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Homemade Frozen Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough: The Toll House Story

An American classic: chocolate chip cookies

Learn the history behind this classic cookie, and how to safely save portions of it as frozen cookie dough balls.

Learn the history behind this classic cookie, and how to safely save portions of it as frozen cookie dough balls.

Keep homemade chocolate chip cookies from disappearing overnight!

If your home is anything like mine, then homemade chocolate chip cookies warm out of the oven are a favorite. The one and only problem I have with warm, buttery, melt-in-your mouth chocolate chip cookies is that they disappear way too quickly! Is that the case in your home -- you make a batch of soft chocolate chip cookies, more than your family really needs, and within a day somehow all 5-dozen or so are gone?

What is it about chocolate chip cookies that make them so popular? Why is it that Americans alone eat close to 7 billion of them each year? Well, like all good inventions, chocolate chip cookies were “invented” when a need met an opportunity, and Ruth Graves Wakefield is the person to whom all chocolate chip cookie lovers owe their deepest gratitude.

An American classic is born - homemade chocolate chip cookies

Ruth Graves Wakefield and her husband were the owners of an inn located midway between Boston and New Bedford, Massachusetts, The Toll House Inn, to be exact. Ruth cooked meals and desserts for her guests at this bed-and-breakfast during the 1930s. Locally, Ruth became known for her desserts, one of her favorites being, Butter Do Drop Cookies. They were a mix of buttery goodness and baker’s chocolate. But what could have been a “disastrous” day for Ruth in 1937, turned her into an American household legend.

You see, one day Ruth found herself without one of the key ingredients, baker's chocolate, for her favorite cookies. Cleverly, she decided to use a chopped up semi-sweet chocolate bar that was a gift from her friend Andrew Nestle. To her surprise, the chocolate did not melt completely, yet formed an extremely delicious cookie with partially melted bits of chocolate spread throughout; The Nestle Toll House Cookie was born!

Toll House recipe inventor and Nestle strike a delicious deal!

As the recipe was shared, Nestle noticed that sales of his chocolate bar increased. And like all good business people, Andrew and Ruth struck a deal: Ruth allowed Andrew to print her recipe on his chocolate packages in exchange for chocolate for a lifetime. To this day, Wakefield's recipe still appears on all packages of Nestle chocolate morsels and the Nestle company has adopted the tagline, "Good Food, Good Life." It's hard to argue with that. Nestle also claims that they provide, "warm and enjoyable moments for families across America." That sounds true to me too, but what about the rest of the world? Are they missing out? I hope not!

Toll House recipe

Today, the Nestle company not only sells a variety of chocolate products, but sells pre-made refrigerated cookie dough. Yet, nothing can compare to the taste of using Ruth Wakefield’s original Tollhouse cookie recipe:

  • 2 ¼ cups flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
  • ¾ cups granulated sugar
  • ¾ cups brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups (12 oz. package) of Nestle semi-sweet chocolate chips

The problem: The only problem with homemade chocolate chip cookies, as far as I can tell, is that they disappear way too fast. The recipe itself makes about five dozen cookies, yet that is probably way too many for most families to have at once. Sometimes, you just want a few warm cookies after a meal or when the kids come home from school. You may not want to deal with the irresistible temptation to eat homemade chocolate chip cookies for days to come.

The solution: Dig out your FoodSaver (if you have one) from the back of the cabinet and start using it to make a batch of Nestle Tollhouse cookies last longer. A FoodSaver is simply a vacuum sealer and any brand will do the job. It works by removing the air from specially-made plastic bags or containers, increasing the shelf, refrigerator, and freezer life of any food you choose to seal.

There are two ways to use a FoodSaver to save cookie dough or baked cookies for a later date:

  • Freeze cookie dough balls in packages of reasonable quantitites.
  • Freeze already-baked cookies in packages of reasonable quantities to warm in the microwave later.
Scroll to Continue


Click each photo below to read directions on how to freeze either homemade frozen cookie dough or already-baked cookies.

Using a FoodSaver extends the life of pantry, frozen and refrigerated foods.

Vacuum sealers, like FoodSaver, remove air by using special bags and containers. Flavor is trapped in and air is kept out.

 Ordinary StorageFoodSaver Storage

Pantry Foods such as Cookies

1-2 weeks

3-6 weeks

Frozen Foods like Bread & Cookies

6-12 months

1-3 years

Refrigerated Foods such as Cheese

1-2 weeks

4-8 months


"Toll House Tried and True Recipes" by Ruth Graves Wakefield

Ruth Graves Wakefield is best known for inventing the Toll House chocolate chip cookie, but she had many other recipes to share. In 1940 she published the cookbook, Toll House Tried and True Recipes. Her cookbook, which has seen at least thirty-nine editions, is still available for purchase today.


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Qmarpat from Northern,California on January 12, 2015:

Good looking cookies!

Kristin Trapp (author) from Illinois on December 29, 2011:

You're welcome TransferAmerica. Toll House chocolate chip cookies are the best!

