Thursday, January 30, 2014

This Toll House Cookie Dropped

Photo courtesy of South Shore Regional School District

Cookies appear quite frequently on this blog. Especially chocolate chip cookies. But the picture above might be the first non-edible cookie you've seen here. While you can't eat this cookie, it's  still pretty sweet. 

It's a 6-foot-tall replica of the Toll House Cookie created by students in the metal fabrication and welding shop at South Shore Vocational Technical High School.

The replica was for the town of Whitman's First Night. I think the students did an awesome job! The giant Toll House Cookie was lowered by a 75-foot crane to bring in 2014. Once the cookie dropped, the fireworks started. A delicious way to begin the New Year!

Why have a ball drop, when you can drop a cookie? This was the first time that Whitman had a First Night celebration and Nestle helped fund the festivities.

In case your chocolate chip cookie history is slightly rusty, Whitman is the birthplace of the chocolate chip cookie aka "Toll House Cookie."

Born in 1905, Ruth Graves Wakefield was the woman behind the cookie. MIT's Inventor of the Week Archive and Famous Women Inventor's website both have nice write-ups about her.

With experience working as a dietician and food lecturer, Wakefield and her husband Kenneth purchased the Toll House Inn in 1930. Her cooking and baking were enjoyed by many in New England, but one of her favorite recipes was Butter Drop Do cookies.

Like many of us who bake, in the middle of preparing the cookies one day, she realized that she was out of a crucial ingredient. The chocolate! So, she improvised and cut up bits of a semi-sweet chocolate bar that had been given to her by Andrew Nestle. Yes, Nestle!

You've probably heard this part before. The chocolate bits did not melt like she had hoped. But these new cookies became very popular with her guests and as you can imagine, the sales of Nestle's semi-sweet chocolate bar increased. Nestle and Wakefield agreed that Nestle could print the "Toll House Cookie" recipe on its packages. Also, Wakefield received all the chocolate she could use for life.

In 1939, Nestle began selling Nestle Toll House Real Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels. I grew up not far from Whitman and when I was a kid, my mother brought me and my brother to the Toll House before it burned down in 1984. I wish I had taken pictures that I could use now. Ironically it burned down on New Year's Eve.

It's now 75 years since the invention of the chocolate chip cookie. In Massachusetts, we take great pride that it was invented here. The chocolate chip cookie is the official cookie of the commonwealth.

With the chocolate chip cookie's 75th birthday, it might be nice to celebrate it at home. So if you haven't baked them in a while, what better excuse is there than that? Just be sure not to drop any!


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Disclaimer: Nothing stated on Anali's First Amendment should be construed as legal advice. No attorney client relationships have been formed on this blog. © 2006-2016. Anali's First Amendment/Lisa C. Johnson. All rights reserved. Do not use writing or photographs without permission.