Chocolate Chip Cookie - Today the chocolate chip cookie remains a favorite choice among cookie connoisseurs. The term "toll house" has become a part of the American language.
1937 - The first chocolate chip cookies was invented in 1937 by Ruth Graves Wakefield (1905-1977), of Whitman, Massachusetts, who ran the Toll House Restaurant. The Toll House Restaurant site was once a real toll house built in 1709, where stage coach passengers ate a meal while horses were changed and a toll was taken for use of the highway between Boston and New Bedford, a prosperous whaling town. The Wakefields sold the restaurant in 1966. It burned down on New Year's Eve in 1984.
One of Ruth's favorite recipes was an old recipe for "Butter Drop Do" cookies that dated back to colonial times. The recipe called for the use of baker's chocolate. One day Ruth found herself without a needed ingredient. Having a bar of semisweet chocolate on hand, she chopped it into pieces and stirred the chunks of chocolate into the cookie dough. She assumed that the chocolate would melt and spread throughout each cookie. Instead the chocolate bits held their shape and created a sensation. She called her new creation the Toll House Crunch Cookies. The Toll House Crunch Cookies became very popular with guests at the inn, and soon her recipe was published in a Boston newspaper, as well as other papers in the New England area. Word of the cookie spread and it became popular.
1939 - This cookie became known nationally when Betty Crocker used it in her radio series on "Famous Foods From Famous Eating Places." Ruth approached the Nestle company and together, they reached an agreement that allowed Nestle to print what would become the Toll House Cookie recipe on the wrapper of the Semi-Sweet Chocolate Bar. The company developed a scored semisweet chocolate bar with a small cutting implement so that making the chocolate chunks would be easier. According to the story, part of this agreement included supplying Ruth with all of the chocolate she could use to make her delicious cookies for the rest of her life.
1940s - Ruth sold all legal rights to the use of the Toll House trademark to Nestle. On August 25, 1983, the Nestle Company lost its exclusive right to the trademark in federal court. Toll house is now a descriptive term for a cookie.
1997 - A third grade class from Somerset, Massachusetts proposed that the chocolate chip cookie be designated the official cookie of the Commonwealth. The chocolate chip cookie was designated the official cookie of the Commonwealth on July 9, 1997 under the General Laws of Massachusetts.
1996, 1999, and 2003 - A group of fourth-grade students at Caln Elementary School in Coatesville introduced a resolution to designate the chocolate chip cookie as the official state cookie of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in 1996.
Senate Bill 271 was introduced on February 1, 1999 to designate and adopt the chocolate chip cookie as the official cookie of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The House is supporting the Nazareth sugar cookie, in a bill sponsored by eight representatives, including Moon Township's state Rep. and Senator-elect John Pippy.
Another Senate Bill 320 was introduced by Thompson, Helfrick, M. White, Greenleaf, Rafferty, and C. Williams on February 13, 2003 to designate and adopt the chocolate chip cookie as the official cookie of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The House and Senate have been in disagreement or debate since these bills were introduced. The bills have been tabled.