Ruth Wakefield and "America's Favorite Cookie"
14 artifacts in this set
In 1930, Ruth Wakefield and her husband Kenneth opened a restaurant in Whitman, Massachusetts called the Toll House Inn. The restaurant served not only the locals, but people passing through on their way between Boston and Cape Cod. It was a great location. The restaurant would grow from 7 tables to 60.
Ruth Wakefield was a dietitian and food lecturer until she and her husband opened the Toll House Inn. Over time, Ruth's reputation grew, and the restaurant became well-known for her skillful cooking, wonderful desserts, and excellent service. On the back of this circa 1945 Toll House Inn postcard, a customer wrote "…down here two weeks ago & had a grand dinner."
At the Toll House Inn, Ruth Wakefield served home-cooked meals for tourists and local customers. This menu includes lunch and dinner meal selections, mention of the inn's gift shop, and a pitch for the restaurant as a venue for business meetings or social events. Ruth "invented" the chocolate chip cookie at the Toll House Inn in the late 1930s.
Ruth Wakefield shared her Toll House Inn restaurant's recipes for entrees, side dishes, and desserts in a best-selling cookbook, Toll House Tried and True Recipes. The book would go through 39 printings. The 1938 edition was the first to include the recipe for her famous cookie "invention"--the chocolate chip, which she called the "Toll House Chocolate Crunch Cookie."
Ruth Wakefield liked to create new dishes and desserts to serve her customers. In the late 1930s, Ruth had an inspiration. She chopped up a Nestle's semisweet chocolate bar with an ice pick and stirred the bits into her sweet butter cookie dough. The chocolate melted and didn’t spread--remaining in delectable chunks throughout the dough.
Soon, the Nestle company began mass-producing "ready-to-use" semisweet chocolate morsels to make cookie preparation more convenient--no need to chop a semisweet chocolate bar in small pieces.
Nestle placed this "patriotic call" advertisement in Better Homes and Gardens Magazine during World War II--a way to send a bit of "home" to soldiers overseas while proudly meeting the challenge of rationed ingredients. For many soldiers, it was their first taste of a chocolate chip cookie.
Chocolate chip would soon become America's favorite cookie. Other companies would follow Nestle's lead, developing their own ready-to-use morsels. This ad is for Baker's chocolate chip morsels. Baker's Chocolate Company is the oldest manufacturer of chocolate in the United States, dating back to 1780.
The Hershey Chocolate Corporation marketed its chocolate chips as semisweet "Dainties."
Not just for cookies, chocolate morsels have been used to create other delectable treats--like the "Chocolate Refresher" bars shown in this 1960 Nestle advertisement.
Beginning in 1973, the Hallmark company revolutionized Christmas decorating--appealing to customers' interest in marking milestones, reliving memories, and expressing one's personality and tastes. America's favorite cookie, the chocolate chip, made an appearance in this 1987 Christmas ornament--a tasty hit not only with humans, but also with Hallmark’s cute "chocolate chip"munk.