Ruth Wakefield invented the first chocolate chip cookie in 1937… by accident.

As the owner of the Toll House Inn, Ruth was responsible for preparing recipes and meals to serve to the guests. A trained dietitian, Ruth received rave reviews from guests who sampled her tasty desserts.

Ruth’s favorite recipe was Butter Drop Do cookies. One afternoon, while preparing the cookies, Ruth discovered her pantry was lacking a necessary ingredient — baker’s chocolate.

Instead of throwing out the batch of dough, Ruth decided to substitute a semisweet chocolate bar that she chopped into tiny bits. Much to her surprise, when she pulled the cookies from the oven, Ruth discovered the chocolate had not melted entirely like baker’s chocolate.

Instead, the semisweet chocolate bits had only softened. And just like that, the first chocolate chip cookies were born.

Ruth called her new creation the Toll House Crunch cookie. The cookies became very popular — not only with guests at the inn but around the world.

Here are some more fun facts about chocolate chips:

  • One-fourth of all cookies baked in the United States are chocolate chip.
  • The chocolate chip cookie is the official state cookie of Massachusetts and Pennsylvania.
  • In the United Kingdom, the term “cookies” generally refers to chocolate chip cookies. All other varieties of cookies are called “biscuits.”

 

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  1. I love chocolate chip cookies and have fond memories of making them wth my grandmother. I actually thought she invented them, but now I know the truth! Thank you Wonderopolis for this great Wonder of the Day and bringing back some great memories!

    • We bet it was fun to learn to bake such sweet treats and spend some quality time with your aunt, Carmen! Brownies are so yummy! :-)

    • Don’t worry…we’ve “accidentally” ate a lot of chocolate chips before, too, Karen! They are so yummy! :-)

  2. I <3 chocolate chips!! I really like making chocolate chip cookies, and I think this is a great Wonder! Maybe you guys could create a Wonder about muffins sometime! Muffins are yummmmmy!!

  3. I love choclate chip cookies :) my recipe is fun and easy!!! You take all these things and mix them together, but put chocolate fudge with it them cook it (360 degress F) and when it’s done you put fudge and extra chocolate chips on it! :)

    • Wow! We think it’s super cool that you two know each other, Haley and Casey! We also think chocolate chip cookies are the perfect snack to share with your Wonder Friends! :-)

    • We think it’s GREAT to have a best friend, Casey, and we bet Haley is an AWESOME one! We’re happy that you both like to visit Wonderopolis and that you are Wonder Friends! :-)

  4. Hello Wonderopolis!

    I really enjoyed learning about this wonder! I didn’t know the chocolate cookie was invented by accident. I thought someone decided to put chocolate into a cookie, and made it a chocolate chip cookie. Many of the world’s greatest things were made by accident!

    I have a WONDER for you. Since cookies have obviously already been invented, when the chocolate chip cookie was, how were cookies in general invented?

    Some new vocabulary words I learned today are dietitian, and rave reviews!

    Thanks for the great discussions, topics, and best of all, WONDERS!

    Team Unger #1 :)

    • We love chocolate, too, Annie! In fact, we haven’t met very many Wonder Friends who don’t absolutely love it! Thanks for stopping by this Wonder and letting us know that you think it ROCKS! We appreciate hearing that! :-)

  5. This wonder was great because I love chocolate!
    I did not know that chocolate chip cookies were made by accident!

    • We thought that was cool to learn, also, Julie! We’re really thankful for that culinary accident, aren’t you? We LOVE chocolate chip cookies! :-)

    • Hi there Lexi! We’re glad you liked our chocolatey Wonder! We Wonder if you dad has a sweet tooth? :)

      Your friends at Wonderopolis are so glad you are WONDERing with us today– we hope to see you again soon! :)

    • We like your style, Koko#12! We are happy to celebrate Ruth now, and we sure are glad that chocolate chips are around for us to enjoy! :)

  6. Hey Wonderopolis,

    Chocolate chip cookies are awesome and my favorite!!! I would have never guessed that they were made by accident. I love Toll House cookies and I bake them all the time. Thanks for doing a blog about Chocolate Cookies!!!

    • Hooray! We’re so glad you love chocolate chip cookies as much as we do, Jess J! :) They are one of our favorites here at Wonderopolis! We SUPER happy to hear that you learned something new about those delicious treats! We bet you’re an excellent baker! :)

  7. I love chocolate. Have you ever tried baking a cake that had those coin candies on top. I have it is delicious. I am glad I found Wonderopolis so I can say what I think.

    • We have a sweet tooth every once in a while, Kaylee, just like you! We Wonder if you have baked your own cookies, or if you have a favorite flavor? :)

  8. I like chocolate. So did my cousin who is suffering from cancer right now. Wonderopolis wish the best for my little cousin William. He loved Wonderopolis.

    • Hey there, Wonder Friend Jordan! We are thinking of William, we hope he is doing well! Thanks for sharing your comment with us, Jordan. :)

  9. I love chocolate, so does my girlfriend. I am giving it to her for her birthday (it’s her favorite).

  10. I liked the article, but the video didn’t make to much sense because it was titled Who Invented Chocolate Chips and it was about cookies.

    • Hi Noah, thanks for sharing your comment with us today! We are glad you liked our Wonder article, and we hope you will continue to Wonder with us! We Wonder if you’ve ever eaten chocolate chip cookies before? YUM! :)

  11. I love chocolate chip cookies and have fond memories of making them wth my grandmother. I actually thought she invented them, but now I know the truth! Thank you Wonderopolis for this great Wonder of the Day and bringing back some great memories and I really enjoyed learning about this wonder! I didn’t know the chocolate cookie was invented by accident. I thought someone decided to put chocolate into a cookie, and made it a chocolate chip cookie. It also reminds me when I accidentally ate all of the chocolate chip cookies.

    • Baking cookies with your grandmother sounds like a WONDERful memory, Katelyn! We also love chocolate chip cookies, and we’re pretty sure we could accidentally eat them all, too! Thanks for sharing and WONDERing with us today! :-)

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Have you ever wondered…

  • Who invented the chocolate chip cookie?
  • Are chocolate chip cookies the most popular cookie?
  • How do you make chocolate chip cookies?

Wonder Gallery

Wonder #33 - Chocolate Chip Static ImageVimeo Video

Try It Out

The holidays may be the most popular time to bake cookies at home, but chocolate chip cookies are popular no matter what the season. Ready to do some baking?

Grab your apron and pop on your chef’s hat! Try your hand at Ruth’s original recipe. These cookies are still just as delicious now as they were in 1937.

 

Still Wondering

Discover how temperature plays an important role in melting and cooling chocolate in this tool from Science NetLinks.

 

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