Some rules are meant to be broken and chief among those is the oft-ignored advisement to not eat raw cookie dough. And while people have been defying that warning for years, it’s hard to swallow all your fears about raw ingredients to make the deliciously indulgent pleasure a completely guilt-free one.
But all that’s changed thanks to DŌ, a New York City shop that sells raw, edible cookie dough. Since opening at the end of January, the Greenwich Village store has had down-the-block lines, with dessert-dazed guests waiting anywhere from two to four hours for a cookie dough treat and has received nationwide praise from celebrities, the media and foodies.
The creative mind behind the concept is Kristen Tomlan, a St. Louis, MO, native who grew up with a passion for baking. The idea originated on a girls’ trip to Philadelphia, where Tomlan and her friends ditched getting dessert at a cookie shop and instead shared a tub of cookie dough in their car.
“I thought, ‘why is this not a thing? Why isn’t there a place where I can eat this?’” said Tomlan. “That was the moment I thought, maybe I can create this thing I’m really craving and looking for.”
She began experimenting with ingredients, trying to figure out a way to make a dough that was not only edible but bakeable. DŌ uses traditional cookie dough ingredients like butter, sugar and vanilla, but also pasteurized egg and heat-treated flour to make it safe to eat. She first launched the company online, shipping cookie dough nationwide. And though her products were well-received online, she never anticipated the overnight sensation DŌ would become once it opened a physical store.
“I love cookie dough and everyone I know loves it, but I had no idea the response would be what it was,” said Tomlan. “Every day when I look and there’s a line down the block, I’m amazed at how quickly it’s grown and how happy people are. I’m so excited by the response.”
When walking into DŌ, guests enter into a dessert lover’s paradise. There are more than a dozen signature cookie dough flavors that can be served up in a cup or cone, as part of cookie sandwiches or ice cream sundaes. Signature flavors include chocolate chip, sugar cookie and brownie batter, and all doughs can be upgraded with mix-ins such as candy, sprinkles, marshmallow fluff and more.
The scoops of doughs are the most popular on the menu, with many guests also asking for cookie dough milkshakes and original items like the cookie dough brownie, which layers brownie, cookie dough and chocolate ganache, and the cookie bomb, a stuffed cookie cup with cookie dough buttercream frosting. The menu also features the Ice Cream SanDŌwich, which puts ice cream between two layers of chocolate chip cookie dough, cookie dough fudge and cookie dough ice cream pie.
With people flocking from all over the country to get a bite of the once-forbidden treat, Tomlan said she’s looking to expand production capabilities and hopes that in the next few months they will be able to host classes and private events in the open-concept kitchen. She’s also looking to resume online operations, which have stopped due to the high demand in-store.
For Tomlan, raw cookie dough is about more than just satisfying her sweet tooth. Growing up, she spent hours watching her mom cook, wearing out multiple Easy-Bake ovens before moving onto the real thing and perfecting her recipes. There’s a special nostalgia around cookies, something, Tomlan said, has universal appeal.
“It’s something everyone loves and has a personal story connected to,” Tomlan said. “Whether it’s growing up in the kitchen next to mom, or making Christmas cookies, whether you were allowed to lick the spoon or not, there’s something nostalgic about the experience. And with people walking in to the store, no matter what age, you turn into that kid again.”
DŌ is located at 550 Laguardia Place, New York, NY. For more information, call 646-892-3600 or visit www.cookiedonyc.com.