Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Cookie Dough

I suppose it's the season, with so many people baking cookies and all, but it seems like there's been an alarming rise in the number of alarmist articles about the dangers of eating uncooked cookie dough (at least if it's made with eggs). Now, of course, this is sound medical and/or nutritional advice that I've been steadfastly ignoring for the better part of forty years.

When I was a kid growing up, my parents would engineer some really epic baking sessions. They draped one of our counters in an old sheet that they used for purpose, to put the warm cookies to cool. Mom would fire up her Kitchen Aid mixer and triple every recipe, because what's the point of having a Kitchen Aid mixer if you're not going to strain the capacity of its bowl and the power of its engine? And what's the point of baking cookies if you're not going to bake enough for several months of cookie eating (which, given that we had a "strict" three-cookie limit per meal, wasn't actually as long as you might think).

Mom and Dad worked together to manage this affair, loading cookie sheets with dough and unloading the finished cookies to the greasy sheet designated to the task, and eventually to Tupperware. Usually they would make several kinds of cookies, the most common being peanut butter, Corn Flake cookies (which also included coconut, to give you some idea of what they were actually like), and of course chocolate chip (strictly from the Betty Crocker Cookbook recipe). I think we occasionally had snickerdoodles and somewhat more often sugar cookies.

I apprenticed at my father's knee, mostly learning the fine art of pre-cleaning the beaters with tongue and fingers. Sometimes the spoons needed a similar cleaning. Sometimes you just needed to make sure the dough was still good, I guess. And then you'd have to try the cookies as soon as they were cool enough not to burn the tongue and at regular intervals thereafter.

And it only got worse when I baked cookies as an adult, because whatever checks there may have been to prevent overconsumption of cookie dough were wholly absent in my bachelor pad. Like my mother before me, I would load up my Kitchen Aid with triple batches of dough (as one does). But, at a guess, maybe half of that batch actually earned the honor of being cooked, because ovens are a rather slow cookie delivery system.

So I guess what it comes down to is that it's a miracle I'm still alive, given the dire warnings I've seen and the sheer quantity of raw eggs in the form of cookie dough that I've eaten in my lifetime. I suppose I've squandered a lifetime supply of luck on this survival, otherwise I'd be fabulously wealthy by now.

So it goes. Cookie dough is delicious, and I regret nothing.

You can print that on my tombstone if salmonella gets me.


  1. My Mom would sit my little sister and I up on the counter next to her Mixmaster while she made chocolate chip cookies - I think those were the only kind she ever made! Our reward for good behavior was to scrape the bowl and lick the beaters. I'm still alive too!

  2. Licking the beaters was the best part of baking a cake when I was a kid! I admit I still love raw cookie dough. The warnings always cross my mind but I'll take my chances. Yum!

  3. Beaters and bowls - the best part of baking. I'm with you o this one. People now are so SQUEAMISH.

  4. Oh, I loved this....having just polished off a goodly amount of cookie dough myself, and still alive.