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Home-made chocolate chip cookies
|Place of origin||United States|
|Region or state||Whitman, Massachusetts|
|Creator(s)||Toll House Inn - multiple versions|
|Mainingredient(s)||Flour, sugar, brown sugar,butter or shortening, chocolate chips, eggs, vanilla, baking soda, salt|
A chocolate chip cookie is a drop cookie that originated in the United States and features chocolate chips as its distinguishing ingredient. The traditional recipe combines a dough composed of butter and both brown and white sugar with semi-sweet chocolate chips. Variations include recipes with other types of chocolate or additional ingredients, such as nuts or oatmeal.
The chocolate chip cookie was accidentally developed by Ruth Graves Wakefield in 1930. She owned the Toll House Inn, in Whitman,Massachusetts, a very popular restaurant that featured home cooking in the 1930s. Her cookbook, Toll House Tried and True Recipes, was published in 1936 by M. Barrows & Company, New York. It included the recipe "Toll House Chocolate Crunch Cookie", which rapidly became a favorite to be baked in American homes.
Wakefield is said to have been making chocolate cookies and on running out of regular baker's chocolate, substituted broken pieces ofsemi-sweet chocolate from Nestlé thinking that they would melt and mix into the batter. They did not and the chocolate chip cookie was born. Wakefield sold the recipe to Nestlé in exchange for a lifetime supply of chocolate chips. Every bag of Nestlé chocolate chips sold in North America has a variation (butter vs. margarine is now a stated option) of her original recipe printed on the back.
A different history of the cookie derives from George Boucher, who was at one time head chef at the Toll House Inn, and his daughter, Carol Cavanagh, who also worked there. Contradicting Nestlé's claim that Wakefield put chunks of chocolate into cookie dough hoping they would melt, the daughter stated that the owner, already an accomplished chef and author of a cookbook, knew enough about the properties of chocolate to realize it would not melt and mix into the batter while baking. Boucher said that the vibrations from a large Hobart electric mixer dislodged bars of Nestlé's chocolate stored on the shelf above the mixer so they fell into the sugar cookie dough it was mixing, then broke them up and mixed the pieces into it. He claimed to have overcome Wakefield's impulse to discard the dough as too badly ruined to waste effort baking them, leading to the discovery of the popular combination.
Although the Nestlé's Toll House recipe is widely known, every brand of chocolate chips, or "semi-sweet chocolate morsels" in Nestlé parlance, sold in the U.S. and Canada bears a variant of the chocolate chip cookie recipe on its packaging. Almost all baking-oriented cookbooks will contain at least one type of recipe.
Practically all commercial bakeries offer their own version of the cookie in packaged baked or ready-to-bake forms. There are at least three national (U.S./North America) chains that sell freshly baked chocolate chip cookies in shopping malls and standalone retail locations. Several businesses—including Doubletree hotels, Citibank, Aloha, and Midwest Airlines—offer freshly baked cookies to their patrons to differentiate themselves from their competition.
To honor the cookie's creation in the state, on July 9, 1997, Massachusetts designated the chocolate chip cookie as the Official State Cookie, after it was proposed by a third-grade class from Somerset, Massachusetts.
Chocolate chip cookies are commonly made with white sugar; brown sugar; flour; a small portion of salt; eggs; a leavening agent such asbaking powder; a fat, typically butter or shortening; vanilla extract; and semi-sweet chocolate pieces. Some recipes also include milk ornuts (such as chopped walnuts) in the dough.
Depending on the ratio of ingredients, mixing and cooking times, some recipes are optimized to produce a softer, chewy style cookie while others will produce a crunchy/crispy style. Regardless of ingredients, the procedure for making the cookie is fairly consistent in all recipes: First, the sugars and fat are creamed, usually with a wooden spoon or an electric mixer. The eggs and vanilla extract are added next followed by the flour and the leavener. Depending on the additional flavoring, its addition to the mix will be determined by the type used: peanut butter will be added with the wet ingredients while cocoa powder would be added with the dry ingredients. The titular ingredient, chocolate chips, as well as nuts are typically mixed in towards the end of the process to minimize breakage, just before the cookies are scooped and positioned on a cookie sheet. Most cookie dough is baked, although some eat the dough as is, or use it as an addition to vanilla ice cream to make chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream.
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