For Your Valentine
The chocolate chip … an American staple with an accidental beginning.
The chocolate chip has become a staple for American bakers. Each year Americans eat more than 70 billion chocolate chip cookies, half of which are homemade. The classic chocolate chip cookie is the best-selling cookie in the United States.
The term “chocolate chip” was originally used in the 1800s to refer to a small English tea biscuit, similar to chocolate shortbread, that was cut into tiny pieces and usually served with tea. Later, chocolate chips were known as a molasses taffy coated with chocolate and were made popular and distributed nationally by candymaker William Trowbridge from his candy factory in Meadville, Pennsylvania.
In the 1930s, the modern-day chocolate chip was invented by Ruth Wakefield, who owned and ran the Toll House Inn in Whitman, Massachusetts. Ruth made all of the meals for visitors to the inn. One day she chopped up a chocolate bar and added the small bits to a batch of butter cookies, hoping the chocolate would melt. But the chips did not melt as intended, and, quite by accident, she created the Toll House Chocolate Crunch Cookie.
People loved the bits of chocolate in their cookies and as a result, Nestlé began selling morsels, a chocolate bar broken into 160 pieces.
Ruth’s recipe became what we now know to be the classic Toll House chocolate chip cookie. Nestlé began marketing morsels and printing the recipe on the back of the bright yellow bag in 1939.
I always have a bag or two of chocolate chips in my kitchen pantry. Sometimes I melt them and make chocolate bark. Sometimes I add them to favorite cookie recipes, or sometimes I eat them right out of the bag. Making a batch of Dark Chocolate Pecan Cookies is one of my favorite ways to enjoy chocolate chips. These rich, crunchy cookies also make a wonderful gift when packaged nicely with a cheery note for a friend or family member.