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America's Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

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One of the most delicious mistakes in American baking history was made in the 1930s by Ruth Wakefield at the Toll House Inn, a bed and breakfast she ran in Whitman, Mass. Intending to create a chocolate butter cookie for guests, Ms. Wakefield broke apart a semi-sweet Nestlé chocolate bar hoping the chocolate would dissolve into the batter. Instead, the chocolate pieces remained intact, creating the first incarnation of what we now know as the chocolate chip cookie, whether it's the six-ounce indulgence from New York's Levain Bakery, the soft oatmeal-chip concotion from the Bay Area's Sweet Adeline Bake Shop, or the toffee version from Marnee's in Maine.

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