Many people have fond childhood memories of stealing a bite of raw cookie dough while making a batch of cookies with friends and family.
Raw cookie dough, though delightfully delicious, is deceptively dangerous to eat — making it all the more tempting, of course!
Now, however, it seems that the forbidden fruit can and should be tasted. Nestlé has just launched pints of Toll House cookie dough, and it’s not meant to be baked at all but it should be eaten as is, straight from the container, just as our hearts have always desired.
The new edible dough will come in two flavors: Chocolate Chip and Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Monster. The latter even has M&M's swirled right into the dough.
Now available at Publix grocery stores, the dough will soon be available at select Meijer stores, as well as Walmart stores in the Southeast and regional grocery stores nationwide this summer. While the dough is not free of gluten (it contains wheat, dairy and soy), the regular Chocolate Chip version is free of preservatives and artificial colors. Each 12-ounce tub retails for about $5.
Nestle was quick to tease the news on social media.
While eating raw cookie dough straight off the spoon has always been tempting, it’s also known to be unhealthy and dangerous.
Over the years, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued multiple warnings that the consumption of uncooked dough can make people sick, both from the risks of getting salmonella found in raw eggs to the raw flour, which may have E. coli.
However, Nestle's new cookie dough does not contain any eggs and the flour has been "heat treated," a representative for the brand told TODAY Food via email.
Does that mean it's still totally safe to indulge in this eggless dough?
"While most people don’t contract [E. coli or salmonella] from eating raw dough, the risk is there and for some people these infections can be very dangerous," Nicole Beurkens, PhD, CNS, a board certified nutrition specialist, told TODAY. "A cookie dough made without raw eggs and with heat treated flour, which kills the bacteria, addresses these potential safety concerns, and is therefore safer to eat."
That doesn't mean it's all smooth sailing, though.
"While this product addresses safety concerns around eating raw cookie dough, consumers should consider other factors like sugar content and overall quality of ingredients when deciding whether to eat this type of product on a regular basis," said Beurkens. "Certainly, occasional indulgence in a sweet treat like cookie dough is appropriate, but items like this shouldn’t become a regular part of anyone’s diet."
A 2-tablespoon serving of Nestle's new dough has 140 calories and between 12-15 grams of sugar, so it should definitely be enjoyed in moderation. If you wouldn't eat more than four cookies at a time, it's best not to eat four large spoonfuls of dough, either.
This limited-edition Toll House cookie dough is not the first brand to break the raw dough barrier.
DO, a brick-and-mortar store in New York City, came on the scene a few years ago and was wildly popular for its plentiful dough flavors and toppings. More recently, The Cookie Dough Café released tubs of Oreo-flavored dough, which was made without eggs and utilized heat-treated flour, as well.