The chocolate-chip cookie celebrates its eighty-one birthday thoday! Unlike the anonymous inventors of such American staples as the hot dog, the grilled-cheese sandwich, and the milkshake, the creator of the chocolate-chip cookie has always been known to us.
Ruth Wakefield, who ran the popular Toll House restaurant in Whitman, Massachusetts, with her husband, Kenneth, from 1930 to 1967, brought the Toll House Chocolate Crunch Cookie into being in the late nineteen-thirties.
The recipe, which has been tweaked over the ensuing decades, made its first appearance in print in the 1938 edition of Wakefield’s “Tried and True” cookbook. Created as an accompaniment to ice cream, the chocolate-chip cookie quickly became so celebrated that Marjorie Husted (a.k.a. Betty Crocker) featured it on her radio program.
On March 20, 1939, Wakefield gave Nestlé the right to use her cookie recipe and the Toll House name. In a bargain that rivals Peter Minuit’s purchase of Manhattan, the price was a dollar—a dollar that Wakefield later said she never received (though she was reportedly given free chocolate for life and was also paid by Nestlé for work as a consultant).
Wakefield’s cookie was the perfect antidote to the Great Depression. In a single inexpensive hand-held serving, it contained the very richness and comfort that millions of people were forced to live without in the late nineteen-thirties.
In the postwar years, the chocolate-chip cookie followed the path taken by many American culinary innovations: from homemade to mass-produced, from kitchen counter to factory floor, from fresh to franchised.
In the nineteen-fifties, both Nestlé and Pillsbury began selling refrigerated chocolate-chip-cookie dough in supermarkets. Nabisco, meanwhile, launched Chips Ahoy, its line of packaged cookies, in 1963.
The Baby Boom generation, which had been raised on the Toll House cookie, sought to recapture the original taste of these homemade treats in stores that sold fresh-baked cookies. Famous Amos, Mrs. Fields, and David’s Cookies all opened their first stores in the seventies, and prospered in the eighties. By the middle of that decade, there were more than twelve hundred cookie stands in business across the country.
Brian Beal Moore Catering believes this to be the best chocolate chip cookie recipe ever. No funny ingredients, no chilling time, etc. Just a simple, straightforward, amazingly delicious, doughy yet still fully cooked, chocolate chip cookie that turns out perfectly every single time!
Best Chocolate Chip Cookies
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 24 cookies
1 cup salted butter softened
1 cup white (granulated) sugar
1 cup light brown sugar packed
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp sea salt
2 cups chocolate chips (or chunks, or chopped chocolate)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking pan with parchment paper and set aside.
In a separate bowl mix flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder. Set aside.
Cream together butter and sugars until combined. Beat in eggs and vanilla until fluffy.
Mix in the dry ingredients until combined.
Add 12 oz package of chocolate chips and mix well.
Roll 2-3 TBS (depending on how large you like your cookies) of dough at a time into balls and place them evenly spaced on your prepared cookie sheets. (alternately, use a small cookie scoop to make your cookies)!
Bake in preheated oven for approximately 8-10 minutes. Take them out when they are just BARELY starting to turn brown.
Let them sit on the baking pan for 2 minutes before removing to cooling rack.
Pour yourself a tall, cold, glass of milk and enjoy!