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!


Directions for Ruth Wakefield's Nestle Toll House Cookies

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Gather all the ingredients for Nestle Tollhouse cookies according to the recipe.Mix flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl. Set the bowl to the side to use later.Cream two sticks of butter in a large bowl. I like to let the butter sit out at room temperature for a couple of hours before baking so that it creams perfectly.Add the brown sugar to the creamed butter.Add the white sugar to the creamed butter.Add two eggs to the butter and sugar batter.Now add 1 tsp. of vanilla extract. I prefer pure vanilla extract as opposed to vanilla flavoring.Slowly add the flour mixture to the larger bowl and stir until a nice cookie dough is formed.Now for the good part - Pour in the enitre 12 oz. bag of Nestle semi-sweet chocolate chips into the dough.Stir the chocolate chips until they are evenly spread throughout.Drop dough balls onto a cookie sheet and bake at 375 degrees for 9-11 minutes. I like to alternate dough on the sheet in rows of 2 and 3 so they don't melt into each other.After cooling on a cooling rack for several minutes, warm Nestle Tollhouse cookies are ready to eat!If you have made way more than you want to eat, then either freeze dough balls or baked cookies with a vacuum sealing system like a FoodSaver. See directions for how to use a FoodSaver in the next set of photos.
Gather all the ingredients for Nestle Tollhouse cookies according to the recipe.
Gather all the ingredients for Nestle Tollhouse cookies according to the recipe. | Source
Mix flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl. Set the bowl to the side to use later.
Mix flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl. Set the bowl to the side to use later. | Source
Cream two sticks of butter in a large bowl. I like to let the butter sit out at room temperature for a couple of hours before baking so that it creams perfectly.
Cream two sticks of butter in a large bowl. I like to let the butter sit out at room temperature for a couple of hours before baking so that it creams perfectly. | Source
Add the brown sugar to the creamed butter.
Add the brown sugar to the creamed butter. | Source
Add the white sugar to the creamed butter.
Add the white sugar to the creamed butter. | Source
Add two eggs to the butter and sugar batter.
Add two eggs to the butter and sugar batter. | Source
Now add 1 tsp. of vanilla extract. I prefer pure vanilla extract as opposed to vanilla flavoring.
Now add 1 tsp. of vanilla extract. I prefer pure vanilla extract as opposed to vanilla flavoring. | Source
Slowly add the flour mixture to the larger bowl and stir until a nice cookie dough is formed.
Slowly add the flour mixture to the larger bowl and stir until a nice cookie dough is formed. | Source
Now for the good part - Pour in the enitre 12 oz. bag of Nestle semi-sweet chocolate chips into the dough.
Now for the good part - Pour in the enitre 12 oz. bag of Nestle semi-sweet chocolate chips into the dough. | Source
Stir the chocolate chips until they are evenly spread throughout.
Stir the chocolate chips until they are evenly spread throughout. | Source
Drop dough balls onto a cookie sheet and bake at 375 degrees for 9-11 minutes. I like to alternate dough on the sheet in rows of 2 and 3 so they don't melt into each other.
Drop dough balls onto a cookie sheet and bake at 375 degrees for 9-11 minutes. I like to alternate dough on the sheet in rows of 2 and 3 so they don't melt into each other. | Source
After cooling on a cooling rack for several minutes, warm Nestle Tollhouse cookies are ready to eat!
After cooling on a cooling rack for several minutes, warm Nestle Tollhouse cookies are ready to eat! | Source
If you have made way more than you want to eat, then either freeze dough balls or baked cookies with a vacuum sealing system like a FoodSaver. See directions for how to use a FoodSaver in the next set of photos.
If you have made way more than you want to eat, then either freeze dough balls or baked cookies with a vacuum sealing system like a FoodSaver. See directions for how to use a FoodSaver in the next set of photos. | Source

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




How to use a FoodSaver to make frozen chocolate chip cookie dough balls

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.


