National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day is recognized as August 4th, though we celebrate every day around here. (They’re offered on the menu in The Factory Café Monday – Saturday.) Today we pay homage to the American dessert that has acted as temporary relief from financial woes during The Great Depression and became a symbol of support for American soldiers fighting in the Second World War.
The chocolate chip cookie was invented by a woman named Ruth Graves Wakefield of Whitman, Massachusetts. Ruth and her husband owned an inn and restaurant called the Toll House Inn, where she was known for her tasty desserts.
There are many stories about how exactly Ruth came up with the idea for a chocolate chip cookie. Some say that she ran out of baker’s chocolate and replaced it with chips from a Nestle chocolate bar. However, the most likely story is that she was simply utilizing her culinary curiosity and experimenting with a new cookie recipe to be served with ice cream.
All the same, the success of Ruth’s chocolate chip cookies skyrocketed. Nestle received word of her using their chocolate and offered to buy the recipe from her for $1 in 1939. Ruth agreed, and although it has been said that she never received payment, Nestle reportedly gave her a lifetime supply of chocolate and named their Toll House cookie dough in honor of Ruth. Her original recipe is still found on Nestle packaging today. Ruth died in 1977 and the Toll House Inn burned to the ground in a fire on New Year’s Eve in 1984. A Wendy’s fast food restaurant currently stands in the place of the Toll House Inn; it houses a small museum commemorating the invention of the chocolate chip cookie.
Here at The Factory, we enjoy classic Chocolate Chip Cookies with a pinch of sea salt sprinkled on top of the cookie while it is still warm. Glass of milk optional.