Tomorrow, we celebrate the most popular cookie in American history. National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day happens every year on August 4 to honor the most beloved cookie of all time. For some, it’s a reliable yardstick for quality baked goods. For others, it’s a sweet treat that brings back good memories of childhood, enjoying warm and gooey cookies straight out of the oven (or maybe even fresh out of a package bought from the grocery store).
Whether you prefer the raw dough, dunking cookies in milk or crumbling them into a bowl of ice cream, chocolate chip cookies are a favorite for many! So as you indulge today, let’s also increase your knowledge of this quintessential dessert.
The Nestlé Toll House Connection
Many Americans believe the chocolate chip cookie was invited by a 33-year-old woman named Ruth Graves Wakefield in 1938. She was baking a batch of butter drop dough cookies when — intending to create a chocolate cookie — she broke up a bar of Nestlé semi-sweet chocolate and added it to the batter. However, the chocolate pieces held their shape, and the delightful treat we know so well today was born.
Wakefield’s cookies instantly became popular when her recipe was published in a Boston-area paper. She named them “Toll House Chocolate Crunch Cookies” after the Toll House Inn restaurant she and her husband owned in Whitman, Massachusetts. This popularity caused Nestlé to start selling chocolate chips specifically for use in the Toll House chocolate chip cookie recipe. And in fact, the drawing on every bag of Nestlé Toll House chips is of the original Toll House building, and Wakefield’s receipt is still printed on the back of each bag.
However, the real origin of the chocolate chip — and cookies that contain them — can be traced back to 19th century England. Also, in 1896, Kaufmann Candy ran ads touting candy with a large amount of chocolate chips, which may have served as inspiration for Wakefield. Regardless, had it not been for the curiosity that accidently led to a legendary cookie recipe, entire generations would have been denied the bliss that is a chocolate chip cookie.
Eight Cookies Facts:
- One Nestlé chocolate bar equals 160 chocolate chips.
- The world’s largest chocolate chip cookie contained 30,000 eggs, weighed 38,000 pounds and was 102 feet across
- A tablespoon of cookie dough can hold up to 50 chocolate chips, but most people prefer 6 to 8 chips per cookie.
- After the introduction of detailed Nutrition Facts labels, the consumption of chocolate chip cookies actually increased by 10%.
- Chocolate chip cookies were a big hit during World War II thanks to Nestlé’s clever ad campaigns, which encouraged home bakers to whip up batches to send overseas to soldiers.
- Want to sell a home quicker? It’s an old real estate trick to bake cookies during an Open House… the aroma will bring buyers coming!
- Real cookies would make the Muppet greasy, so on Sesame Street, the Cookie Monster actually eats rice cakes painted with brown dots.
- Before Wally Amos became famous for chocolate chip cookies, he worked as a talent agent and discovered Simon and Garfunkel.