed by a third-grade class from Somerset, Massachusetts.

Composition and variants

An arrangement consisting bags of brown sugar, white sugar, flour and chocolate chips; boxes of baking soda and salt; a carton of eggs, wrapped sticks of butter and a bottle of vanilla extract on a kitchen counter
Standard chocolate chip cookie ingredients
Preparing chocolate chip cookies

Chocolate chip cookies are commonly made with white sugar; brown sugar; flour; a small portion of salt; eggs; a leavening agent such as baking powder; a fat, typically butter or shortening; vanilla extract; and semi-sweet chocolate pieces. Some recipes also include milk or nuts (such as chopped walnuts) in the dough.

Depending on the ratio of ingredients and mixing and cooking times, some recipes are optimized to produce a softer, chewy style cookie while others will produce a crunchy/crispy style.[7] Regardless of ingredients, the procedure for making the cookie is fairly consistent in all recipes: First, the sugars and fat are creamed, usually with a wooden spoon or electric mixer. Next, the eggs and vanilla extract are added followed by the flour and leavening agent. Depending on the additional flavoring, its addition to the mix will be determined by the type used: peanut butter will be added with the wet ingredients while cocoa powder would be added with the dry ingredients. The titular ingredient, chocolate chips, as well as nuts are typically mixed in towards the end of the process to minimize breakage, just before the cookies are scooped and positioned on a cookie sheet. Most cookie dough is baked, although some eat the dough as is, or use it as an addition to vanilla ice cream to make chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream.

Common variants

A foil-lined tray with a solid light brown sheet with dark brown spots. A section has been cut away and most of a knife is lying in that portion.
Chocolate chip bar cookies
  • The M&M cookie, or party cookie, replaces the chocolate chips with M&M's. This recipe originally used shortening as the fat, but has been updated to use butter.[8]
  • The chocolate chocolate chip cookie uses a dough that is chocolate flavored by the addition of cocoa or melted chocolate.[9] Variations on this cookie include replacing chocolate chips with white chocolate or peanut butter chips.[10][11]
  • The macadamia chip cookie has macadamia nuts and white chocolate chips.[12] It is a signature cookie of Mrs. Fields bakeries.[citation needed]
  • The chocolate chip peanut butter cookie replaces the vanilla flavored dough with a peanut butter flavored one.
  • Chocolate chip cookie dough baked in a baking dish instead of a cookie sheet results in a chocolate chip bar cookie.
  • Other variations include different sizes and shapes of chocolate chips, as well as dark or milk chocolate chips. These changes lead to differences in both flavor and texture.

Popular brands

See also


  1. ^ a b Carolyn Wyman (2013). The Great American Chocolate Chip Cookie Book: Scrumptious Recipes & Fabled History From Toll House to Cookie Cake Pie. Countryman Press. p. 23. Retrieved Mar 21, 2014. 
  2. ^ Ruth Wakefield. Retrieved 2015-02-10.
  3. ^ Famous Women Inventors - Ruth Wakefield, Chocolate Chip Cookie Inventor. Retrieved 2014-02-24.
  4. ^ Jones, Charlotte Foltz (1991). Mistakes That Worked. Doubleday. ISBN 0-385-26246-9. 
  5. ^ "History of Nestlé Toll House". 
  6. ^ "Neiman Marcus cookie legend". 
  7. ^ Levitt, Jonathan. "They're Not As Easy To Make As To Eat", The Boston Globe, 7 June 2006, C2. Available through ProQuest eLibrary.
  8. ^ The M&M Party Cookie recipe on
  9. ^ Chocolate Chocolate Chip cookie recipe on
  10. ^ White Chip Chocolate Cookie recipe on
  11. ^ Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookie recipe on
  12. ^ Macadamia Nut Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe on

External links