Monday, May 15, 2006

Chocolate Chip Day, May 15th

C is for cookie... and Chocolate Chip is the best (except for when I am in a Ginger Snap mood).

I am a nerd. I love to read about where things come from and why we have them. My mom always told me that broccoli was a modern American invention, but just now I found out that isn't true. According to this website, Thomas Jefferson grew broccoli in his garden. This timeline states that broccoli wasn't introduced to the United States until 1928, (I assume they mean widely introduced) seven years after Wonderbread. Which just seems wrong if broccoli had been around all that time.

But, I digress. It's Chocolate Chip Day, and I should be talking about the origins of the Chocolate Chip. So what makes chocolate chips different from pieces of chocolate candy bar? Chocolate chips have less cocoa butter than other forms of chocolate. Less cocoa butter helps them maintain their shape and texture while in the oven. (The Joy of Baking)

The most famous of all chocolate chip brands are Nestle Toll House. Nestle Toll House Chocolate Morsels are named so because of Ruth Wakefield, who with her husband, owned a lodge called the Toll House Inn. She made a batch of cookies, called Butter Drop Do, and added the pieces of a Nestle Chocolate Bar with the hopes that the chocolate would melt into the dough of the cookie. It didn't, but she was happy with the results none the less, and soon the news of the new cookie spread back to Nestle, who in 1939 began offering pre-packaged chocolate chips for people to use in their recipes.

Many people have different ideas about how to make a good thing like a chocolate chip cookie even better. There are urban legends about $250 recipes, people who just have magic when it comes to cookie making, and others who recommend melting the butter, or putting a scoop of sour cream into the dough. I, however, personally advocate pouring in the vanilla until it smells good (about a tablespoon or so) and only using Pure Vanilla Extract, and adding a teaspoon of water, and if the dough is too crumbly, adding an egg white.

I also recommend stoneware baking sheets, but not everyone likes them for cookies. In fact, Martha Stewart doesn't even list stoneware among her baking sheet recommendations.

Also, we wouldn't have Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream without the chocolate chip. Yeah for Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream!

(I am inches away from getting a cat today. I even have him picked out.)


edgy killer bunny said...

Don't do it. Just. Step. Away. From. The. Cat.

(Need further convincing? Edgy is horrifically allergic to cats.)

FoxyJ said...

Mmm, now I am craving chocolate chip cookies, cookie dough ice cream, and mint chip ice cream. I'm glad Master Fob made me brownies yesterday--they have chocolate chips in them.

Absent-minded Secretary said...

I should have given you some cookies to take home on Saturday, though it sounds like you had lots of treats anyway. :)