What’s your favourite meal to cook? Do you run a food business? Do you work in a kitchen? If the answer is YES to any of the three aforementioned questions you’ll understand what I’m about to say next.

Ever since I began making cookie dough my outings to the local dessert parlours became cookie dough critiquing events! It wasn’t because I believed I knew everything about cookie dough (cuz I don’t) or just because I believed that Sweet Joe’s cookie dough was the best (even though it is J) but because I couldn’t believe the overly sweet cheap stuff that dessert parlours were charging their customers for.

I soon realised that it was more about the marketing of a dessert parlour and its flashy coloured interiors than actually serving a decent quality product. This point was further proven when a popular dessert parlour and its competitor across the road served the same cheap and cheerful cookie dough yet the one with the colourful interior and flashing lights, the more popular one, had better reviews from the same exact product!

Now, clearly there can be various reasons for this (customer service, the way the product is cooked, price) but I couldn’t help but feel that a major reason for such happenings was also down to the fact that did we as customers actually know and understand what a dessert parlour cookie dough should taste like? Now think about that question…let me help you understand its context…when you go to McDonald’s and buy a Big Mac we know what we’re getting and we’re happy with it.

We are fine with the fact that it’s mass produced processed food and that the bun’s have more sodium in them than normal ones. We don’t expect a Michelin style prepared gourmet burger that is made using organic beef. So the question is shouldn’t the same apply to businesses selling you “luxury” cookie dough?

The dessert industry really started gaining momentum around 2010 where we began seeing retail food outlets who sold only desserts. Majority of the people had never, prior to this, ever visited a cake shop let alone a eatery offering almost 50 dessert items! The whole experience was overwhelming with most of us not really understanding what to expect from our ordered food items. However, as with many things in life, we don’t really need to know what something should be like…just what it SHOULD’NT be like.

So here’s my top 4 tips of what a good cookie dough should taste like:  

1) Not too overly sweet:

I get it…it’s a dessert item..but that doesn’t mean it feels like I’m swallowing a whole bag of Tate & Lyle (that’s a sugar company btw J)  each time I take a spoonful. A overly sweet cookie dough will be sickly and you’ll need a glass or 2 of water to help gulp it down

2) Not cooked in a microwave:

I can’t begin to tell you the number of times I have had to answer this question to people, seasoned business people, starting entrepreneurs. I still get asked this question even today! (It’s July 2020 FFS!!!!!). Making ANY baking product in a microwave and expecting the finish to be decent is akin to painting your car with a can of Ronseal varnish. Yes, it’s paint but not that type of paint! Hot cookie dough should ALWAYS be baked in an oven

3) Avoid the grit:

If you take a spoon of your freshly baked cookie dough and can feel the grittiness of the texture then it’s due to the following 3 reasons; 1) cheap flour, 2) wrong type of sugar used, & 3) not cooked properly.

4) Make sure they’re serving you the correct product;

I once asked a prospective customer why he was selling cookie dough made to be baked as a cookie by the manufacturer as half baked hot cookie dough to his customers and his response was “I didn’t know there was a difference”. Hot cookie dough shouldn’t be too sweet, should have a lighter & more cake like consistency and be hard on top but smooth on the inside. The sign that you are eating a cookie dough designed to be a dessert cookie dough is that it won’t get hard and stick to your plate after 5 minutes of reaching your table

Ammar Saleem

(Founder of Sweet Joe’s)

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