Walk into any home, at any time, and you will immediately recognize the smell of what is cooking. It evokes memories of childhood, fall days or just the ultimate comfort snack; The Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie. The cookie is so loved in my home that I recently burned out my Viking Mixer making the cookie dough.
Ruth Graves Wakfield, and her husband Ken, were the proprietors of the Toll House Inn, in Whitman, Massachusetts. Ruth cooked all the food, and her dishes were so loved that the Inn quickly became known in the area for its delicious home-style cooking. The famous food critic, Duncan Hines (yes, that was a real person), was quite fond of her Indian pudding dessert. Rose Kennedy, the mother of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, would have packages of Toll House food sent weekly to her sons while they were oversees during WWII. Word has it that the gingerbread recipe was a favorite of JFK.
In the mid 1930s, Ruth had been serving a butterscotch nut cookie with ice cream at the Inn. Though everyone loved that dessert, Ruth wanted to offer an alternative. She considered making a cookie with chocolate, using regular baking chocolate. When she realized she did not have any baking chocolate left, she substituted it with broken pieces of Nestles semi-sweet chocolate. Ruth thought that the chocolate would melt into the batter while baking. She found that the chocolate did not melt; instead, she would create what is now known as the beloved chocolate chip cookie. Ruth was not only a great cook; she was quite the savvy businesswoman. In 1939, the popular Betty Crocker radio show, "Famous Foods from Famous Places", featured The Toll House Inn, with a special focus on the Toll House Cookie. Soon after, Ruth struck quite the deal with Nestle. Nestle printed her recipe on every semi-sweet chocolate bar, and in return, Ruth received a lifetime supply of chocolate. The cookie recipe soon became a huge national success, and this sparked an idea for Nestle in 1940; the Toll House morsel, aka ... the chocolate chip. It was then, Nestle began marketing the Toll House Cookie Recipe on bags of semi-sweet chocolate chips. And the rest is history. nomnomnomnomnom
Here is the Toll House Cookie Recipe, curtesy of Epicurious.com