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  • Writer's pictureThe Bendy Baker

The Classic Charm of Chocolate Chip Cookies, Revisited

Who can resist the comforting aroma of freshly baked cookies wafting through the kitchen? Among so many cookie varieties out there, chocolate chip cookies stand out as a timeless classic. What is it that makes these cookies so iconic?

The Origins of a Timeless Treat

Like all good legends, there are contradictions and colorful inconsistencies; the cookie was discovered by a happy accident, the "chipped" chocolate fell into the batter, the chocolate was intentionally added with the expectation that it would melt and create a chocolate cookie.

What is true is that chipped chocolate was fairly commonly being folded into baked goods in the early 1930s. It was Ruth Wakefield who made the eponymous American cookie famous, though, and it was not by accident.

Ruth was a formally educated dietician and chef. She and her husband owned the Toll House Inn in Whitman Massachusetts. The inn already had developed a reputation for its delicious baked goods and Ruth wanted to give her guests something different than her much-enjoyed butterscotch wafers. So she added chipped chunks of a Nestle chocolate bar into her butter cookie dough. Their popularity at the inn grew and Ruth eventually published the recipe in her first cookbook, calling it “Toll House Chocolate Crunch Cookies.” The originals were thin and crispy, unlike the gooey cookies we more often see today.

According to the "Gastropod" podcast's Cynthia Graber and Nicola Twilley,

As the recipe spread, Nestle began seeing sales of their semi-sweet chocolate bar (which had to be manually chipped up into small pieces for the recipe — hence the name “chocolate chips”) skyrocket. They approached Wakefield, who gave them permission to print her recipe on the bar wrapper as part of a promotional push to accompany the fourth edition of her iconic cookbook, the cookie recipe now renamed as “Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies.” Before too long, they also began manufacturing chocolate morsels, the little teardrop-shaped “chips” we all know and love. The chocolate chips, Wyman points out, is ”the only highly successful food product that was made just for a specific recipe.”

Versatility in Taste and Texture

Another aspect that makes chocolate chip cookies a classic is their versatility. Whether you prefer your cookies soft and chewy or crispy and crunchy, there is a chocolate chip cookie recipe out there to suit your taste. With different types of chocolate (dark, milk, or white), the options for customization are endless, allowing each version of cookies to be a unique culinary creation.

Why This Recipe

As I've noted many times in my various blog entries and recipes, texture can be lacking and challenging in gluten-free baking. This particular recipe employs a few techniques in combination to produce both great flavor and great texture. Whether you use gluten-free flour OR swap in equal amounts of your favorite all-purposed glutenous flour, these techniques will make a difference.

They are:

  1. Melted and browned butter

  2. Simple whisk and rest technique

  3. Chilling the dough

With all of this inspiration, maybe you too are motivated to give this recipe and try!

Happy Bendy Baking!


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