Stumbling onto The Great American Chocolate Chip Cookie Book at a used book sale was a happy little accident. My personal option of this book may be a little biased because I LOVE chocolate chip cookies. They are a simple yet legendary dessert (when prepared properly, as this book covers). And like most recipes, even small changes can drastically change the outcome of the food. On top of that, there is a surprising amount of history behind the chocolate chip cookie stretching back decades.
Being a pseudo-cookbook, The Great American Chocolate Chip Cookie Book contains many different chocolate chip cookie recipes. Some of these are traditional recipes, like the Toll House cookie recipe that can be found on the back of any Toll House cookie package. Others are a bit more obscure, such as recipes that have won big chocolate chip cookie competitions across America over the last several decades. All-in-all the book features dozens of recipes for anyone with any level of interest in chocolate chip cookies to try.
While reading this book, I was surprised at the level of history behind the chocolate chip cookie. Ruth Graves Wakefield invented the cookie at the Toll House back in 1938. As the cookies became more popular, Nestlé began marketing them as the cookies used their chocolate. Originally, bits off chocolate were chipped off whole chocolate bars (“chocolate chips”) to make the cookies. Their popularity particularly soared during World War II when chocolate chip cookies were commonly sent overseas to US soldiers in care packages.
After soldiers returned home with a craving for chocolate chip cookies, more brands started to develop. Which makes sense, when you think about it. Picture the cookie section on the shelves at a grocery store. Ignore other types of cookies like Oreos and imagine all the different brands of chocolate chip cookies. Chips Ahoy, Keebler, Famous Amos, Mrs. Fields…the list goes on and on. Even within the same brand, original crunchy cookies and soft chewy cookies are usually both available. With so much history (and delicious recipes, so far I’ve tried 5), this book is a great read for any cookie connoisseur.