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Every Tuesday at 7:42 a.m. and 5:18 p.m., Tom Harte shares a few thoughts on food and shares recipes. A founder of “My Daddy’s Cheesecake,” a bakery/café in Cape Girardeau, a food columnist for The Southeast Missourian, and a cookbook author, he also blends his passion for food with his passion for classical music in his daily program, The Caffe Concerto.

A Harte Appetite: Cookie Dough is Hard to Resist

Flickr user robinmcnicoll (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/)

I enjoy baking cookies. It gives me great satisfaction to see how my family and friends enjoy the results of my efforts. But the truth is I really do it for the dough.

Let’s face it. It’s hard enough to keep your hands out of the cookie jar, but what’s really difficult is keeping your fingers out of the mixing bowl. In fact, the practice of eating raw cookie dough has become so popular that many people buy packaged cookie dough from the grocery store with absolutely no intention of ever baking it.

This situation, of course, can be dangerous. The obvious risk is salmonella (named after Daniel E. Salmon in whose lab it was first discovered). It’s found in eggs, a principal ingredient of cookie dough. Yet people keep on eating it.

No one can be sure just when people discovered that cookie dough could be just as good as—or better than—cookies themselves. Perhaps it goes back to the very invention of cookie dough which likely predated the invention of the cookie by only a few minutes.

The invention of the cookie was one of those great culinary accidents. Centuries before the development of the modern oven, cooks about to bake a cake would use a small amount of the batter to test their oven temperature. The resulting little cakes or cookies became an end in themselves.

Still there is little evidence that there was much interest in eating the cake batter raw. But when back in 1930 Ruth Wakefield invented the chocolate chip cookie, another great culinary accident, who could resist scooping out a blob or two and eating it on the spot?

For a long time afterwards eating cookie dough was more or less a clandestine activity. Then in 1984, Ben & Jerry, introduced cookie dough ice cream. Soon the flavor was outselling every other ice cream on the market. And eating cookie dough came out into the open.

+++++Eggless Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough+++++

This recipe, adapted from The Cookie Dough Lover’s Cookbook, is not only safe to eat raw, it’s designed to be eaten without baking. In fact, it doesn’t make a very good cookie at all, so just grab a spoon and eat it right out of the bowl.

1 stick butter at room temperature
¼ cup granulated sugar
½ cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoons cream
½ teaspoon vanilla
1 and ¼ cups flour
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup mini semisweet chocolate morsels

Cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Stir in milk and vanilla. Add flour and salt and mix until incorporated. Stir in chocolate chips.

Tom Harte is a retired faculty member from Southeast Missouri State University where he was an award-winning teacher, a nationally recognized debate coach, and chair of the department of Speech Communication and Theatre.
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