Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by Giselle. Giselle Wonders, “Who invented chocolate chips?” Thanks for WONDERing with us, Giselle!

Ruth Wakefield invented the first chocolate chip cookie in 1937... by accident.

As the owner of the Toll House Inn, Ruth was responsible for preparing recipes and meals to serve to the guests. A trained dietitian, Ruth received rave reviews from guests who sampled her tasty desserts.

Ruth's favorite recipe was Butter Drop Do cookies. One afternoon, while preparing the cookies, Ruth discovered her pantry was lacking a necessary ingredient — baker's chocolate.

Instead of throwing out the batch of dough, Ruth decided to substitute a semisweet chocolate bar that she chopped into tiny bits. Much to her surprise, when she pulled the cookies from the oven, Ruth discovered the chocolate had not melted entirely like baker's chocolate.

Instead, the semisweet chocolate bits had only softened. And just like that, the first chocolate chip cookies were born.

Ruth called her new creation the Toll House Crunch cookie. The cookies became very popular — not only with guests at the inn but around the world.

Here are some more fun facts about chocolate chips:

  • One-fourth of all cookies baked in the United States are chocolate chip.
  • The chocolate chip cookie is the official state cookie of Massachusetts and Pennsylvania.
  • In the United Kingdom, the term “cookies" generally refers to chocolate chip cookies. All other varieties of cookies are called “biscuits."

Wonder What's Next?

In tomorrow’s Wonder, learn about an author who told his own story of survival.