This is for my friends in the audience who bake cookies purely to eat spoonfuls of batter straight from the bowl. Meet Edible Cookie Dough. It’s 100% safe to eat, you can customize it every which way, and I lightened it up with everyday ingredients.
Eating cookie dough out of the bowl is a small pleasure in life and a serious perk of baking cookies from scratch. I grew up licking the beaters and have been known to intentionally leave streaks of cookie dough behind so that I can “clean” them up with my fingers prior to placing the mixing bowl in the sink to wash.
Which is why I found it odd when, a few years ago, I noticed a product called “edible cookie dough” being marketed in grocery stores as a stand-alone item. Something I’d considered a happy by-product of baking cookies—eating the dough—was being sold at a premium price.
Why, I wondered, would a person buy edible cookie dough from the grocery store when it’s so easy (and satisfying and much cheaper) to pilfer some away from a standard batch of Vegan Peanut Butter Cookies, Coconut Flour Cookies, Monster Cookies, or [insert your favorite cookie recipe here]?
I assumed it was mostly for convenience, with a side of appealing to more cautious consumers who aren’t willing to embrace eating raw eggs, the long-told reason I’ve heard (and ignored in small quantities) for avoiding eating raw cookie dough.
As it turns out, there’s more to the story. If you are the kind of person who thinks heaven is diving into a big bowl of cookie dough with a spoon, you’ll want to make sure you are eating cookie dough that was designed to be eaten that way and is safe.
Read on for the full explanation, or you can just skip right down to the recipe for a dreamy, homemade healthy edible cookie dough that you can feel fabulous about devouring with a spoon.
Risks to Eating Raw Cookie Dough
According to the CDC, it’s bad to eat raw cookie dough, at least in the case of most regular cookie recipes, for two main reasons.
- The first is raw eggs, which carry salmonella (a stomach-upsetting and potentially deadly bacteria). We’ve all heard this one.
- The second is raw flour, which can carry a variety of bad germs, including E. coli. This one was newer information to me!
As I mentioned, I live on the edge and sneak a few bites of raw cookie dough when I bake, but per the CDC that doesn’t lessen the risk. Also, I’m usually more interested in the finished cookie than I am in the dough anyway, so I’ve never felt the need to tuck in with an entire batch of raw cookie dough and a spoon.
If, however, you are one of those cookie-dough-loving people who really does bake cookies more for the dough than for the cookie itself, or if you are having a cookie dough craving and want a way to enjoy it safely, you can make cookie dough that’s safe to eat!
How to Make Healthy Edible Cookie Dough (The Safe Way)
Since the two items that make cookie dough unsafe to eat are raw flour and raw eggs, to make it safe, we need to eliminate these two items.
^^I KNOW. So smart. How did I get this job?
- Raw eggs are surprisingly easy to eliminate: leave them out! Eggs play a few roles in baked cookies. They add richness, moisten and bind the cookie dough, and make the cookies tender too.
Hmmmm, that all sounds important. How do we make edible cookie dough without eggs?
Since we’re making an eggless healthy cookie dough, we’ll need to replace them with a different ingredient that can play the role eggs usually do: making the dough decadent and moist, and holding it together.
Solution: PEANUT BUTTER.
Since peanut butter chocolate chip cookie dough was practically created to be eaten straight from the bowl, this is an easy and tasty decision.
Adding peanut butter also enables us to make this more of a healthy cookie dough recipe (more on that momentarily).
Next up in making this edible cookie dough safe to eat:
- Raw flour. Sorry buddy, you’ve got to go.
The trick here is to “cook” the flour by microwaving it, prior to adding it to the dough. In 90 seconds, the flour transitioned from raw to being heated to the recommended 160 degrees F and was safe to eat.
You can also cook raw flour in the oven to a safe temperature—I’ve included that method in the edible cookie dough recipe below as well.
If you prefer a) an edible cookie dough that can be baked OR b) are looking for a healthy edible cookie dough without flour, try my Chickpea Cookie Dough. This chickpea and oat-based healthy cookie dough can be baked into delicious cookies or enjoyed immediately with a spoon.
How to Make HEALTHY Edible Cookie Dough
Since this cookie dough was engineered to be eaten by the spoonful (and healthy desserts that satisfy are the name of the game around here), I took the liberty of lightening up the recipe with wholesome ingredients.
- Peanut Butter. This makes the cookie dough taste rich and satisfying, all while providing protein and healthy fats (as mentioned above, it’s also the reason we can get away with making this edible cookie dough without eggs).
- White Whole Wheat Flour. A pantry staple, this light and mild-tasting flour is 100% whole grain but tastes like regular all-purpose flour.
