Many accidental inventions have occurred in kitchens, including the invention of the tasty chocolate chip cookie.

Ruth Wakefield (1903-1977) and her husband owned the Toll House Inn, in Whitman, Massachusetts, in which they had a restaurant. Ruth did all the cooking and baking. There are different accounts of how she came up with the idea for a chocolate chip cookie. One version says that it was the result of an accident; she was making a batch of cookies for her guests and ran out of baking chocolate. She then took a NESTLÉ® chocolate bar, broke it into pieces and threw it into her batter, expecting the chocolate pieces to melt during baking. Instead, the chocolate held its shape.

Another version has her deliberately experimenting with ingredients. Here’s what she says : “We had been serving a thin butterscotch nut cookie with ice cream. Everybody seemed to love it, but I was trying to give them something different. So I came up with the Toll House cookie.”

In 1936, Ruth wrote a cookbook called “Toll House Tried and True Recipes.” In the 1938 edition, she included the recipe for the cookie. The recipe was then published in numerous newspapers. It was even featured in a 1939 Betty Crocker radio segment called “Famous Foods in Famous Eating Places.” NESTLÉ® met with Ruth when they saw that sales of its chocolate bars increased in Massachusetts. Ruth suggested that NESTLÉ® score their chocolate to make it easier to break into pieces.

In 1939, NESTLÉ® began to sell Toll House Real Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels with Ruth’s recipe on the back of the package.

Ruth Wakefield ad

Ruth Wakefield