Like so many of America's greatest innovations, the original chocolate chip cookie recipe was created in Massachusetts. Even better, the country's favorite cookie was invented by a woman!
In the late 1930s, Ruth Wakefield owned and operated the Toll House Inn & Restaurant in Whitman, Massachusetts. Her original cookie recipe with melted semi-sweet chocolate chunks was designed to pair with ice cream and first appeared in her 1938 cookbook Tried and True.
Hard to believe this delicious treat has been around less than a hundred years, huh?
The original Toll House Inn opened in 1930 and was located in an already-historic building dating back to 1709. It was originally used for collecting tolls during the height of the whaling industry.
As the restaurant's chef, Ruth Wakefield specialized in desserts including her popular butter drop cookies, but it wasn't until she began adding shavings (or "chips") from Nestlé semi-sweet chocolate bars that she became a famous innovator.
Locals immediately went gaga for the new dessert and it soon became so popular Betty Crocker herself featured it on her influential radio program.
The ever-resourceful Wakefield decided to contact Nestlé in 1939 to see if they could make a deal. Their agreement became one of the most unique and famous pairings in culinary history.
In exchange for a lifetime supply of Nestlé chocolate, Wakefield allowed her cookie recipe to appear on the packaging of all their semi-sweet chocolate bars and eventually on the company's newest product - bags of chocolate chips.
In 1984 the historic Toll House Inn burned down after 54 years. Today, a CVS Pharmacy and a Wendy’s restaurant are located on its former site.
However, cookie enthusiasts can still pay their respects to Ruth Wakefield and her restaurant with a visit to the historical marker in Whitman. The sign details the significance of the spot and acknowledges it as the birthplace of America's favorite cookie!