National Chocolate Chip Day?

I heard someone on the radio mention this morning that today is National Chocolate Chip Day. I looked it up later and some sites say chocolate chip day is May 15. But some say today.

It doesn’t matter, does it? I thought every day was chocolate chip day. Americans seem to have a special love for these tiny chunks of chopped up chocolate, Maybe because of the amazing popularity of chocolate chip cookies, which are a true American creation — by Ruth Wakefield at the Toll House Inn in Massachusetts, in 1930.

There are more recipes for Chocolate Chip Cookies than there are cacti in the desert. Here’s my version, (called Grand Finale Cookies) which you can find in my book, Hip Kosher, if you have a copy. 

I also throw quite a load of chocolate chips into this recipe for Banana Bread.

And lots of other recipes too.

I always thought of chocolate chips as a baking ingredient and so I store them with all the other baking stuff like flour and vanilla extract. I prefer Ghirardelli to the more popular brand; the chocolate is much better quality and tastes deeper and richer.

But my father used to add chocolate chips to hot cereal when I was a kid, as an inducement to eat breakfast. And My husband Ed thinks they are candy. There have been more than a few occasions on which he ate a bagful. Okay, maybe only half a bagful.

Chocolate chips are amazingly useful of course, beyond cookies and banana bread, or as a breakfast enhancement or TV candy. One good thing is that because they are already small, they melt easily, so you can use them for cooked dessert sauces and frostings without worrying that the chocolate will burn. 

One of the easiest chocolate chips recipes is this one, for “dipping sauce” or coating that you can use as a dip for strawberries, macaroons, cookies, candied orange peel and so on. So, so simple:

Chocolate Coating

1 cup chocolate chips

1 tablespoon vegetable shortening

Melt the chips and vegetable shortening together in the top part of a double boiler over barely simmering water. Stir until well blended and remove from the heat. Makes about 3/4 cup