I Like It Raw

The Cookie Dough Café Is Here to Enable Your Secret Shame

What you need when you're not even pretending to make cookies.

By Joanna O'Leary June 6, 2017

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Here's a sentence I never expected to write: That SNL commercial hit a little too close to home. 

I'm specifically referring to the “Gatorade Cookie Dough Sport” parody in which Will Ferrell, Tim Meadows, and other not-so-ready-for-primetime-players chug raw chocolate chip cookie dough to refresh themselves during intense workouts and athletic matches.  When it first aired in 1997, my then 16-year-old self barely managed to utter a hollow laugh to mask my shame. While most (normal) viewers reacted to the hyperbole with a combination of humor and horror, I, on the other hand, felt my mouth water.  

Yes, I know liking raw cookie dough is far from absurd. Licking the spoon or beater in the process of making cookies is par for the course, and there's obviously a large market for cookie dough ice cream. But I really like it. So much that when I was growing up I would regularly pretend to make chocolate chip cookies just to have dough on hand that I would eat later in secret. In a bowl. With a spoon. Often after ballet rehearsals. (So you can see why the commercial resonated.)

I knew the risks, for the very first time my mom led me step by step through the Tollhouse recipe, she also included a dire warning about the dangers of consuming raw eggs. I remember thinking 1) How odd it is that salmonella is contracted through eggs, not fish 2) I do not give a ****. Raw cookie dough would be worth the runs. (I assume, having [knock on wood], never contracted said illness due to my predilection.)

I still love eating raw cookie dough, and of course, I could simply omit eggs and therefore eliminate the risk, but I want to be able to use the dough to make maybe one or two cookies if I feel like it, which I sometimes do.  And, recently, in what has been a series of revelations throughout my thirties that should be titled “You are not alone in your [insert weird habit/obsession here]”, I discovered other people also consider raw cookie dough a perfectly acceptable snack.

The proof: The bourgeoning presence of the Cookie Dough's Café's products in supermarkets, including multiple Randall's locations in Houston. Like most "cafés" (not), The Cookie Dough Café makes different flavors of gourmet dough designed to be consumed as is. “Eat It, Don't Bake It” is their motto, and as you might guess, they don't use eggs in order to save themselves from pesky lawsuits.

I was overjoyed to see my local Randall's had both chocolate chip and “Monster” varieties, the latter of which is a verging-on-cloying combination of peanut butter dough, chocolate chips, oats and M&Ms. I was less overjoyed a small jar would set me back $8.  Curiosity and perhaps the self-satisfaction of knowing the universe was somehow sanctioning my love of raw dough compelled me to purchase a tub. "Grab a spoon and dig in!," proclaimed the label, so I did.

The first spoonful was thick, buttery and amply studded with candy, chocolate, and oats. I could taste not only the strong legume notes but also the saltier tones of the dough's butter base.  Subsequent spoonfuls revealed a lovely contrast between rough chunks of chocolate, textured oats and smooth peanut butter that had me digging further into the tub, and reassuring myself, "Hey, if it's a thing to eat a whole tub of Ben & Jerry's, it can be a thing to eat an entire tub of cookie dough." Ultimately, the richness got the best of me and I was forced to abandon the remaining half. However, it was a defeat that left me without a stomachache and with $4 worth of dough to enjoy at a later date. 

If you, like me, are devoted to your dough, both literally and figuratively, then you're better off making your own cookie dough at home. The Cookie Dough Cafe is nevertheless a great option for the flush with cash and lazy.

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