Your kids want to eat raw cookie dough. You want to eat raw cookie dough. And there’s no reason you shouldn’t—if you follow these tips to make your favorite recipe safe and no-bake.
Prevent Risky Business
There are two reasons the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises against consuming uncooked dough: raw eggs and raw flour. Raw, unpasteurized eggs carry the risk of Salmonella, which can cause food poisoning. Raw flour has been linked to E. coli bacteria; though it is rare, it can make you sick if you have contaminated flour.
Do Your Dough Differently
The good news is you can adapt your favorite cookie recipe—or try one of ours—to eliminate the risk of food-borne illness. Or, use our favorite recipe below.
1. Heat-treat your flour: Flour that has been cooked to a safe temperature is safe to eat. This generally happens when baking the whole cookie—but it’s just as safe to bake only the flour. You need your flour to reach a temperature of 160˚F to kill harmful bacteria. You can heat it in the microwave in a microwave-safe bowl in 30-second increments. Or you can spread a bit more than your recipe calls for (to account for loss when transferring) on a rimmed baking sheet and bake at 350˚F for about 5 minutes. If you have a silicone baking mat, it’s a good way to funnel the safe flour into your bowl. If not, a scraper is a handy way to move large amounts of flour without powdering your whole kitchen. Whichever method you choose, check the temperature with an instant-read digital thermometer, and let the flour cool to room temperature before incorporating into the dough.
2. Skip the eggs: For edible cookie dough, you really need only enough liquid to achieve the texture you prefer. So stir in a bit of milk or yogurt (plain, vanilla, coffee and coconut are good options). You can even use a flavored coffee creamer if that’s what you have on hand—just be sure to adjust the sugar in your recipe if needed. Start with a small amount, about a tablespoon per egg called for in the recipe; then mix in your flour and adjust with additional liquid to get the consistency you want. And while you’re leaving things out: Don’t bother with the baking soda or baking powder either. You’re not baking this dough, so you don’t need leavening agents. (Tip: If you love the results, make a note about how much and which kind of egg substitute you added; then you can make your recipe safe to eat raw anytime.)
Scoop or Top
There’s nothing wrong with eating your dough right out of the bowl, but you can also scoop it onto a cone or use it as a mix-in or topping for ice cream. If you manage to have leftovers, they’ll store for up to 5 days in the fridge in an airtight container. The dough will freeze well for months. You can shape it into a log and wrap it in parchment or waxed paper to thaw later for slices—be sure to store your wrapped log in an airtight, freezer-safe container. But you can also scoop individual portions onto a baking sheet, freeze them until solid and then seal them up so you can snag a few bites here and there.