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Nothing quite compares to a warm chocolate chip cookie and a cold glass of milk. A great American treat that has made its way all around the world, this cookie is the center of attention for National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day!

In the late 1930s, Ruth Wakefield was running the Toll House restaurant in Massachusetts when she developed her recipe for chocolate chip cookies. Meant to be a treat that would accompany ice cream, the cookies were originally made with chocolate that was hand cut into small chunks.

When the cookies became popular, Wakefield sold the recipe to the Nestle chocolate company in 1939. Nestle marketed their chocolate bars with Wakefield’s recipe on the back. Some of the packages even included a special chopper to make it easier to cut the chocolate into chunks!

Nestle first started making chocolate chips in 1941, so people no longer had to chop up their own chocolate. And instead of being chocolate chunks, the teardrop-like morsel shaped chocolate was incorporated into the cookies.

While chocolate chips are classically semi-sweet in flavor, they have gradually developed over time into other flavors, such as milk chocolate, dark chocolate and white chocolate. Butterscotch, caramel, cinnamon, peanut butter, peppermint, espresso, and even pink & blue striped “unicorn” chips.

Chocolate chip cookies recipes have continued to develop as an American tradition and have spread all over the world. Different variations of the recipe have grown, like making them with oatmeal to provide some additional nutrients, adding M&Ms to make “monster cookies”, or changing to white chocolate and cranberries for a unique holiday variety.

By the 1980s, the idea of eating unbaked chocolate chip cookie dough had developed. While there is some question about the health of this practice due to the raw eggs (depending on the recipe) cookie dough began appearing in other places–specifically ice cream.

The first appearance of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream can be traced back to Ben & Jerry’s Scoop Shop in Burlington, Vermont in 1984. It is believed to have been an anonymous suggestion from the shop’s suggestion board.

National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day Timeline

Late 1930s

Chocolate chip cookie is invented 

Ruth Wakefield, who runs the famous Toll House restaurant in Whitman, Massachusetts, USA, creates the chocolate chip cookie recipe.[1]


First recipe is published for Tollhouse cookies 

Appearing in Ruth Wakefield’s cookbook, Tried and True, the chocolate chip cookie requires chopping up the chocolate into small chunks.[2]


Nestle begins making chocolate chips

After purchasing the rights to Ruth Wakefield’s recipe to print on its chocolate bars, Nestle starts producing bags of chocolate chips.[3]


Chips Ahoy! chocolate chip cookies hit the shelves 

For busy moms, Chips Ahoy! creates this crunchy version of chocolate chip cookies. They were advertised “as good as homemade” – but obviously weren’t.[4]


Cookie Crisp cereal makes its debut 

Like a child’s dream, chocolate chip cookies are turned into breakfast cereal, marketed with the memorable jingle: “You can’t have cookies for breakfast, but you can have Cookie Crisp!”[5]

Enjoy celebrating National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day in a variety of ways, including ideas like these:

Eat Some Chocolate Chip Cookies

Those who have access to some freshly baked, homemade chocolate chip cookies from mom or grandma might just be winning. But even without these, it’s possible to celebrate National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day in style with a variety of options that can be purchased at a local bakery or grocery store.

Try out one of these varieties to get started:

  • Entenmann’s Original Recipe Chocolate Chip Cookies. Widely available throughout the United States, these little cookies are slightly soft, carefully mimicking the texture of a freshly baked batch. These mini cookies are great for enjoying a few at a time, and they can easily be tossed into the microwave for a few seconds to warm them up.
  • Chips Ahoy! Chocolate Chip Cookies. A crispy version of this classic cookie is well known and deeply-loved. Perfect for dunking in a glass of cold milk, they are available in many varieties, including original, chewy, chunky, peanut butter, brownie, white chocolate, thins, peppermint and many other seasonal options.
  • Pepperidge Farm Farmhouse Chocolate Chip Cookies. Thin and crispy, these appear to be like homemade cookies and the chips have a strong milk chocolate flavor. Also great for dipping in milk.

Make Chocolate Chip Cookies

A fairly simple recipe, a yummy batch of chocolate chip cookies can easily be made in under an hour. Cream together the butter and sugars (white and brown) with eggs and vanilla. Mix the dry ingredients, like flour, baking soda and salt. Then stir in chocolate chips.

Place spoonfuls of cookie dough onto baking sheets. Each pan will be ready in just 8-10 minutes. Of course this time seems like much longer when watching the pan in the oven and waiting for the mouth-watering treats to be ready to eat with a glass of milk! Don’t forget that cookies continue to bake on the pan so, for gooey chocolate chip cookies, remove them from the oven just a minute or two before they are actually completely done.

Enjoy Unique Versions of Chocolate Chip Cookies

Far from being limited to just the classic version of cookies that are dropped onto the pan, chocolate chip cookie recipes are super versatile. To start with, instead of baking them into individual cookies, they can be spread into a pan in the same way brownies are made, then sliced after baking to turn them into cookie bars.

Other alternatives for making chocolate chip cookies in celebration of National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day might include:

  • Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies. This alternative recipe adds ripe, mashed bananas and peanut butter chips to the mix to create a delicious and unique treat.
  • Caramel Pretzel Chocolate Chip Cookies. Using a regular chocolate chip cookie recipe, simply add caramel bits and broken pretzel sticks for sweet-and-salty heaven.
  • Brownie Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies. Make up a batch of boxed brownies following the directions. Cut off the edge pieces after they have cooled. Make up the chocolate chip cookie dough and place a brownie piece in the middle of each cookie. Bake and enjoy!
  • S’mores Chocolate Chip Cookies. Channeling their inner Girl Scout, these cookies have the flavor elements of that favorite outdoor, campfire treat, S’mores. Use a typical chocolate chip cookie recipe, then add crushed graham crackers, mini marshmallows and some Hershey’s chocolate chips or chunks.

Give Away Some Chocolate Chip Cookies

In honor of National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day, don’t forget that some of the most fun can be had when sharing! Whip up a batch and take them to work or order a giant, pizza style chocolate chip cookie to share at the office. Send a few packages of Chips Ahoy! to school with the kids. Or wrap up little packages of homemade cookies in a bow and take them around the neighborhood like a National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day fairy!

National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day FAQs

How many calories in a chocolate chip cookie?

The average, medium sized (3” diameter) chocolate chip cookie contains 148 calories.[1]

Who invented chocolate chip cookies?

Ruth Wakefield, the proprietor of Toll House Inn restaurant in Whitman, Massachusetts, created the recipe for chocolate chip cookies in the late 1930s.[2]

Are chocolate chip cookies healthy?

As a random treat every once in a while, chocolate chip cookies are okay. But, as with all sweets, they contain a lot of sugars, carbs and empty calories.

Do chocolate chip cookies go bad?

Nothing lasts forever! Homemade chocolate chip cookies have a shelf life of about 2-3 on the counter, 2 months in the refrigerator, or 8-12months in the freezer.[3]

Can chocolate chip cookies be frozen?

Yes! Chocolate chip cookies can last up to a year in the freezer.[4]

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