Saturday, April 23, 2016

Mmmmmmmmm, Chocolate Chip Cookies

Cookies, Chocolate ChipsDo you remember growing up when you had a nice warm chocolate chip cookies.  The one that had enough time to cool off so you could hold it without burning your fingers but still warm enough for the chocolate to be gooey enough to let the flavor explode in your mouth.  The question I always had for my mother was "Where did chocolate chips come from?"  I never got an answer.

It turns out there is an interesting story behind it.  If you ever read the back of Nestle's chocolate chips for Toll House Cookies, you'll find out that the cook for the Toll House establishment, Ruth Wakefield, ran out of bakers chocolate for the cookies she was making and cut up a bar of semi-sweet chocolate to use instead.  Voila, you have a new recipe and a great story.  Apparently, they were a hit locally and the recipe first appeared in Boston newspaper as "Toll House Crunch Cookies"

The recipe with the chunks of chocolate appeared in a cookbook published by Ruth Wakefield in 1938.  It became so popular that the Betty Crocker radio show even talked about it.  Due to the popularity of the recipe, there was a spike in the number of semi-sweet bars sold.  This lead to  Nestle's entering into an agreement with Ruth to feature her recipe on the back of every bar of semi-sweet chocolate and she would receive a life time supply of chocolate.

Notice Nestle's has always called them morsels while we call them chips.  Where did the term chocolate chips come from.  It turns out a chocolate chip first appeared in the 19th century in the "Chocolate Chip" recipe which is an English tea biscuit.  The recipe actually had the biscuit cut out of the pan in small strips referred to as "chips" and they did indeed have melted chocolate in them.

By 1892, a candy called a "Chocolate Chip" was being marketed but it appears to have been a molasses candy covered in chocolate. It really wasn't until 1940 or so that the "chip" we know today hit the shelves.  Up to that point, if you wanted to make the cookies, you had to buy the semi-sweet bar and chop it up.  Nestle's called their morsels while other companies called them chips.

The pre-made make them yourself cookies arrived in the 1950's when Nestle's and Pillsbury began marketing them.  I suspect these were the ones my grandmother called the slice and bake ones that she used.  In the 1970's, Nabisco started marketing the "Chips Ahoy" cookies which advertised a chip in every bite.  At this point there was an explosion of chocolate chip cookie brands.

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