Women Inventors, Ruth Wakefield
Sometimes the greatest inventions are the simplest ones. No one really thinks about where chocolate chip cookies first came from, we just don’t even think about a world when they didn’t always exist. But in 1930, Ruth Wakefield came up with the chocolate chip cookie, creating not just a wonderful treat beloved by children and adults the world over, but also an iconic symbol of comfort in simplicity.
Wakefield and her husband ran the Toll House Inn in Massachusetts, where Wakefield cooked all the meals and was particularly admired for her various desserts. She had been mixing a batch of cookies for her guests when she discovered that she was out of baker’s chocolate.
Wakefield substituted broken pieces of Nestle’s semi-sweet chocolate, expecting it to melt and absorb into the dough to create chocolate cookies, but instead she accidentally invented chocolate chip cookies. She contacted Nestlé and they struck a deal where the company would print her recipe on the cover of all their semi-sweet chocolate bars, and she would get a lifetime supply of chocolate.