Chocolate chip cookie
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|Place of origin||United States|
|Region or state||Whitman, Massachusetts|
|Creator||Ruth Graves Wakefield, Toll House Inn|
|Main ingredients||Flour, sugar, brown sugar, butter or shortening, chocolate chips, eggs, vanilla, baking soda, salt|
|Cookbook: Chocolate chip cookie Media: Chocolate chip cookie|
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.
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."
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. They did not and the chocolate chip cookie was born.
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.
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.
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
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. 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.
- 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.
- The chocolate chocolate chip cookie uses a dough that is chocolate flavored by the addition of cocoa or melted chocolate. Variations on this cookie include replacing chocolate chips with white chocolate or peanut butter chips.
- The macadamia chip cookie has macadamia nuts and white chocolate chips. It is a signature cookie of Mrs. Fields bakeries.
- 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.
- Ruth Wakefield. Retrieved 2015-02-10.
- Famous Women Inventors - Ruth Wakefield, Chocolate Chip Cookie Inventor. Retrieved 2014-02-24.
- Jones, Charlotte Foltz (1991). Mistakes That Worked. Doubleday. ISBN 0-385-26246-9.
- "History of Nestlé Toll House".
- "Neiman Marcus cookie legend".
- Levitt, Jonathan. "They're Not As Easy To Make As To Eat", The Boston Globe, 7 June 2006, C2. Available through ProQuest eLibrary.
- The M&M Party Cookie recipe on m-m.com
- Chocolate Chocolate Chip cookie recipe on FoodTV.com
- White Chip Chocolate Cookie recipe on AllFood.com
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookie recipe on AllFood.com
- Macadamia Nut Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe on AllFoods.com
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