Well, I can’t either. Nor can I imagine that there was a time before chocolate chip cookies, or that it was invented relatively recently! Oh, horror!
You don’t need to tell me that there are many much more important situations, crises and issues in the world today than the possibility of life without chocolate chip cookies. I can’t fix those things though, but I can make chocolate chip cookies and share happiness with some folks by doing that.
Besides, this blog is about Cookie Love, baking for those we love and sharing food together. So let’s get to it: Cookie Time!
Among things I’ve recently learned is that prior to the Toll House Cookie, chocolate was always melted and mixed into cookie dough. The first cookie to ever have chocolate chunks mixed in was that invented by and served at the Toll House in the late 1940’s.
As you can see, I’m indulging in all sorts of facts, figures and history from this book:
It’s totally hooked me!
For instance, would you believe that the cookie has been deeply tied in with American culture and politics for its entire life time! It’s the source of urban legends, war time patriotism campaigns (send cookies to soldiers) and even anti-feminist drives (improve your reputation as a housewife by making your family chocolate chip cookies).
But what really fascinates me is how quickly the cookie and recipe became a runaway success prior to the days of Social Media! The Toll House (aka chocolate chip) Cookie became famous almost overnight because of radio and print media.
It first became popular when it was served at the Toll House restaurant and Ruth Wakefield graciously gave many people her recipe. However, when it went on air and in newspapers, it skyrocketed in popularity- first on the early “Betty Crocker” radio show and then when Boston Herald travel writer Marjorie Mills published the recipe and featured it on her radio show as well.
Afterwards the cookie became so popular with New England home bakers that Nestlé’s sales of semisweet chocolate bars went up 500%. Why did it increase sales of a chocolate bar? Because in those early days, chocolate chips had not yet been invented. House wives and bakers had to chip up a semisweet chocolate bar to make their cookies, sometimes using an ice pick!
I’ll stick to my semi-sweet ‘morsels’ as Nestlé’s describes them rather than ‘chipping’ up a chocolate bar. None-the-less, this is one of my family’s (and my) favorite cookies! I’ll be trying out a variety of recipes and sharing them with you in coming weeks, so stay tuned!
Note: My source for most of the information above is The Great American Chocolate Chip Cookie, 2014, by Carolyn Wyman. You can find it at Amazon, bookstores all over, or probably your library.