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Did you know that chocolate chip cookies are America’s favorite dessert? In fact, U.S. residents consume more than seven billion chocolate chip cookies each year. The chocolate chip cookie is even the official state cookie of Massachusetts and Pennsylvania

History of Chocolate Chip Cookies

The gooey, delicious treat we all love was invented by Ruth Graves Wakefield in the early 1930s. Ms. Wakefield was a dietician who owned a tourist lodge known as the Toll House Inn. One day, she was baking butter drop cookies and ran out of baker’s chocolate. After a bit of quick thinking, she decided to use a crumbled semi-sweet Nestle chocolate bar as a substitute.

Although Ms. Wakefield had expected the bits of chocolate to melt in the oven, the morsels maintained their shape. The resulting cookie had a delicately creamy texture that the Toll House Inn’s guests adored.  

Soon, Ms. Wakefield’s recipe was published in several area newspapers. After Nestle traced its skyrocketing chocolate bar sales back to her cookies, they offered Ms. Wakefield a lifetime supply of chocolate in exchange for the privilege of printing the  Toll House cookie recipe on the back of their packaging.

 In 1939, Nestle began offering a crumbled version of their semi-sweet chocolate bar. They called the product “Nestle Toll House Real Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels.” As the first commercially available chocolate chips, they were an instant success.

Cookie Variations

While Ms. Wakefield’s chocolate chip cookie recipe remains the most popular, there are many variations creative cooks can try. For example, there are  oatmeal chocolate chip cookies banana chocolate chip cookies white chocolate raspberry cookies, and  chocolate chip orange delights. You can also try tinkering with your favorite cookie recipe by making the following adjustments:

* If chewy cookies are the goal, melt the butter before adding it to your batter, use bread flour instead of regular baking flour, and omit one egg white from the recipe.

* For cake-like chocolate chip cookies, use shortening instead of butter and substitute baking powder for the baking soda.

* If you like thin and crispy cookies, replace one egg with milk, substitute brown sugar for part of the white sugar, and increase the amount of baking soda in the recipe by up to 50 percent.

 For more chocolate chip cookie recipes, check out  The 47 Best Chocolate Chip Cookies in the World: The Recipes That Won the National Chocolate Chip Cookie Contest.

 Common Mistakes

If you’re not too handy in the kitchen, you may wonder why your chocolate chip cookies never seem to taste as good as the ones your neighbor makes. Even if you’re using the exact same recipe, differences in your baking technique will lead to mixed results. For the most delicious cookies, avoid the following common errors:

* Over baking

* Over mixing

* Inaccurate ingredient measurements

* Using vanillin instead of real vanilla extract

* Using low-fat butter without making other recipe adjustments

* Putting warm dough on the cookie sheet

* Forgetting to cool the cookie sheet to room temperature between batches

* An oven thermostat that’s not registering correctly

By Dana Hinders



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