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Massachusetts has a glorious heritage, with important historical figures such as John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and Paul Revere.  Shots fired at Lexington and Concord in Massachusetts in 1775 initiated the American Revolution.  Great literary figures such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Emily Dickinson, Henry David Thoreau, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Herman Melville continue to inspire generations of thoughtful readers.  In addition, Massachusetts inventors gave us the lightening rod, bifocals, the game of basketball, and rubber tires.

No single Massachusetts invention, however, has touched more people’s lives in as satisfying a way as the state cookie of Massachusetts.

The chocolate chip cookie, aka. the [Nestle] Toll House Cookie, was invented in the 1930s (probably c.1938) at the Toll House Inn in Whitman, Massachusetts, by innkeeper Ruth Graves Wakefield.  Ruth was experimenting in her kitchen, and decided to take a bar of Nestle semi-sweet chocolate and break it into bits, mixing the bits into her cookie dough.  The result was a timeless concoction which spread well beyond the borders of the Bay State, particularly since, with Ruth’s permission, Nestle began to print the recipe on the wrappers of its chocolate bars and, since 1939, on bags of chocolate bits (calling them Toll House Morsels).

The original recipe in Ruth Wakefield’s Toll House Tried and True Recipes (appearing first in the 1938 edition) is called “Toll House Chocolate Crunch Cookies.”

The chocolate chip cookie was made the official cookie of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts by a law passed on July 9, 1997.  The delicious new law was cooked up by a third grade class from Somerset, and served to the people of Massachusetts by the legislature.

You may see a list of many more official Massachusetts state symbols, including the official song, bird, bean, reptile, and artist on a web page of the Secretary of State, or with pictures on the State Symbols of the USA website, and in chapter 2 of the Massachusetts General Laws.

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