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What Were Chocolate Chip Cookies Called Originally?

On May 15th, we recognize a morsel of a thing.  It’s National Chocolate Chip Day!

We might not know which came first — the chicken, or the egg — but when it comes to chocolate chips and their namesake cookie, the history is well-documented, and it might not be what you think.

Chocolate chips actually came after the chocolate chip cookie, and despite their ubiquity, are likely younger than your grandmother (they were first marketed in 1940!). Legend has it that the chocolate chip cookie was a happy accident, born when the baker ran out of baker’s chocolate and opted for semi-sweet instead.

  • 1937 – Ruth Graves Wakefield of Whitman Massachusetts, while working at the Toll House Inn, added cut-up chunks of a semi-sweet Nestle chocolate bar to a cookie recipe.  The cookies were a huge success.
  • 1939 –  Wakefield signed an agreement with Nestle to add her recipe to the chocolate bar’s packaging.  In exchange for the recipe, Wakefield received a lifetime supply of chocolate.  The Nestle brand Toll House cookies were named for the Inn.
  • 1939 –  the company made Ruth’s cookie recipe easier to recreate by scoring their chocolate bars into little pieces for baking. These eventually evolved to become the teardrop-shaped morsels we find on shelves today, and her classic recipe is always printed on the back of the package.
  • 1939 – During World War II, soldiers from Massachusetts stationed overseas, shared the cookies they received in care packages with soldiers from other parts of the United States.
  • 1939 – When hundreds of soldiers in World War II were writing home asking their families to send them some Toll House cookies, Wakefield became inundated with letters from around the world requesting the recipe.
  • 1941 – Nestle initially included a small chopping tool with the chocolate bars. But starting in 1941,  Nestle and other competitors started selling chocolate in chip or morsel form.
  • 1956 – The recipe for chocolate chip cookies was brought to the United Kingdom in 1956.
  • 1963 – Chips Ahoy! hits the shelves in U.S. supermarkets.
  • 1975 – legendary soul singer Isaac Hayes released an album titled ‘Chocolate Chip.’ The project was Hayes’ first after leaving Stax Records and it was his way of merging into disco.
  • 1987 – Chester Soling sponsored a contest to find the best recipe for chocolate chip cookies and got over 2.600 responses for various recipes.
  • 1991 – Ben and Jerry’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream creates waves of excitement around the globe.
  • 1997 – The chocolate chip cookie is named and recognized as the official state cookie of Massachusetts.
  • 2001 – The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania declared it their official cookie as well.
  • Semi-sweet was the original flavor of chocolate chips.  Today the chocolates come in bittersweet, semi-sweet, mint, white chocolate, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, and white and dark swirled.
  • Chocolate chips can be used in cookies, pancakes, waffles, cakes, pudding, muffins, crêpes, pies, hot chocolate, and various types of pastry. They are also found in many other retail food products such as granola bars, ice cream, and trail mix.
  • The chips melt best at temperatures between 104 and 113 °F (40 and 45 °C). The melting process starts at around 90 °F when the cocoa butter in the chips starts to heat. The cooking temperature must never exceed 115 °F (for milk and white) or 120 °F (for dark) or the chocolate will burn.
  • Today, chocolate chips are very popular as a baking ingredient in the United States , and the chocolate chip cookie is regarded as a quintessential American dessert.
  • Chocolate chips are also available in Europe, Australia, and other parts of the world. Nestlé and The Hershey Company are among the top producers of chocolate chips.
  • Did you know you eat about 35,000 cookies in a lifetime?
  • Chocolate chip cookies were originally called Chocolate Crunch Cookies.
  • One Nestlé chocolate bar = 160 chocolate chips.
  • Maryland Cookies was one of the U.K.’s best selling chocolate chip cookies.
  •  In the Middle East, chocolate chip cookies are topped with chocolate sauce and eaten with a knife and fork.
  • 13.5% of American adults admit to having eaten 20 or more chocolate chip cookies at a time.
  • Chocolate chip cookies are among only four foods acceptable to even the pickiest of eaters.
  • Consumption of chocolate chip cookies increased 10% following the introduction of detail Nutrition Facts labels.

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