How to make edible cookie dough that's safe to eat raw

How to make edible cookie dough that's safe to eat raw
Edible cookie is made using heat-treated flour and pasteurized eggs, or no eggs at all. LauriPatterson/Getty Images
  • Edible cookie dough is made with pasteurized eggs (or none at all) and heat-treated the flour.
  • Heat-treat flour in the microwave or oven until it reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Explore different flavors like chocolate chip, snickerdoodle, and red velvet or mix in sprinkles.

Eating raw cookie dough is just about everyone's guilty pleasure, right? As tasty as it may be, though, it can also be dangerous because of potential bacteria from the raw egg and flour.

Homemade edible cookie dough is a delicious way to satisfy that craving without having to worry about getting sick - and it's easy to make at home. All it takes are a few modifications to a classic cookie dough recipe to make it safe to eat raw. Namely, you have to eliminate the eggs and heat-treat the flour to kill any harmful bacteria.

To get the inside scoop on all things edible cookie dough, Kristen Tomlan, founder and CEO of DŌ, Cookie Dough Confections, shares some of her favorite flavor ideas (with a few others sprinkled in), and heavenly ways to use edible cookie dough in your desserts.

Is raw cookie dough safe to eat?

Typically, Tomlan notes, regular cookie dough contains both raw eggs and flour, which could harbor harmful bacteria like salmonella and E. coli, making it unsafe to eat. Edible cookie dough, however, is safe to eat unbaked because it is made with a pasteurized egg or, in some cases, no egg at all, and heat-treated flour. Both ingredients have been properly treated to kill any bacteria.

Below, Tomlan shared her recipe for her signature chocolate chip cookie dough.


The ingredients

  • 2 ¼ cup heat-treated flour
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup pasteurized egg whites, at room temperature. (Pasteurized egg whites are recommended to get the full cookie dough effect, but they are optional. If you opt to leave them out, though, you won't be able to bake the dough later.)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips. (For other cookie dough flavors, swap out the chocolate chips for other add-ins like sprinkles, white chocolate chips, oatmeal, peanut butter, cocoa powder, or cinnamon.)

What else you need

  • Cooking thermometer
  • Pan or microwavable bowl
  • Mixing bowl and spoon
  • Hand mixer
  • Spatula
  • Measuring cups and spoons

How to make edible cookie dough

How to make edible cookie dough that's safe to eat raw
While you can include pasteurized egg whites in your edible cookie dough, they can also easily be left out of your recipe. sandoclr/Getty Images

  1. Heat-treat the flour. Heat your flower in the microwave or in the oven at 300 degrees Fahrenheit until your flour has reached 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Stir to ensure all of the flour has reached that temperature and not just the hottest spot. Check the temperature frequently as this process often goes quickly.

    If you're using the microwave, check the temperature of your flour at 30-second intervals. If you're using an oven, check at two-minute intervals. This will kill any harmful bacteria in your flour, making it safe to eat.
  2. Let the flour cool to room temperature. This usually takes about 30 minutes and the flour can be placed in the refrigerator to speed this step up a bit.
  3. Whisk together heat-treated flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt. Do so in a medium mixing bowl, then set aside.
  4. Beat the butter in a mixer. Beat the butter with a paddle attachment on medium speed for about two minutes until smooth and creamy.
  5. Add in sugars. Pour in granulated sugar and brown sugar and mix on medium speed for about four minutes until light and fluffy. Scrape the bowl with a rubber spatula so it doesn't stick.
  6. Mix in pasteurized egg whites and vanilla. Do so for about two minutes until everything is fully mixed.
  7. Split your flour mixture into two halves and add each separately. Start with half of your flour mixture, and mix for about 15 seconds on low until the flour disappears. Then pour the remaining half into the bowl and mix on low until fully combined. Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl to catch any excess, and mix once more for another 15 seconds.
  8. Fold in chocolate chips. Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in semi-sweet chocolate chips or any mix-ins you choose.
  9. Chill. Your mixture should look just like classic raw cookie dough when finished. Though it's safe to eat it right out of the bowl, it's even better chilled, so if you have the patience, pop it in the refrigerator for a bit and then enjoy.

Cookie dough flavor ideas

For the most part, edible cookie dough recipes will consist of the same ingredients mentioned above, but might call for a few add-ins depending on the flavor. To give you a taste of how you can get creative with your flavors, consider trying some of these simple yet delicious ideas.

FunfettiAlmond extract, sprinkles, white chocolate chips (optional)
OatmealHeat-treated oats, cinnamon, raisins (optional)
Peanut ButterPeanut butter
Red VelvetCocoa powder, red food coloring, heavy cream, white or milk chocolate chips (optional)
SnickerdoodleCinnamon, cinnamon sugar topping

How to use edible cookie dough

Though eating edible cookie dough straight is never a bad idea, you may want to sweeten it up a bit for a fancier dessert. Here are some ideas Tomlan loves:

  • Add it on top of your ice cream sundae or mix it into your ice cream.
  • Put it on top of a milkshake (or blend it in).
  • Use it as a filling for cupcakes.
  • Spoon it on top of pancakes.
  • Try it as a dip for other cookies or pretzels.
  • Dip edible cookie dough balls into melted chocolate to make truffles.
  • Use it as frosting.

What to do with leftovers

How to make edible cookie dough that's safe to eat raw
You can bake your edible cookie dough into cookies if you used pasteurized eggs in your recipe. LCBallard/Getty Images

What's more delicious than homemade edible cookie dough? The leftovers. Store your edible cookie dough in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days (for best taste) or keep it for months in the freezer.

If you end up deciding you're in the mood for a warm cookie, you can even bake your edible cookie dough if it was made with pasteurized eggs and/or, at the very least, baking soda, like Tomlan's recipe above. This is because these ingredients are key to achieving the consistency you want for a freshly baked cookie. Without them, your cookies may bake a little flat and lack chewiness.


Insider's takeaway

With a handful of ingredients, some time, and a few basic kitchen tools, making edible cookie dough is a fairly simple task that doesn't take much time to complete. Arguably the trickiest part of the process is heat-treating your flour to kill any bacteria, but even that is simple (though a bit tedious). As an even easier alternative, there's always the option to buy flour that's already been heat-treated.

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