- Maple Syrup. A delicious and natural sweetener. I wasn’t able to come up with an edible cookie dough without brown sugar or granulated sugar that I was happy with, so you’ll still see a moderate touch of regular sugar the recipe too.
- Butter. This recipe does include some butter for true cookie batter flavor. If you wish to make edible cookie dough without butter (say you’d like it to be vegan cookie dough), I’d recommend a buttery vegan substitute like Earth Balance. Coconut oil will work in a pinch, but it won’t have as much flavor.
- Molasses. Not required, but it gives the dough a rich, edgy taste that I enjoyed.
- Vanilla Extract. I never can stop myself from using a heavy hand with this golden liquid. If you are out and craving cookie dough immediately, you can make this edible cookie dough without vanilla, though I find its natural sweetness and warmth worth adding (be sure to use pure vanilla extract, not imitation).
- Chocolate Chips. Do I even need to explain this? Surely my love is well established by now.
- Your Favorite Cookie Mix-Ins. Whatever you have in your pantry! Peanut butter chips, dried cranberries (or, gasp!, raisins), M&M candies, the works! Any mix-ins you love in your cookies are fair game for your cookie dough. Use this recipe as a start, then get creative.
- Cook your flour to 160 degrees F in the microwave or oven. Now your cookie dough will be safe to eat!
- Beat all the ingredients together except the flour, milk, and chocolate chips.
- Once the mixture is smooth, mix in the flour.
- Then, add the milk and fold in the chocolate chips (or other mix-ins of choice). Refrigerate until dough is set, then DIG IN!
How to Store and Freeze Cookie Dough
- To Store. Place the cookie dough in an airtight container (or hey, the bowl you made it in), and press a piece of plastic firmly over the top. Store it in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
- To Freeze. Store cookie dough in an airtight freezer-safe storage container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let thaw in the refrigerator before serving.
A Note on Serving Size
- This healthy edible cookie dough recipe yields about 1 1/3 cups, depending upon how crazy you decide to get with the mix-ins (I used 1/4 cup of mini chocolate chips). Feel free to scale it up to share or halve the recipe and call it edible cookie dough for two (or, erm, edible cookie dough for one).
- If you’re looking for healthy cookie dough bites, these No Bake Cookie Dough Protein Balls are a delicious treat. I think you could also roll this recipe into cookie dough balls if you are looking to portion it.
More Healthy No Bake Treats
- Vegan Protein Bars
- Vegan Cookie Dough Bars with Chocolate Chips
- Trail Mix Peanut Butter Granola Bars
- No Bake Pumpkin Energy Balls
- Healthy No Bake Cookies
Recommended Tools to Make Healthy Cookie Dough
- Stand Mixer. One of my favorite baking tools! You also can use a hand mixer.
- Instant Read Thermometer. Use this to ensure that your flour is safe to eat.
- Measuring Spoons. These are two-sided, so there are less dishes to wash.
While I will probably always fall in Camp Baked Cookie versus Camp Cookie Dough, I really did enjoy this edible cookie dough recipe.
One of the wonderful things about it (in addition to the fact that it makes cookie dough safe to eat) is the immediacy. Though it tastes best after it has refrigerated for an hour or two, a spoonful—or several spoonfuls—eaten directly from the bowl as soon as you finish stirring it together won’t disappoint. Eating dough from the bowl is baker’s prerogative after all!
Edible Cookie Dough
- 3/4 cup white whole wheat flour
- 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter or nut butter of choice
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature (use a nondairy vegan butter substitute to make vegan)
- 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon molasses optional
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened almond milk or milk of choice
- 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips dairy free if needed, or mix-ins of choice
Cook the Flour
- Option 1, Microwave: Place the flour in a microwave-safe bowl and heat in 30-second bursts, stirring between each, until the flour reaches at least 160 degrees F when checked in the center with an instant read thermometer. OR, cook via Option 2, Oven: Place a rack in the center of your oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Spread the flour onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes. To check for doneness, gather the flour into a mound and insert an instant read thermometer into the center; it should register at least 160 degrees F. If it doesn’t, spread out the flour back out and continue baking, rechecking the temperature every 3 to 5 minutes. Via either method: Let the flour cool completely to room temperature, about 30 minutes.
Make the Cookie Dough
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or a large mixing bowl, beat the peanut butter, butter, maple syrup, granulated sugar, vanilla, molasses, and salt on medium speed until the mixture is smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes.
- Add the cooked flour, then beat again on low speed just until the flour disappears, about 30 seconds. Beat in the almond milk. With a rubber spatula, stir in the chocolate chips. Cover with plastic and refrigerate 1 hour to allow the dough to set and the flavors to marry (feel free to sneak a few bites first). Enjoy!
- Refrigerate leftovers for 1 week or freeze for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
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