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Origin of Chocolate Chips

Published October 16, 2009        by Nicole

Chocolate Chip Cookies

You can enjoy them in cookies, ice cream, granola bars or by themselves as a sweet little snack, but where did chocolate chips come from?  In 1933, a very inventive Ruth Graves Wakefield was baking cookies at the Toll House Inn in Whitman, Massachusetts.  She modified the cookie recipe by cutting up a Nestle chocolate bar and adding the chunks to her batter.  The result - the world's first chocolate chip cookies!  Once Nestle got wind of Ruth's ingenius addition to her cookie recipe, they offered her a lifetime supply of chocolate if she would allow them to print her recipe on the packaging of their chocolate bars - which were sold with a chipping tool so customers could "chip" away at the bar.  In 1939, Nestle started packaging the chocolate "morsels" in a bag and selling them with Ruth's recipe - renamed the original Toll House Cookie Recipe.

In the last 70 years, the chocolate chip has been duplicated and re-invented with different flavors including peanut butter, mint, milk chocolate, dark chocolate, semi-sweet chocolate, butterscotch and white chocolate - even white and dark chocolate swirls.  You can buy mini chips, regular size chips (a little less than 1/2" across), or jumbo chips.  The teardrop-shaped morsels are available from a number of manufacturers.

No longer used exclusively for baking, chocolate chips are a staple in most American households - including mine.  I always have at least two bags on hand for cookies, pancakes, brownies, 7 layer bars, or melted down to form a chocolate shell over my famous Christmas bonbons - I've included the recipe below:

Simple Chocolate Bon Bons

  • 2 lbs confectioners sugar (powdered sugar)
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk

Melt butter and mix all ingredients together (easiest to do this with greased hands).  Roll into balls and place on cookie sheets lined with wax paper.  Freeze for 2-3 hours.  When the balls are solid, melt together a 12 ounce package of chocolate chips and a bar of parrafin wax (shaved - the best way to do this is with a cheese grater), either in the microwave or in a double-boiler.  Dip the balls into the chocolate mixture and place back on the wax paper to try.

Variations: You can separate the dough into smaller batches and add mint flavoring, coconut, chopped nuts or maraschino cherries.

Depending on the size of your bon bons, this recipe will make up to 7 dozen candies.