Ruth Graves Wakefield – One Smart Cookie

15 May
The Mother of Chocolate Chip Cookies

The Mother of Chocolate Chip Cookies

chocolate chip cookies

Hello SK fans,

We were all set to post something serious today, when one of My Pub’s besties stopped by her work with a gift of homemade chocolate chip cookies.

“Happy National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day,” the bestie announced with a huge smile.

Chocolate chip cookies have their own holiday? Who knew? My Pub was caught unawares.

This did not prevent her from enjoying the sweets.

It also generated conversation, in which many joined in (chocolate-chip cookies draw a crowd) and an interesting post for SK.

While we all love chocolate chip cookies, and everyone My Pub shared one with today has made probably thousands of batches over the years, and we know they were invented in error by a Massachusetts woman, none of us knew her name.

The name of this unsung warrior is Ruth Graves Wakefield.

Ruth owned the Toll House Inn with her husband in Whitman, Mass back in the 1930s. She was locally known for her desserts. Ruth did all the cooking for guests and one day, while preparing her favorite chocolate cookie recipe, realized she was out of baker’s chocolate – a very important ingredient for chocolate cookies.

As a last-minute substitute she grabbed a Nestle semi-sweet chocolate bar. She broke it into chunks, hoping the chunks would melt throughout the batter and no one would be the wiser.

We all know the end to this story. The chunks did not melt. Everyone fell in love with Ruth’s sweet creation, and Nestle asked to buy her recipe. She sold the recipe for a small sum and a lifetime supply of Nestle chocolate chips. As a bonus, Nestle promised to publish Ruth’s recipe on the package back of every bag of chocolate chips.

While some economists and financial types may not agree, we think Ruth made out on the deal. In fact, we want the name of the person who negotiated it for her. A lifetime supply of chocolate chips would make My Pub very happy.

Here are a few chocolate chip cookie facts for you to impress your friends with today:

  • The Toll House Chocolate Chip cookie is the official cookie of Massachusetts
  • It beat out the Fig Newton
  • Everyone has baked at least one batch of chocolate chip cookies
  • No one has ever baked a batch of Fig Newtons
  • Why would anyone bake a batch of Fig Newtons
  • Everyone loves chocolate chip cookies
  • No one loves Fig Newtons
  • Once in the late 1960s, in the basement cafeteria of the Immaculate Conception School (now luxury condos) a boy told My Pub that Fig Newtons were stuffed with dead worms
  • She believed him
  • She has not eaten a Fig Newton since
  • She is not missing much
  • She’s going to go back to eating her gifted chocolate chip cookies
  • She hopes you all have a wonderful National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day
  • Remember to remember Ruth Graves Wakefield, who made this day possible
  • Ruth cashed in her chips in 1977
  • We are not sure to whom she bequeathed her lifetime supply of chocolate chips
  • We know it wasn’t us

xo, LMA

9 Responses to “Ruth Graves Wakefield – One Smart Cookie”

  1. roughwighting May 16, 2014 at 8:56 am #

    Sweet, rich, and perfect – your post, just like a good chocolate chip cookie. None of us knew about Ruth, which is a disservice, since as you say, everyone at least in the U.S. has baked at least one batch of her cookies. I think Nestle should have named them “Ruth’s Chips” and “Ruth’s Tollhouse Cookies.” That’s what I think.

    • Louisa May Alcatt May 16, 2014 at 9:17 am #

      We think you’re right. What better way to honor the woman whose brilliance continues to bring happiness all over the world. Ruth’s Chips it is! xo LMA

  2. Bruce Thiesen May 16, 2014 at 9:08 am #

    When chocolate chip cookies are just out of the oven, there’s plenty of time for a “serious” blog later.

  3. sued51 May 17, 2014 at 7:48 am #

    Thank you LMA. I didn’t know her name though I live a couple of miles from the Toll House Sign commemorating the cookie (I agree with Roughwighting, should have Ruth’s name somewhere!). I will take a picture when I pass it…maybe do a wordless wednesday and link here…since the sign is in between a Wendy’s and a Walgreens…

  4. soonie2 May 18, 2014 at 3:41 pm #

    All I can say is thank god for Ruth!

  5. V.E.G. July 21, 2014 at 5:31 pm #

    There is a hero hailed from Pennsylvania: Gerald Eugene Read. Read died saving others to remember him, eat some Chocolate Chip Cookies.


  1. Love and commitment are not up for public opinion | Suffragette Kitty - May 17, 2014

    […] happenings here in Massachusetts, now that the crumbs of National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day have settled […]

  2. Wordless Wednesday: Bad Directions? | Last Train to QVille - May 21, 2014

    […] Not really…the sign was left as a historical marker. But it is an odd juxtaposition, don’t you think? A shoutout to Suffragette Kitty for giving me the idea for this photo… […]

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