Nugget of Knowledge: Chocolate chip cookies

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Why don't chocolate chips melt when you bake them in cookies?

(WYTV) – There’s nothing quite like the smell of homemade chocolate chip cookies coming hot from the oven.

The cookies have been baking in an oven at 350 degrees, but the chocolate usually remain solid. Why?

The first chocolate chip cookie came from Kenneth and Ruth Wakefield, who were running the Toll House Inn near Whitman, Massachusetts in the 1930s. It was known for its home cooking.

Ruth set out to invent a new kind of cookie. She added chopped-up bits from a Nestle semi-sweet chocolate bar to cookie dough found what she wanted: the chips did not melt. They held firm, and the chocolate chip cookie was born.

The Toll House brand soon dominated the market, and Nestlé used the name for recipes and on packaging.

So why didn’t the chips melt?

They’re not supposed to.

Unlike baking chocolate, chocolate chips have less cocoa butter, which makes them more resistant to heat. Some chips also have soy to help keep their shape.

Some chips, such as Nestlé’s Morsels do melt when you bake them, but the cookie dough bakes firm around them and then the chips cool, they turn solid again, looking as though they never melted.

Back to Ruth Wakefield — she invented the chocolate chip cookie, but did she make any money from it?

The Nestle company paid her exactly $1 for the rights to the Toll House name in 1939. But Nestlé also gave a lifetime supply of their heat-resistant chocolate.

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