When Ruth Wakefield and her husband, Kenneth, started the Toll House restaurant in 1930 in Whitman, Massachusetts, they had no idea that their restaurant would become the birthplace of an American cultural icon: the chocolate chip cookie. The extremely popular Toll House restaurant was especially well-known for its desserts, one of the humbler of which was ice cream with a butterscotch nut cookie. Then sometime in the mid-1930s, Ruth Wakefield decided she wanted to try something a little different for that cookie—and what she came up with was the chocolate crunch cookie, the first chocolate chip cookie.
With its bits of Nestlé’s semi-sweet chocolate bar, the chocolate crunch cookie was a hit at the restaurant, and people began asking for the recipe. Soon, the cookie was being featured in newspaper columns and radio broadcasts. As sales of the cookie at the restaurant skyrocketed, so did sales of Nestlé’s semi-sweet chocolate bar when people began trying the recipe in their own kitchens.
Newspapers.com is full of articles and recipes documenting the history of the Toll House cookie. Be sure to check out these clippings:
- An early chocolate crunch cookie recipe, a transition recipe between the chocolate crunch cookie and the Toll House cookie, the classic Toll House cookie recipe, and the current recipe
- Later, more elaborate ads for Nestlé’s semi-sweet morsels, including these gems from 1948, 1954, and 1955