RTalloni on October 11, 2011:

For us, self-control is the real issue, but I'm still loving the help you've come up with in this hub. :)

Kristin Trapp (author) from Illinois on October 11, 2011:

Hi RTalloni. It's always nice to have your own homemade cookie ready to bake, but what made me ever think to do this in the first place was to control the amount of cookies we eat. The Toll House recipe is so good that it's real easy to lose count of how many cookies you've eaten.

RTalloni on October 11, 2011:

Thanks for great tips on how to freeze this cookie dough. I like the idea so dough will be "on hand" for unexpected company, but also because it will help us control the amount of cookies that we eat... :)

Kristin Trapp (author) from Illinois on October 07, 2011:

I agree vocalcoach; you have to have use the Nestle morsels. Quite frankly, I don't even like the cookies with other brands of morsels. I have also used m&ms but what I did was add them in addition to the Nestle's chocolate. I do this a lot at Christmas time with the red and green m&ms. Thanks for stopping by and for voting.

Audrey Hunt from Pahrump NV on October 07, 2011:

Ohhhhhhhh Yuuummmmmmmy! This is my favorite cookie! Years ago I tried replacing the semi sweet morsels with m&ms - they were good, but nothing beats the toll house bitter-sweet morsels. Loved the history of the toll house cookie and Ruth Graves Wakefeld. I owe her many delicious memories. Bookmarking this and voted UP!

Kristin Trapp (author) from Illinois on October 05, 2011:

Nothing beats the original Toll house cookie recipe as far as I'm concerned, Rosie2010. I'm glad you like the freezing ideas. Thanks for the votes.

Rosie Rose from Toronto, Canada on October 05, 2011:

Wow, ktrapp, I will definitely try Ruth Wakefield's original Tollhouse cookie recipe. I love soft chocolate chip cookies.. I can eat and will eat a whole batch fresh from the oven. Your suggestions on freezing the dough and cookies are excellent ideas. Voted up and definitely useful!

Have a nice day,


Kristin Trapp (author) from Illinois on September 29, 2011:

Prasetio30, It's a great recipe and a classic for chocolate lovers. I'm sure your mom will like it too.

prasetio30 from malang-indonesia on September 29, 2011:

I love your recipe and I am chocolate lovers. As usual, I'll show this to my mom. Well done, my friend. Vote up!


Kristin Trapp (author) from Illinois on September 28, 2011:

Thanks Steph. Freezing really works out well and keeps everybody from over-eating something that is way too easy to over-eat.

I love the story of Ruth Wakefield. She was actually quite educated for her day and quite the business woman. I am wondering if her heirs still get free chocolate or if the lifetime agreement was just for her. I will have to check out your hub.

Stephanie Marshall from Bend, Oregon on September 28, 2011:

Super hub! I love the idea of freezing the dough and baking more cookies later. With 4 kids, chocolate chip cookies disappear quite quickly. Love the Toll House story too (I published a hub on the history of that cookie a few years ago) Classic! Best, Steph

Kristin Trapp (author) from Illinois on September 28, 2011:

blog8withJ - You haven't baked cookies before? Well, you've come to the right place. The toll house chocolate chip cookies are the best and so simple to make - just keep some for yourself too!

blog8withJ on September 28, 2011:

Make the goodness last....pretty impressive! I've been thinking of making cookies for a friend. And guess what? I haven't bake cookies before. If I will, I will use this article of urs as my guide.

Kristin Trapp (author) from Illinois on September 27, 2011:

Thanks livinglonger. Believe it or not sometimes I hide the bowl of chocolate chip cookie dough from my husband while I'm baking. I have been warning him about the dangers of salmonella poisoning (raw eggs) for more than a couple decades now, but it seems to be the one health risk he is willing to chance. I guess it's a case of where the benefit outweighs the risk.

Jason Menayan from San Francisco on September 27, 2011:

Nice! I will add that another problem is that the dough itself is so irresistibly delicious, that you can easily scarf down several lumps of it before the oven is done preheating! Thanks for the recipe and history/background - interesting and mouth-watering.

Kristin Trapp (author) from Illinois on September 27, 2011:

WillStarr - Not a problem :)

Karwoo - I like that: seek and devour. Very funny.

karwoo from Lake Stevens on September 27, 2011:

I got to say even with the food saver they would be gone in no time. I have the seek and devour family. :P

WillStarr from Phoenix, Arizona on September 27, 2011:

I missed the thumbnails! Sorry.

Great Hub!

Kristin Trapp (author) from Illinois on September 27, 2011:

It's definitely a classic. If you look at the very last photo thumbnail you can see baked cookies being sealed. I then like to freeze them (out of sight, out of mind) and then bring the cookies to room temp. or warm them up in the microwave.

WillStarr from Phoenix, Arizona on September 27, 2011:

The best cookie recipe ever!

Have you tried baking the cookies first and then freezing them?

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