There is something utterly pure and nostalgic about baking a batch of chocolate chip cookies from scratch. Sure, warm chocolate chip cookies are great, but we all know that the best part of the process is eating the raw cookie dough straight from the mixing bowl.
What can we say? We love cookie dough, especially when it's eaten right out of the bowl, à la Granny's kitchen. But eating raw cookie dough comes with risk.
"Flour doesn't look like a raw food, but most flour is raw. That means it hasn't been treated to kill germs that cause food poisoning, such as Escherichia coli (E. coli)," notes the CDC. "You can get sick if you eat unbaked dough or batter made with flour containing germs. Germs are killed only when food made with flour is baked or cooked."
Sure, we may have grown up eating plenty of raw cookie dough, but when we're responsible for babies and grandbabies, no risk is ever worth it.
A few companies have capitalized on our cookie dough cravings, creating completely edible cookie dough that you can stash in your fridge and spoon out at your leisure. But if you just don't feel like making a trip to the grocery store, we're here with a home baking hack that makes your batch of cookie dough completely edible. That's right: You can spoon as much dough straight out of the bowl as your little heart desires.
To make flour safe to eat, it needs to be heat-treated—a quick trip in the oven will kill any potentially harmful bacteria. And it's remarkably easy to do this at home.
Baking your flour before adding it into the cookie dough takes away the risk factor of potential contamination. You can use this trick in any recipe for baked goods if you want the raw batter to be safe to eat.
However, it's important to remember that if your recipe calls for eggs, you'll need to use pasteurized eggs or use an egg substitute, such as a flax egg (flax seed mixed with water).
How to Heat-Treat Flour
Spread the desired amount of flour evenly on a sheet tray lined with parchment paper. Place another piece of parchment paper on top, then weigh the flour down by stacking another sheet tray on top of it. (If you do not weigh the flour down, the oven's fan can blow it around the inside of your oven.)
Bake the flour at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes, or until the flour registers 165 degrees Fahrenheit on an instant read thermometer. Allow the flour to fully cool before using.
This technique can be used in any cookie recipe, from chocolate chip cookies to sugar cookies. If you're on the hunt for some great cookie recipes, here are a few of our favorites.