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

A FoodSaver is a fun way to save frozen cookie dough balls and already-baked homemade cookies to eat and enjoy later.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Put chocolate chip cookie dough balls on a plate lined with parchment paper if you have any (for easy removal) and put in the freezer for about 20 minutes before sealing them.Cut a FoodSaver bag to the appropriate size or use a pre-made size and add an appropriate amount of cookie dough balls. I like to package them in groups of 8-10.Notice how the FoodSaver removes all the air.  This will  prevent freezer burn and lock in flavor.Take a permanent marker and write the date you sealed the cookies, and the baking temperature and time. Put the bag in the freezer. When baking the cookies, first put the dough on a cookie sheet at room temperature for about 30 minutes prior to oven.You can also seal baked cookies too. After baking them in the oven, make sure the cookies cool off and firm up before sealing.Notice how once again the air is locked out and the flavor is sealed in. This package can be frozen or stored in the pantry.
Put chocolate chip cookie dough balls on a plate lined with parchment paper if you have any (for easy removal) and put in the freezer for about 20 minutes before sealing them.
Put chocolate chip cookie dough balls on a plate lined with parchment paper if you have any (for easy removal) and put in the freezer for about 20 minutes before sealing them. | Source
Cut a FoodSaver bag to the appropriate size or use a pre-made size and add an appropriate amount of cookie dough balls. I like to package them in groups of 8-10.
Cut a FoodSaver bag to the appropriate size or use a pre-made size and add an appropriate amount of cookie dough balls. I like to package them in groups of 8-10. | Source
Notice how the FoodSaver removes all the air.  This will  prevent freezer burn and lock in flavor.
Notice how the FoodSaver removes all the air. This will prevent freezer burn and lock in flavor. | Source
Take a permanent marker and write the date you sealed the cookies, and the baking temperature and time. Put the bag in the freezer. When baking the cookies, first put the dough on a cookie sheet at room temperature for about 30 minutes prior to oven.
Take a permanent marker and write the date you sealed the cookies, and the baking temperature and time. Put the bag in the freezer. When baking the cookies, first put the dough on a cookie sheet at room temperature for about 30 minutes prior to oven. | Source
You can also seal baked cookies too. After baking them in the oven, make sure the cookies cool off and firm up before sealing.
You can also seal baked cookies too. After baking them in the oven, make sure the cookies cool off and firm up before sealing. | Source
Notice how once again the air is locked out and the flavor is sealed in. This package can be frozen or stored in the pantry.
Notice how once again the air is locked out and the flavor is sealed in. This package can be frozen or stored in the pantry. | Source

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

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

"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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Comments 22 comments

WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

The best cookie recipe ever!

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


ktrapp profile image

ktrapp 5 years ago from Illinois Author

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 profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

I missed the thumbnails! Sorry.

Great Hub!


karwoo profile image

karwoo 5 years ago from Lake Stevens

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


ktrapp profile image

ktrapp 5 years ago from Illinois Author

WillStarr - Not a problem :)

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


livelonger profile image

livelonger 5 years ago from San Francisco

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.


ktrapp profile image

ktrapp 5 years ago from Illinois Author

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.


blog8withJ 5 years ago

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.


ktrapp profile image

ktrapp 5 years ago from Illinois Author

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!


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 5 years ago from Bend, Oregon

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


ktrapp profile image

ktrapp 5 years ago from Illinois Author

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.


prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 5 years ago from malang-indonesia

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

Prasetio


ktrapp profile image

ktrapp 5 years ago from Illinois Author

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


Rosie2010 profile image

Rosie2010 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

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,

Rosie


ktrapp profile image

ktrapp 5 years ago from Illinois Author

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.


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 5 years ago from Nashville Tn.

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!


ktrapp profile image

ktrapp 5 years ago from Illinois Author

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.


RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

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... :)


ktrapp profile image

ktrapp 5 years ago from Illinois Author

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 profile image

RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

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


ktrapp profile image

ktrapp 4 years ago from Illinois Author

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


Qmarpat profile image

Qmarpat 23 months ago from Northern,California

Good looking cookies!

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