Chocolate chips are small chunks of chocolate. They are often
sold in a round, flat-bottomed teardrop shape. They are
available in numerous sizes, from large to miniature, but are
usually around 1 cm in diameter. Many sizes are available
depending on preference.
Chocolate chips are a required
ingredient in chocolate chip cookies, which were invented in
1933 when Ruth Graves Wakefield of the Toll House Inn in the
town of Whitman, Massachusetts added cut-up chunks of a
semi-sweet Nestle chocolate bar to a cookie recipe. The cookies
were a huge success, and Wakefield reached an agreement with
Nestle to add her recipe to the chocolate bar's packaging in
exchange for a lifetime supply of chocolate.
Initially, Nestle included a small chopping tool with the
chocolate bars, but in 1939 they started selling the chocolate
is named for the inn.
Types of chips
Originally, chocolate chips
were made of semi-sweet chocolate, but today there are many
flavors. These include bittersweet chocolate chips, peanut
butter chips, butterscotch chips, mint chocolate chips, white
chocolate chips, dark chocolate chips, milk chocolate chips, and
white and dark swirled chocolate chips.
Chocolate chips can be used in cookies,
pancakes, waffles, cakes, pudding, muffins, crepes, pies, hot
chocolate, and various types of pastry. They are also found in
many other retail food products such as granola bars, ice cream,
and trail mix.
Chocolate chips can also be melted and used in sauces and other
recipes. The chips melt best at temperatures between 104 and
113°F (40 and 45°C). The melting process starts at around 90°F
when the cocoa butter in the chips starts to heat. The cooking
temperature must never exceed 115°F (for milk and white) or
120°F (for dark) or the chocolate will burn.
Although convenient, melted chocolate chips are not always
recommended as a substitute for melted baking chocolate. Because
most chocolate chips are designed to retain their shape when
baking, they contain less cocoa butter than baking chocolate.
This can make them more difficult to work with in melted form.
Today, chocolate chips are very
popular as a baking ingredient in the United States and the
chocolate chip cookie is regarded as a quintessential American
dessert. Chocolate chips are also available in Europe,
Australia, and other parts of the world. Nestle and The Hershey
Company are among the top producers of chocolate chips.