The Toll House Inn, which was situated on the highway between Boston and Cape Cod, was a regular stop for well-known residents, among them the Kennedy family, and was known for their excellent food, especially their desserts. Ruth Wakefield, along with her husband, featured good old home cooking, and Mrs. W. had a background in home economics, which she put to use daily in the Inn’s kitchen.
Since its humble beginnings from one simple recipe, an entire industry was spawned, with hundreds of variations and combinations. The Cookie Monster surely did his part to promote cookies to youngsters, notably the chocolate chip variety heading the list. A young entrepreneurial homemaker named Mrs. Fields sold pricey gourmet cookies throughout the country’s shopping malls. David’s Cookies and Famous Amos rode the wave during the explosion of cookie popularity, each featuring their unique version of the chocolate chip cookie. Online sales abound for these beloved treats, and dozens of brands line grocery store shelves along with a variety of chip flavors and sizes.
A recipe which even a young child or teenager can handle, pre-made dough can also be purchased, ready to bake, for those unwilling to start from scratch. What can compare to freshly baked cookies, and these top the hit parade in aroma and simplicity. Many future chefs and bakers cut their teeth on this favorite recipe, no doubt sneaking tastes of raw dough when mom wasn’t looking.
In the Northeast, Ruth Wakefield was a well-known cook and cookbook author and would undoubtedly have her own show on the Food Network were she alive today. And she wasn’t just a one-trick pony. But who would have thought a simple new cookie would secure her place in foodie history and be right up there with apple pie? An American original and not just for kids.