Ruth Wakefield, creator of chocolate chip cookies

Creator of the Chocolate Chip Cookie

Ruth Graves Wakefield invented the Toll House brand of chocolate chip cookies.

She graduated from the Framingham State Normal School Department of Household Arts in 1924. She worked as a dietitian and lectured on food until 1930 when she and her husband bought a tourist lodge in Whitman, Massachusetts. The tourist lodge was named the Toll House Inn.

Ruth cooked and served all the food for the meals served to the guests at the Inn and gained local notoriety for her deserts. One day while making cookies, she realized she was out of an ingredient for the recipe she was using. She had run out of baker's chocolate, so she substituted it with a semisweet chocolate bar from Nestle. However, unlike the baker's chocolate, the chopped up chocolate bar did not melt and mix into the batter like Ruth thought it would. The small pieces of chocolate only softened and the chocolate chip cookie was born.

It turned out that the chocolate bar Ruth used in her cookie mix had been a gift from Andrew Nestle of the Nestle Chocolate Company. As the Toll House chocolate chip cookie recipe became popular, sales of Nestle's semi-sweet chocolate bar increased. Ruth sold the chocolate chip cookie recipe Andrew Nestle, who then provided her with a lifetime supply of Nestle chocolate.

Nestle also printed the Toll House Cookie recipe every bag of Nestle chocolate chips sold in North America. Ruth died in 1977, and the Toll House Inn burned down New Year's Eve of 1984. Although there are many manufacturers of chocolate chips today, the agreement to publish the recipe of Ruth Graves Wakefield on the back of each Nestle Toll House chocolate bar package is still honored in the 21st century.

Picture with permission from Women Inventors