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It's National Chocolate Chip Day Today!

Try one of these great recipes to celebrate.

Looking for a reason to celebrate today, amid all this dreary weather? May 15th provides all sorts of opportunities! Not only is it National Sea Monkey Day and Relive Your Past Day, but it's also National Chocolate Chip Day today. (Like anyone needs a reason to eat chocolate?)

Chocolate chips are an essential ingredient in a wide range of tasty goods—from chocolate chip cookies to chocolate chip muffins. They got their start in the 1930s, when Ruth Graves Wakefield concocted the original chocolate chip cookie at her Toll House Inn in Whitman, Mass.

She had planned to bake chocolate cookies for her guests, but she didn't have enough baker's chocolate. As a result, she substituted a chopped up semi-sweet chocolate bar, discovering that the pieces didn't melt into the dough as she had thought they would.

Her cookies were wildly popular with guests and, before long, her recipe was published in a Boston newspaper. Wakefield passed away in 1977. Today, about one-fourth of all cookies baked in the United States are chocolate chip.

To celebrate National Chocolate Chip Day, buy a bag of chocolate chips at the grocery store and bake something scrumptious to share with family and friends.

Here are three recipes to get you started:

First, a recipe from www.allrecipes.com for the Best Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Second, a recipe from www.evilshenanigans.com for Chocolate Chip Cookie Brownies.

And, finally, the recipe below for Banana Chocolate Chip Bread.

Banana Chocolate Chip Bread
serves 16

1 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (4 ounces) finely chopped toasted walnuts
1 cup mashed bananas (about 2 medium)
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Adjust the rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 9 x 5 x 3-inch baking pan. Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a large bowl. Stir in the finely chopped walnuts. In another bowl combine the mashed bananas, eggs, buttermilk, oil and vanilla; add to the flour mixture. Stir just until combined; add chocolate chips. Pour batter into baking pan and bake for 60 to 90 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the bread comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes before inverting from pan. Cool on a wire rack. When completely cool, slice thinly.

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