Thank This Lady for Chocolate Chip Cookies

By Jasmin Sun Posted June 22, 2012
© Con Poulos

Jessica Sullivan's Ganache-Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies / © Con Poulos

The Week in Food looks at noteworthy food or food-related inventions, announcements and other "firsts" throughout history.

Chewy, crumbly and often crispy too, chocolate chip cookies are an obsession of first-time bakers and experts. But the perfect and seemingly obvious combination of semisweet chocolate bits and sweet, buttery dough is actually the result of a baking accident by a woman born this week, on June 17, in 1903. Ruth Graves Wakefield, owner of a Massachusetts lodge called the Toll House Inn, invented the chocolate chip cookie in the 1930s when she ran out of baker's chocolate while preparing butter cookies and decided to substitute cut-up pieces of semisweet chocolate. Instead of melting and blending into the dough as she’d hoped, the chips maintained their shape, but also became soft and creamy in the oven.
Today, chefs and home cooks riff endlessly on the original Toll House recipe, like San Francisco pastry chef Jessica Sullivan, who created these indulgent chocolate chip cookie sandwiches packed with walnuts and sealed together with silky chocolate ganache.

Follow Jasmin on Twitter @jasminsun.

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